Mathematics and Science Education - PhD scholarship

PhD scholarship for three years – commencing Semester 1, 2018

Expressions of interest (EOI) are invited from suitable domestic and international candidates planning to undertake their doctoral studies (PhD) as part of a program of research investigating mathematics and science education at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE). This research program is led by Professor Jan van Driel and Associate Professor Wee Tiong Seah. Applicants with an interest in this program of research are encouraged to apply.


The PhD project is entitled ‘Developing primary teachers’ expertise in fostering mathematical and scientific reasoning of culturally diverse students’. Specifically, the project focuses on teachers’ ability to recognize the variety in reasoning of students with diverse backgrounds, understand the cultural aspects of this variety, and develop instructional strategies to acknowledge and foster culturally diverse ways of reasoning. For this purpose, a group of primary teachers will analyze video recordings, made specifically for this project, of students working on tasks that focus on measuring and modeling. These tasks require reasoning that cuts across mathematics and science. Next, teachers apply their emerging understanding of the cultural variety in student reasoning to designing and implementing instructional strategies in their own classrooms, which are captured on video and discussed by teachers during subsequent group meetings. Data from teacher meetings, classroom instruction, and interviews will be analyzed from the perspective of teacher expertise development.


The successful applicant will receive a PhD scholarship (valued at $26,682 p.a. in 2017) as a fortnightly living allowance for the duration of three years, a relocation grant of $2,000 for students moving from outside Victoria (as per the Graduate Research Scholarships terms and conditions), extensive mentoring support, and will be part of an active research community working on a growing and stimulating program of research.


  • All applicants need to satisfy the PhD – Education entry requirements.
  • Applicants must have completed tertiary studies that are at least equivalent to a 4-year honours degree at an Australian university with a minimum result of first class Honours.
  • Relevant professional and research experience (including publications) will be regarded positively.
  • All scholarship offers will be made under the condition that applicants commit to full-time study and commence their PhD studies at The University of Melbourne in semester one, 2018 (between January – June 2018).

How to apply

  • In the first instance interested applicants should check they meet the PhD – Education entry requirements.
  • Please email to MERI at by 22 September 2017.
  • A cover letter.
  • Completed EOI form.
  • Curriculum Vitae (2 A4 pages maximum).
  • A brief research proposal (1-2 pages long) addressing the project title: ‘Developing primary teachers’ expertise in fostering mathematical and scientific reasoning of culturally diverse students’. Please outline preliminary ideas for your research project, e.g., key research questions, methodologies, and relevant conceptual and theoretical approaches.
  • Copy of academic transcripts.
  • Copy of Masters or honours thesis examiners’ reports (if applicable).

Selected outcome

  • Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an interview by mid to late September 2016, with all applicants to be advised of the outcome of the EOI by 29 September 2017.
  • In addition, any applicants wishing to be considered for the scholarships must also formally apply for admission into the PhD – Education by 16 October 2017. For more information on the PhD admission application process, visit How to Apply.