Applications for this PhD have now closed.
Location Griffith University, Griffith Criminology Institute
App. deadline 02/10/2018
  • Please enquire for further details
  • Scholarship available
Eligibility Open to international applicants

Community guardianship & crime control in the digital age

Griffith University hosts one of the largest, most vibrant, and high-performing criminology research communities in the world.  At the Griffith Criminology Institute (GCI) internationally-renowned scholars are collaborating in a broad range of areas to produce cutting edge knowledge that helps create safe, just, well-governed and equitable societies. Our research aims to address the major challenges that confront society and is organised around themes and projects which currently include: violence prevention, life course studies, prevention science, policing, corrections, innovative justice, procedural justice, vulnerable families, prosecutions, justice in the Asia-Pacific, investigative interviewing and countering violent extremism.

Prospective Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students are invited to apply for a PhD Scholarship with the Griffith Criminology Institute. Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Stipend Scholarship, Griffith University Postgraduate Research Scholarship and Griffith University Indigenous Australian Postgraduate Research Scholarship applications are currently open, closing Tuesday 2 October 2018. These Scholarship opportunities each provide a living allowance of approximately $27,082 (2018 rate, indexed annually) per annum. Tuition Scholarships are also available for international HDR candidates.

How to Apply

Prospective students should follow the process for submitting an online Scholarship application outlined on the Griffith University website;

GCI Scholarship Top-up Funding

To complement the Scholarships above, GCI is offering up to 5 Top-up Scholarships each valued at $6,000 per annum, paid in addition to the usual living allowance. Applicants must meet the University’s selection criteria for entry into the PhD programme and be awarded a living allowance Scholarship to qualify for the extra GCI Top-up funding.

All students who apply for a Scholarship with GCI will be considered for top-up funding. A pre-formulated project is outlined below and additional projects are outlined in this document: Students may also undertake any other HDR project within the Institute. All Scholarship applications will be considered via the usual round assessment process and top-ups will be awarded to the highest ranked GCI candidates in the Order of Merit.

Students must contact the supervisor or supervisory team by early-September 2018 to discuss the project and develop a research proposal for inclusion with the Scholarship application. Contact details for the supervisory teams of pre-formulated projects are provided below and students may contact our members directly to discuss projects and supervisory arrangements.

Other GCI PhD Scholarships and Top-ups

Additionally, GCI is proud to support the Tony Fitzgerald Top-up Scholarship, and the Nina Westera Scholarship in Adult Investigative Interviewing. Please see the following links for further information regarding these Scholarships:

Project Title:

Community guardianship & crime control in the digital age

Supervisory Team:

Dr Danielle Reynald (

Danielle is the GCI and School or Criminology and Criminal Justice PhD Program Director and an emerging leader in the field of applied situational crime prevention. She has expertise on guardianship, situational crime prevention and crime prevention via environmental design.

Prof Clifford Shearing (

Professor Clifford Shearing is one of the world’s leading scholars in security governance and policing. He is currently Professor in the Griffith Criminology Institute and was formerly Director of the Centre of Criminology at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Prior to that he held senior appointments and visiting roles at universities in Canada, Australia, Britain and Norway. As well as his prolific academic output, Clifford has made major policy contributions to the reshaping of policing and security in South Africa, Canada, Jamaica and Northern Ireland.

An ECR associate supervisor may also be recruited to provide an opportunity for supervision mentoring and development.

Project Description:

Aims and Background: This project will focus on examining how guardianship against crime (and other related factors) has fundamentally changed with new technological developments. Focusing on digital neighbourhood watch/community safety applications, this project will examine how these apps generate new opportunities for effective guardianship via mobile devices—both at the individual and collective community level. It will also examine disadvantages associated with these apps, including ways in which they may undermine the principles of guardianship and community by providing platforms that motivate discrimination and foster opportunities for victimisation. The goal of this project is to provide an evidence-base for what works, what does not and under what conditions, when it comes to maximising the utility of these apps for their intended purpose of collective crime prevention within communities. The end result of this project will be best practice guidelines for the optimal design of digital crime prevention applications so we can maximize their potential to enhance citizen involvement in crime prevention and control.

Research Plan: A mixed methods approach will be employed for this study, involving both quantitative and qualitative analyses. The study will involve an international comparison across countries including Australia, the UK, Sweden and the US. The study may also involve the design of an experiment using already existing applications in these countries.


Year 1: Review of existing literature, definition of study scope, empirical research design   

Year 2: Data collection and data analyses

Year 3: Write up and dissemination of findings

Other Important information:

The successful applicant will join an innovative team of researchers at the Griffith Criminology Institute undertaking research on guardianship, technology and crime prevention.  

As a doctoral student, you will develop expertise in cutting edge criminology, 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 start in early 2019 and have the following attributes:

  • an undergraduate degree with Class I Honours (or international equivalent) in an appropriate discipline (such as criminology, psychology, environmental science, computer science and information technology, the humanities, social sciences, or some combination of these areas).

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

Dr Danielle Reynald