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PhD Scholarship in Digital Media and Geomedia


This Design & Creative Practice ECP PhD Scholarship supports critical examinations of the increasingly pervasive role of location metadata (or geodata) in Australian smartphone practices and cultures and the implications this has for users, industry, and public administration.

Central to the growth of smartphone ownership and use has been the rise of location-based services. Taking a critical perspective across the full ecosystem — from users of digital media to services and developers — the project responds to a crucial need to understand and make sense of how digital media increasingly provoke new forms of engagement with location, and the implications of the geodata produced through this engagement.

The primary aims of the project are to:

  1. Investigate emerging forms of geodata and digitally mediated location awareness, through a comprehensive mapping of locative platforms, apps, and augmented reality services available in Australia;
  2. Identify, analyse, and critically assess how geodata is understood by Australian users of digital media and how it is used by developers to shape and tailor digital media services, including the role of user geodata in algorithmic harvesting and filtering; and
  3. Develop — via design-driven, digital ethnographic research — a public interface for location awareness that enables users to understand the implications of their everyday location sharing via digital media.

The project will deliver online and open resources to enhance public understanding of geodata and geoprivacy, as well as industry and policy recommendations that address the crucial issue of location awareness’ in everyday digital media use.

Find out more


To be considered for the PhD Scholarship, applicants must hold or be currently completing:

  • Master by research
  • Master by coursework with a significant research component graded as high distinction, or equivalent
  • Honours degree achieving first class honours
  • 4 year bachelor degree achieving a GPA of 4 or equivalent (80% or above).

If you do not hold one of the above qualifications, you will only be considered for scholarship if you have previous publications or significant research experience. All other applicants will be considered ineligible.

Value and duration

$30,900 per year for three years with a possible six-month extension.

Number of scholarships available


How to apply

Before applying for the Scholarship, contact the Design & Creative Practice ECP and establish if your research is aligned with RMIT’s research focus and strengths. Contact details are listed below.

RMIT University’s research strategy

All applicants should email the following to Distinguished Professor Larissa Hjorth:

  • a cover letter, this should detail alignment with research areas at RMIT,
  • your Curriculum Vitae, and
  • a two-page research proposal.

The research proposal is a key part of the application process where applicants must demonstrate the value of their research and their suitability for scholarship selection.

Your proposal should be divided under the following headings:

  1. Title and topic
  2. Research questions you plan to investigate in the context of existing research/​literature in the area
  3. Significance and impact of the research
  4. Methodology/​research tasks required to undertake the research

    Terms and conditions

    See the research scholarship terms and conditions for further information.

    Terms and Conditions


    If you have any questions, please contact Distinguished Professor Larissa Hjorth, Design & Creative Practice ECP Director, via email.