Applications for this PhD have now closed.
Location Griffith University, Griffith Criminology Institute
App. deadline 03/10/2017
  • Please enquire for further details
Eligibility Australian residents only

New securities for new harms: examining private harm management in the age of the Anthropocene

Founded in 2015, the establishment of the Griffith Criminology Institute (GCI) reflects the culmination and solidification of the community of criminology, crime and justice scholars from across the University who collectively represent one of the largest, most vibrant and high performing criminology communities in the world.

Our vision is to produce cutting-edge knowledge that helps create safe, just, well-governed and equitable societies.

Prospective Research Higher Degree students are invited to apply for a PhD scholarship with the Griffith Criminology Institute. Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Stipend Scholarship and Griffith University Postgraduate Research Scholarship applications are currently open, closing Tuesday 3 October 2017. These Scholarship opportunities each provide a living allowance of approximately $26,682 per annum.

GCI Strategic Priorities and Top-up Funding

A GCI funded Scholarship Top-up (valued at $6,000 per annum) is available for an outstanding student working project outlined below. Applicants must meet the University’s selection criteria for entry into the PhD programme and be awarded a Scholarship to qualify for GCI Top-up funding. If you would like to discuss this opportunity further please contact the supervisory team for the relevant project. Top-ups are available for four other projects relating to areas of strategic importance - click here for further details.

How to Apply

After reviewing the PhD project below, prospective applicants should make contact with the relevant supervisory team and ensure that details of the project are included in their Scholarship application. Contact must be made with the relevant supervisory team by 5pm Monday 25 September 2017. Where multiple enquires are received for a single PhD Project Topic, the supervisory team will notify the preferred candidate by Wednesday 27 September 2017 in order to allow submission of the Scholarship application. Only one GCI Top-up will be offered per selected topic area.

To apply for a scholarship, follow the process for submitting an online application outlined on the Griffith University website; The GCI will review the full scholarship application via the usual round assessment process and will make recommendations for Scholarships and Top-ups which align with the selected topics below.

PhD Project

Project Title: New securities for new harms: examining private harm management in the age of the Anthropocene

Strategic Priority: Future Harms

Supervisory Team:

Professor Clifford Shearing (Email: or

Professor Janet Ransley (Email: Phone: (07) 3735 5612)

Project Description:

An outstanding doctoral candidate is sought to undertake studies within a broader project focused on new forms of harm management and private governors of security.

In an age of the Anthropocene, harms associated with natural disasters, environmental risks and climate change threaten economies and the safety and security of global citizens. Managing such ‘harmscapes’ traditionally fell to environmental regulators, police, military and other public governors. However, limited public resources, competing priorities and the scale and speed of change has hampered success. Managing these harms increasingly falls to a wider set of private governors, not least insurers and related financial actors. This PhD will examine the environmental risk (e.g, climate change mitigation) actions related to the governance of this new harm landscape. It will add to the understanding of insurance as a governor of environmental security and provide insights into how best to manage uncertainty in the age of the Anthropocene. It will ask when and how insurance and financial services engage in actions that manage environmental risks and, importantly, the regulatory conditions which enable (and disable) those actions. By answering this question, the project aims to develop principles to guide insurance and other private and public governors to deliver improved climate outcomes and security governance within the globe’s new harmscape.

The research will involve searching for documents on line and through requests and their analysis as well as interviews, and may require travel.  Analysis will include the use of analytic tools such as NVIVO and ATLAS data analysis tools.  Experience with qualitative research methods, in particular a grounded theory approach, is desirable.

Other Important information:

The successful applicant will join an innovative team of researchers at the Griffith Criminology Institute who are undertaking interdisciplinary criminological and regulatory research on security governance and new harm landscapes.

As a doctoral student, you will develop expertise in cutting edge criminology and regulatory scholarship, gain experience in research design and methods, and produce insights that may lead to improved environmental and social outcomes in practice.

Applicants should be available to star in early 2018 and have the following attributes:

  • an undergraduate degree with first class honours in an appropriate discipline (such as criminology law, legal studies, environmental science, the humanities, social sciences, or some combination of these areas) etc.

Please Note: Should this listing mention details of an available scholarship, it is your responsibility to confirm the specifics with the university / institute prior to applyiing. Terms and conditions are in some cases subject to change and are not always reflected immediately within listings.

See our full disclaimer

Further Information / Application Enquiries

Mr Matthew Browne