University of Adelaide Research Scholarship - Painting Country: the life and legacy of western Arnhem Land rock painters

Applications open
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Applications close
Open until filled
Payment per year
$32,500 p.a. (indexed, 2023 rate)
3.5 years
Postgraduate Research
Australian Citizens
Australian Permanent Residents
New Zealand Citizens
Permanent Humanitarian Visa Holders
International Students
Type of Scholarship
Available In
Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Economics (ABLE)
Available To
Future Students
Commencing Students

The University of Adelaide is offering two full-time PhD scholarships associated with Assoc. Prof. Sally K. May’s ARC Future Fellowship ‘Painting Country: the life and legacy of western Arnhem Land rock painters’. This ARC project explores the lives and legacies of known Aboriginal artists in western Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia. Working closely with community organisations and artist descendants, we aim to contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of Australian history and promote a better understanding of individual life stories and Aboriginal experiences in the Northern Territory.

Within this broad framework, candidates will be supported to develop and refine their own research questions in collaboration with Aboriginal community members. The PhD projects could relate to rock art, ethnographic museum collections, archives, biography, mission histories, and/or could involve the recording of oral histories. We encourage candidates from a range of disciplines including, but not limited to, history, archaeology, anthropology, art history and Indigenous studies. The successful candidates will be working in collaboration with Aboriginal communities in western Arnhem Land and must be willing to travel and work in remote locations, as needed. There is also the potential to incorporate an internship into this scholarship.

Eligibility: Applicants must have (a) completed and been awarded a relevant Bachelor Degree with Honours in history, archaeology, anthropology, art history, Indigenous studies or a related discipline or (b) have equivalent work experience and academic publications. Excellent academic writing and communication skills are essential. Applicants must be Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia or an international student who is acceptable as a candidate for a PhD degree at the University of Adelaide.

Stipend and fieldwork funding: The successful applicant will be awarded a stipend of $32,500 (2023 rate, indexed annually) per annum. This is usually tax exempt. Details of any terms and/or benefits can be found in the Conditions of Award. The candidate will also have access to financial support from the School of Humanities and the ARC Future Fellowship to support the costs of fieldwork.

Applying: Expressions of interest should be submitted to Assoc. Prof. Sally K. May via by no later than 30 April 2023. Please ensure you include all of the following documents:

  • A cover letter that includes a brief statement of the applicant’s suitability and a brief summary of one or more possible research topics.
  • Degree certificates
  • Academic transcripts
  • Translations of non-English documentation
  • Evidence of English language proficiency (if applicable)
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of any published works, conference presentations and relevant work experience and two referees



Assoc. Prof. Sally K. May, School of Humanities