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Call for PhD Applications: Social Media and Public Communication

Posted In News, Projects - By On Thursday, April 9th, 2015 With 0 Comments

We’re now looking for the second PhD student associated with my current ARC Future Fellowship project. The PhD student will receive an annual stipend of A$25,849 over the three years of the PhD project. If you’re interested in and qualified for the PhD project, please contact me by 1 May 2015, directly at a.bruns@qut.edu.au with your CV, names of two referees, and a detailed statement addressing the Eligibility Requirements below. We’ll select the candidate on this basis, and will then ask you to formally apply for the PhD place through the QUT Website.

Full details are below – please pay particularly close attention to the Eligibility Requirements.

The Project

We are seeking a highly motivated candidate to participate in an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship project which draws on several ‘big data’ sources on Australian online public communication.

This PhD project provides an unprecedented opportunity to investigate the flow of information across the Australian online public sphere at large scale and in close to real time, within a world-class research environment. With an ERA ranking of 5 (well above world standing), Creative Industries at QUT is the leading institution for Media and Communication research in Australia, and ARC Future Fellow Professor Axel Bruns is an international research leader in the area of Internet studies.

The PhD researcher will be supervised by the ARC Future Fellow. This position will be located on the QUT Kelvin Grove campus, Brisbane, and will commence in mid-2015.

The researcher will carry out a range of tasks associated with project activities, including:

  • using data collection and analysis methods and instruments developed for the project for a variety of purposes, including:
    • post hoc research into user activity patterns and information flows in the Australian online public sphere across a wide range of cases;
    • speedy and agile analysis of online activities in issue publics related to current events, and publication of initial analysis;
    • input into further development of online media tracking and analysis methods and instruments developed by the project.
  • contributing to the development of new models of communication processes in the Australian online public sphere by:
    • tracing the trajectories of intermedia information flows across the diverse datasets available to the project;
    • developing and testing a range of preliminary models for the conceptualisation of issue publics and other formations of public discourse in online environments;
    • contributing to the integration of these models into a more comprehensive framework for understanding processes of communication across the contemporary media ecology.
  • contributing to the dissemination of research findings from the project by:
    • publishing preliminary analyses and findings in relevant outlets (The Conversation, project website and other publications, etc.);
    • presenting project findings at relevant national and international conferences in media and communication and related fields;
    • publishing research outcomes from the project in sole- and collaboratively authored articles and chapters in high-profile journals and books.

This PhD project supports an ARC Future Fellowship research project investigating intermedia information flows in the Australian online public sphere. The emergence of new media forms has led to a profound transformation of the Australian media environment: mainstream, niche, and social media intersect in many ways, online and offline. Increased access to large-scale data on public communication online enables an observation of how the nation responds to the news of the day, how themes and topics unfold, and how interest publics develop and decline over time.

Eligibility Requirements

You must have:

  • first class honours (H1), or equivalent, in media and communication or a closely related area;
  • demonstrated expertise in research on the contemporary public sphere and on information flows in online and social media;
  • demonstrated knowledge of, and entry-level experience with, qualitative and quantitative research that uses innovative methods drawing on ‘big social data’ from social media and other relevant online sources;
  • demonstrated understanding of current themes and issues in Australian public debate, and of the contemporary Australian media environment;
  • effective written, interpersonal and computer-mediated communication skills;
  • demonstrated computing skills, including familiarity with digital research management and social media research tools.

How to Apply

You’ll need to submit:

  • your CV;
  • the names of two referees;
  • a detailed statement addressing the eligibility criteria.

Send your application to Professor Axel Bruns (a.bruns@qut.edu.au) by the closing date.

What Happens Next

We’ll award the scholarship based on academic merit, research experience and potential.

If your profile meets the eligibility requirements you’ll be asked to submit a formal application for admission to the PhD.


Further details are available on the QUT Website.

About the Author

- Axel Bruns is a Professor in the Digital Media Research Centre at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, where he leads the Digital Publics programme.

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