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QUT Call for PhD Applications (Closes 13 October 2013)

Posted In News - By On Monday, September 16th, 2013 With 0 Comments

It’s that time of the year again: we are now calling for expressions of interest from prospective students interested in doing their PhD research with us at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia.

From the research presented on this site you will have a pretty good idea of the range of topics we’re interested in, but here’s a quick overview of areas which we think are especially interesting at the moment:

  • Social media applications: there is a great need to explore the specific applications of social media across a wide range of fields and industries, ranging from crisis communication through entertainment to political communication and beyond. Such research might pursue qualitative as well as quantitative approaches, engaging in social media analytics, ethnographic observation, surveys, interviews, content and network analysis, and a variety of other research techniques; for example, past and current PhD students in the Social Media Research Group are conducting participant observations of community management and social media teams in major media and crisis communication organisations, tracking Twitter activity around major sporting events, developing approaches to extracting meaningful information from social media streams, studying the role of social media in political communication, and investigating the platform politics of Facebook, Twitter, and Wikipedia.
  • Social media in the wider media ecology: how do social media interweave with other old and new media forms? We are interested in PhD projects which pursue innovative methodologies to examine and track the flow of information between different media forms and platforms, and which thereby manage to develop a more comprehensive picture of the overall media ecology (in Australia or elsewhere; comparative studies are also welcome). This may build in part on the data about the structure of the Australian and global Twittersphere which we have already collected, or explore entirely new avenues for research into the changing role of social media in public communication.
  • Social media analytics: we’re interested in any projects exploring the use of social media from mixed-methods qualitative and quantitative perspectives. Students interested in this work should have a background in media, communication, or cultural studies and/or social sciences, computer sciences, and informatics; we particularly invite students who are able to engage in further methodological development either by building on the work we’ve already done in this field or by developing new tools and methods using different approaches and technologies. Also, while our primary focus in recent research has been on Twitter analytics, this does not mean that other social media spaces are out of bounds for your work.

Background information and a step-by-step guide to the PhD applications process at QUT is located here: http://www.qut.edu.au/research/scholarships-and-funding/research-scholarships. In the first place, though, please contact Axel (a.bruns@qut.edu.au) by email so we can match your project idea with an appropriate potential supervisor. The QUT applications deadline for PhD projects starting in 2014 is 13 October 2013; please note that you will also need to provide supporting documentation about your academic track record, English language abilities, and other background information. QUT also offers a range of scholarships for domestic and international students; while we cannot guarantee that you will be awarded a scholarship, quality PhD projects do stand a good chance of receiving funding support. For further information about PhD research at QUT, please see http://www.qut.edu.au/study/phds-and-research-degrees/phds.

As a PhD student with us, you will be based in QUT’s Creative Industries Faculty (http://www.creativeindustries.qut.edu.au/). The Faculty’s world-class, industry-connected researchers undertake innovative applied and theoretical research in a wide range of disciplines across media, creative arts and design. We are home to some of the world’s best researchers in digital media, communication and culture: these disciplines were given the highest possible ranking of 5 – well above world standard – in both the 2010 and 2012 ERA rankings, which assesses research excellence in Australia. By doing your PhD research into social media at QUT, you’ll be joining Australia’s leading research institution in the field.

PhD students whose research projects align with one the Creative Industries Faculty’s areas of research strength – including social media – are also able to apply for a further Creative Industries PhD Top-Up Scholarship, beyond the standard QUT scholarship rate. For further information, see: http://www.qut.edu.au/study/fees-and-scholarships/scholarships-and-prizes/creative-industries-phd-top-up-scholarship.

About the Author

- Dr Axel Bruns leads the QUT Social Media Research Group. He is an ARC Future Fellow and Professor in the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. Bruns is the author of Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life and Beyond: From Production to Produsage (2008) and Gatewatching: Collaborative Online News Production (2005), and a co-editor of Twitter and Society, A Companion to New Media Dynamics, and Uses of Blogs (2006). He is a Chief Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation. His research Website is at snurb.info, and he tweets as @snurb_dot_info.

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