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PhD Scholarship in Bioethics

Monash University

The Opportunity

This PhD scholarship is funded as an important part of an ARC funded project Ethical and Social Issues in Translating Epigenetics into Antenatal Care, led by Professor Catherine Mills in collaboration with Associate Professor Jacqueline Boyle (Monash), Professor Jackie Leach Scully (UNSW), Professor kylie valentine (UNSW), and Professor Celia Roberts (ANU).

This project investigates how knowledge about the intergenerational transmission of health and disease is shaping antenatal care in Australia. It focuses on the ethical and social implications of epigenetics for pregnant women considered to be at-risk for maternal behaviours that are linked with foetal harm. The successful applicant will join the research team and contribute to the wider project by undertaking a PhD project on the ethical and philosophical issues raised by alcohol consumption in pregnancy or obesity prevention through preconception health. The candidate would be primarily supervised by Professor Catherine Mills.

Undertaking this PhD as part of a larger project has several advantages. First, the successful candidate will be integrated into an already successful research agenda that has been funded by the Australian Research Council, and will have access to funding to support fieldwork, transcription, travel, and conference attendance. Second, the candidate will benefit from expert supervision from research leaders in the humanities and social sciences, and from entering a PhD with a pre-existing structure. Finally, the candidate will benefit from being part of outcomes from the research, which may include publications (where the candidate’s contributions will be recognised through co-authorship), funded symposia, school-engagement exercises, and future grant applications.

Monash University is the largest university in Australia and regularly ranks in the top 100 universities worldwide. Monash has six globally networked campuses and international alliances in Europe and Asia. The applicant will be based at the Clayton campus in Melbourne. The Monash Bioethics Centre ( is one of the leading bioethics centres internationally and a flagship research centre in the Faculty of Arts. It provides undergraduate and graduate education in the field, alongside ground-breaking and impactful research. We have a strong and supportive research culture, led by internationally recognised scholars successful in attracting national and international competitive funding.

Candidate Requirements

The successful applicant will have an excellent academic track record in Bioethics, Philosophy or related areas of scholarship. Competence in theoretical bioethics and/or philosophy research methods is desirable.

In its assessment, the selection committee will prioritise applicants who hold an Australian (or equivalent international) Honour’s or Master’s degree (both in a relevant field), with a significant research component and with first-class honours/H1 awarded.

Details of eligibility requirements, including English-language proficiency skills, to undertake a PhD in the Faculty of Arts are available at Applicants should ensure they familiarise themselves with these requirements before deciding whether they should apply.

Scholarship holders must be enrolled full-time and on campus. Please note: applicants who already hold a PhD will not be considered.

The successful applicant will be expected to enrol by 31 March 2022. However, there may be some flexibility as to the date of commencement.

Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI)

EOIs shall comprise:

  • A cover letter that includes a brief statement of the applicant’s suitability
  • A brief research proposal not exceeding 750 words in length that fits within the broad project aims and objectives, and demonstrates some understanding of the area of research
  • A curriculum vitae, including a list of any published works, conference presentations and relevant work experience
  • A full statement of academic record, supported by scanned copies of relevant certified documentation
  • Contact details of two academic referees

It is important that you contact Professor Catherine Mills ( prior to submission of the EOI to discuss the project.

Once you have discussed your EOI with Professor Catherine Mills, EOIs should be sent, preferably in the form of a single attachment to an email, to Ms Kinda Say, Senior Graduate Research Administrator, Faculty of Arts, at the following email address State “EOI [your name] – PhD Scholarship in Bioethics – Ethical and Social Issues in Translating Epigenetics into Antenatal Care” in the subject heading of the email.

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed by video call. The interviews will be conducted in English.

Job No.: 625652

Location: Clayton campus

Employment Type: Full-time

Duration: 3-year and 3-month fixed-term appointment

Remuneration: The successful applicant will receive an Arts Research Living Allowance, at current value of $29,500 per annum 2021 full-time rate (tax-free stipend), indexed plus allowances as per RTP stipend scholarship conditions at: A tuition fee scholarship and Single Overseas Health Cover (OSHC) will be provided for a successful international awardee.


Professor Catherine Mills:

Closing Date

Friday 17th October 2021, 11:55pm AEDT

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