The Faculty of Law & Justice, UNSW Sydney, wishes to offer up to two PhD Scholarships for applicants with outstanding research potential and a demonstrated interest in comparative constitutional studies. The scholarship will commence at a mutually agreed date between May 2022 and July 2023.


Applications are open until 31 March 2022.


The scholarship stipend will be equivalent to the value of a Research Training Program Scholarship (for 2022, this rate is $28,854 p.a.), plus Faculty top-up ($5,000 p.a.).  These scholarships generally receive favourable tax treatment and entitle candidates to apply for a fee waiver.


Three (3) years, subject to confirmation of candidature and satisfactory progress.


Applicants may be Australian citizens, permanent residents or international.

Students currently enrolled in or holding an offer to commence a full-time PhD in the UNSW Faculty of Law & Justice in 2022 may apply, provided that, by the application deadline, they shall have been enrolled for no longer than twelve months and they are not already holding or have been offered a scholarship for study at UNSW.

The Scholarship is for study on a full-time basis only, unless there are exceptional personal or medical circumstances that would require study on a part-time basis for all or part of the PhD program. This Scholarship is not open to students already enrolled in a PhD program elsewhere.

Residency requirement 

Applicants must pursue their PhD research in Sydney. International applicants are responsible for securing any necessary visas to enable study based in Sydney.

Selection criteria

Applicants must possess:

  • strong academic credentials and a demonstrated interest in comparative constitutional studies; and
  • an undergraduate degree in Law or a related discipline with a minimum Honours Class II, Division (I) that includes a substantial research component (or equivalent); or
  • a postgraduate qualification in Law or a related discipline (including a substantial research component) with an average that equates to a Distinction average at UNSW (80%); or
  • equivalent research or professional experience, supported by references and a detailed CV.

Previous research experience, including completion of a research thesis and/or publications will be highly valued. Applicants with knowledge of developments in Turkey, Brazil, Venezuela, India, South Africa, Kenya and other at-risk democracies are especially invited to apply.   Female-identifying and minority candidates are also encouraged to apply.

Selection will be based on (a) the applicant’s academic qualifications, (b) their written communication skills, (c) the quality of their research proposal, (d) their research experience and potential, (d) the fit between the applicant’s proposal and the focus areas of the Future Fellowship Project.

Details of Available Scholarship

This PhD scholarship is available to applicants who are interested in undertaking research for an ARC Future Fellowship project entitled ‘Constitutions and Democratic Resilience.’  The focus of this project is on understanding the causes and dimensions to democratic backsliding in democracies at risk, and hybrid and authoritarian regimes, and advancing knowledge about how these patterns can be avoided through better constitutional design and decision-making. The focus of the project is truly global in scope.

Successful candidates will be supervised by Professor Rosalind Dixon and a second supervisor, and focus primarily on their own PhD projects, but also participate in the broader academic and engagement work associated with the Fellowship and the Gilbert +Tobin Centre of Public Law at UNSW Sydney. Candidates will be enrolled in the School of Global and Public Law at UNSW Law & Justice.

  • Applicants should attach copies of ALL academic transcripts, relevant publications, a CV, a cover letter addressing the selection criteria and outlining interest in comparative constitutional studies, and a 3-5 page research proposal.

    Details for two academic or professional referees must be provided (referees will be contacted only if an applicant is being considered for shortlisting).

    Applicants must also complete the Application Form to be considered for the ARC Future Fellowship PhD Scholarship in ‘Constitutions and Democratic Resilience.’

    Shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview, which will take place either in person (preferable) or by Skype or Zoom Conference. Shortlisted applicants may also be asked to produce short pieces of written work or research as part of the selection process.

    The application process is separate from applying for admission to UNSW. The successful scholarship applicant will also be required to complete the formal admission process.

  • Please email completed applications to:

    Dr Jenny Jarrett 
    HDR Officer 
    University of New South Wales 
    Faculty of Law & Justice
    E: j.jarrett@unsw.edu.au  

    For further enquiries, please contact:

    Dr Jenny Jarrett 
    HDR Officer 
    University of New South Wales 
    Faculty of Law & Justice
    Tel: +61 2 0424 041 940
    E: j.jarrett@unsw.edu.au