Future Students


IGPA's aim is to deepen theory, advance knowledge and improve practice in a way that is of significance to scholars and practitioners in Australia and internationally. At IGPA we endeavour to establish a centre for high quality student education and we aim to achieve a collective ethos which values the form of academic community where research students:

  • play a central role in the activities of the community and begin to set the research agenda;
  • are embedded within vibrant research programs which possess a critical mass of scholars who share ideas, challenge each other and are dedicated to pushing forward frontiers of knowledge;
  • are supported by a research program which provides them with methodological choices to build their capacity not just to complete a thesis but to pursue a career in academia or other research led careers;
  • are taught the rudiments of good academic and professional practice;
  • are encouraged to innovate in thesis design;
  • are provided with regular opportunities to communicate their ideas and debate other key disciplinary concerns; and,
  • work in an environment where problems with academic progress are shared and debated in a reflexive, professional manner.
  • With these aims in mind, we support our Faculty partners in building an inclusive and dynamic research student community. In particular, this involves providing all PhD students pursuing critical governance research with: IGPA Fellow status and membership of a research program; access to Institute research activities (e.g. conferences, seminars and symposia), support services (Research Support Office), thesis development and professional skills workshops; access to high quality research training program encompassing the philosophy of the social sciences, quantitative and qualitative methods training in partnership with NATSEM; opportunities for paper presentations and feedback through our Research Student Workshop, Research Discussion Forum and lunch-time seminar series.

To download a copy of the HDR handbook, please click here.


Domestic Scholarships

Potential domestic PhD candidates may be eligible to apply for an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) scholarship. For more information about the APA and how to apply, please see the ‘Domestic Scholarships’ page on the University of Canberra Research Students Office website.

The ‘Scholarships’ page on the University of Canberra Research Students Office website also contains information about other scholarships, their eligibility criteria and how to apply.

International Scholarships

Potential international PhD candidates may be eligible to apply for International Postgraduate Research Scholarships (IPRS). For more information about the IPRS and how to apply, please see the ‘International Scholarships’ page on the University of Canberra Research Students Office website.

The ‘Scholarships’ page on the University of Canberra Research Students Office website also contains information about other scholarships, their eligibility criteria and how to apply.

Additional Funding

IGPA doctoral candidates have access to additional research funds, to assist with costs associated with fieldwork related to their project, conference visits and the production of their thesis.

Doctoral candidates at IGPA may apply for up to $5,000 for research support over the duration of their candidature. This sum consists of $3,000 for costs associated with conducing fieldwork, and/or the costs associated with producing their thesis, such as editing and printing. The remaining $2,000 is set aside to be used to assist with expenses incurred during conference visits including, transport, conference registration fees and accommodation expenses. In addition, doctoral candidates also have access to a discretionary fund from the IGPA Research Funding Board.

Students are also welcome and encouraged to apply for additional funding for their projects. More information about additional funding opportunities can be found through the following links:

Research Professional (research grants database)

Types of PhD

At IGPA it is possible to complete a PhD either by submitting a research thesis or by published works. The University of Canberra Gold Book contains additional information about the types of PhDs.


PhD by Research Theses

To complete a PhD by research thesis, the candidate would submit a monograph reporting the findings of their research project, for examination. A thesis submitted for a Doctor of Philosophy degree should be approximately 80,000-100,000 words and not exceed 100,000 words in length. Part 7 of the University of Canberra Gold Book contains further information about completing a PhD by the research thesis route.

PhD by Published Works

At IGPA it is also possible to undertake a PhD by publication. The University is in the process of approving an outline of what is required to undertake a PhD by published works. The details of this are being finalised, but, essentially students will be expected to submit four completed articles, at least three of which need to have been published/accepted by an academic journal. In addition, the thesis needs to be ‘topped and tailed’ with an introduction and conclusion, which outlines how the articles are linked. If you are interested in this route, please contact Professor David Marsh, IGPA's Research Director.

PhD Milestones

The PhD Process

As a PhD student, you will be expected to complete certain milestones as you progress through to completion. These milestones are designed to ensure that IGPA students receive a high level of feedback and direction on their research projects.

The milestones include:

Introductory Seminar: Six Months

Within the first six months of their candidature student will present an Introductory Seminar. The objectives of the Introductory Seminar are to introduce the candidate and his/her research to the IGPA research community and to welcome the candidate into the community. The Seminar will also provide an avenue for the candidate to receive feedback from academics in their field and provide an early opportunity for the candidate to test the feasibility of the research project. Finally, the Seminar will provide an opportunity to implement early intervention measures, if appropriate.

Confirmation of Candidature and Research Proposal: 12 Months

Within the first 12 months of their candidature student will present a Confirmation of Candidature seminar and submit a research proposal describing their research project.

The intended objectives of the Confirmation of Candidature seminar are to facilitate timely completion of the research project by assisting candidates to find a focus and to plan their research early on. It also offers the candidate an opportunity to increase the quality of their research by providing them with public feedback during the planning stage of their research. Completing the Seminar will give the student the opportunity to acquire skills essential to operate as an effective researcher, including seminar presentation skills, proposal writing skills and scholarly writing skills, appropriate to the discipline. The Seminar will also ensure that adequate infrastructure, supervision arrangements and funds are in place for the candidate to complete the thesis in a timely, safe and ethical manner.

