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

Indigenous mothers in the criminal justice system: Mechanisms of risk and resilience children's developmental contexts

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: Indigenous mothers in the criminal justice system: Mechanisms of risk and resilience children’s developmental contexts

Strategic Priority: Developmental Criminology

Supervisory Team:

Associate Professor Susan Dennison (Email: Phone: (07) 373 56808)

Project Description:

Internationally, parental imprisonment has a demonstrated effect on intergenerational offending as well as a worsening of intergenerational disparities, racial inequality and social exclusion. In Australia, First Peoples comprise approximately 2% of the adult population but make up more than a quarter (27%) of our prison population. Dennison and colleagues found that in Queensland, Indigenous children are nine times more likely to experience paternal incarceration over the course of a year than non-Indigenous children. Similar data is not yet available for First Peoples mothers in prison and their children. Despite the significant overrepresentation of First Peoples in prison in Australia, we have very little understanding of the ways that children are affected by the incarceration of their mother. Furthermore, we do not know whether children whose mothers are involved in the criminal justice system but who are not incarcerated (i.e. are on probation) are similarly affected.

An outstanding Indigenous doctoral candidate is sought to undertake studies on experiences of maternal incarceration for First Peoples children. This project forms part of a larger ARC Discovery Project using mixed-methods to investigate the developmental contexts of children who have a mother in prison or on probation. The successful PhD candidate will have the opportunity to adapt the methodology of the ARC Discovery project to incorporate methodologies suitable for research with First Peoples. They will be involved in primary data collection; conducting surveys and interviews with Indigenous mothers and their families in Queensland.

Aims and Objectives:

In this PhD project the candidate will consider the specific challenges for Indigenous mothers in prison and on probation, their children and caregivers in urban, regional and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The research will focus on identifying the mechanisms that drive adverse developmental outcomes for children as well as those associated with resilience. Through this project the candidate will identify key programming and policy targets that can address the risks and needs specific to mothers, children, families and communities.

Other Important information:

The candidate will join a dynamic team of local and international researchers working on a program of research on prison and the family. The project will be nested within both the Developmental and Life-Course Criminology and Prevention Science (DLC&PS) theme and the Corrections theme of the Griffith Criminology Institute. Applicants should be available to start in early 2018 and have the following attributes:

  • an undergraduate degree with Second Class Honours or above, in an appropriate discipline (such as criminology, psychology, sociology, social work, or some combination of these areas)
  • an ability to work with quantitative and qualitative data, with specific experience or interest in qualitative research
  • experience, or interest in developing their expertise, in Indigenous research methodologies
  • excellent interpersonal skills

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.

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Further Information / Application Enquiries

Mr Matthew Browne