Work-in-Progress Seminar: 24 Months

At approximately 24 months into their candidature, students will have the opportunity to present a Work-in-Progress Seminar. This is a formative milestone and is not formally assessed, but provides an opportunity for the candidate to seek feedback and direction on their research before the final write-up of the thesis and to test and defend the major results and conclusions emerging from their research.

Thesis Submission and Final Seminar: 36 Months

PhD candidates are expected to submit their thesis at 36 months of their candidature. Upon the submission of their thesis students are required to present a final seminar. The Final Seminar will provide an opportunity for the candidate to present their research outcomes and identify potential forms and channels of dissemination. It also offers the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the candidate.

Areas of Expertise and Supervision
IGPA Fellows                         Area of Expertise
Henrik Bang

Post-modernism and governance; citizen-centred governance; political participation in late modernity; organisational sociology

Laurie Brown

Population studies; health, ageing and aged care; indigenous disadvantage

Nicole Curato

Deliberative democracy; fringe forms of political participation; Southeast Asian studies; qualitative methods

Lain Dare

Natural resource management; environmental politics; community engagement

Michael De Percy

Telecommunication policy, transport policy, comparative political economy/government-business relations, comparative politics, historical institutionalism, leadership and innovation, strategic management, path dependency, punctuated equilibrium, Canadian and Australian federalism and Australian politics and history. Also well-versed in other case study countries, particularly Jordan and UAE, but also to some extent Hong Kong.

John Dryzek

Democracy; political theory; environmental politics

Patrick Dunleavy

Digital era governance; government productivity; bureaucracy and public management; theory of the state; state policy-making; political power; public choice theory; and electoral analysis, especially electoral systems

Selen Ercan

Democracy; deliberative democracy; identity politics; social movements; interpretive research methods

Mark Evans

Public sector institution-building; processes of governance; policy transfer; administrative reform; state policy responses to globalisation; critical issues in Australian governance

Paul Fawcett

Governance; state-society relations; political authority; public service reform; democratic governance and political participation; politicians, administrators and publics; policy transfer; critical policy studies; public policy analysis; political sociology

Ben Freyens

Economics of employment protection, telecommunications economics, inequality, discrimination, social capital, regional studies

Jean-Paul Gagnon

Democratic theory, democracy, and democratization

Tesfaye Gebremedhin

Economics; Econometrics; Higher Education; Data Analysis; Policy Analysis; Qualitative Research

Xiaodong Gong

Economics; econometrics; policy evaluations; individual and household behaviour

John Halligan

Comparative public management and governance; public sector reform; performance management and government institutions

Richard Hu

Urban policy and governance; urban analysis and development; urban competitiveness; global cities; urban and regional planning

Mike Jensen

Political communication; internet and online engagement; big data analysis

Phil Lewis Labour markets, employment, unemployment, economics of education
Jinjing Li

Labour economics; statistical modeling; microsimulation; tax and income issues

Greg Mahony International Business theme of an economic nature, Foreign Direct Investment, Institutions – Norms and conventions, Asia Pacific Economy and Business, Development Policy in Asia
David Marsh Political sociology, power, political participation, critical policy studies, policy transfer, critical realism
Sarah Maslen Sociology of the senses, cultural sociology, sociology of risk and disasters, organisational sociology, sociology of health and medicine, sociology of science and technology, symbolic interactionism, ethnography
Brendan McCaffrie Political leadership, Australian politics and policy, Political participation
Monir Mir

Social and political aspects of accounting; critical analysis of the role of accounting technologies in public sector reform initiatives; accounting in developing countries; accounting education

Riyana Miranti

Wellbeing and disadvantage; development economics; applied microeconomics; migration; gender issues

Hitomi Nakanishi

Transport planning and modelling, spatial analysis, disaster risk management

Simon Niemeyer Environmental governance, deliberative democracy, mixed methods

Jonathan Pickering


Global environmental politics (especially aspects relating to deliberative democracy, justice, discourses, institutional architecture and North-South politics), International climate change negotiations and financing.
Lawrence Pratchett

Urban governance; political participation; crisis management

Gerry Stoker

Governance, public policy, urban governance, democracy 

Robert Tanton

Small area estimation; community adaptability and sustainability; statistical modelling

Yogi Vidyattama

Regional/spatial economics; small area estimation; development economics; economic growth; public finance

Mary Walsh

Australian politics; political theory (Arendt, Machiavelli, de Beauvoir, Irigaray); identity politics; ecological politics

Michael Walsh

Sociology of everyday life; Erving Goffman; sound studies; music sociology: and social research methods

Apply for a PhD

Step 1. Familiarise yourself with our research programs

At IGPA, we have organised our research activities into five program areas of identified research strength with one inter-disciplinary team of researchers in each area. We advise you to familiarise yourself with the research Centres and areas of expertise, and self-nominate your potential supervisors. If you are unsure about potential supervisors, we are happy to nominate one for you based on your proposed area of research. 

Step 2. Your Submission to the University

If you wish to apply for a Research Degree with the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis within the Faculty of Business, Government and Law (BGL), make sure that you apply in adequate time as it take some time to gather and prepare everything you need.

For more information about how to sumbit your application, please visit the ‘how to apply’ page on the University of Canberra Research Students Office website. This page also includes information on student scholarships and fees.

For course enquires, please contact BGLHDR | at | canberra.edu.au.

Any questions about the official submission process should be directed to the University of Canberra’s Research Students Office at hdrsupport | at | canberra.edu.au