Exploring adolescent girls’ engagement in computer science

Exploring adolescent girls’ engagement in computer science: Lessons from North West Tasmania

Degree type


Closing date

30 August 2021



Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International Onshore


$28,597pa for 3.5 years

About the research project

Adolescent girls need positive and engaging technology experiences to spark and fuel their interest in technology. It is essential they are provided with opportunities to assist to address the underrepresentation of women in STEM education and STEM-based careers, with STEM being an Australian Government priority area (Advancing women in STEM, 2019).

This research project aims to investigate the implementation of Girls’ Programming Network (GPN) workshops in North-West Tasmania. The GPN, which does not yet exist in Tasmania, provides opportunities for adolescent girls to attend free programming workshops to learn new skills, and network with peers and industry role models. Adolescent girls in this area of Tasmania are rural and regional students, and therefore often experience a dearth of educational services and opportunities tailored specifically for them.

In investigating the implementation of GPN, participants’ experiences of the workshops, their aspirations and learning motivation, as well as their perceptions of digital technologies will be investigated. Gender stereotypes will also be examined, as this is a significant aspect for the low representation of females in technology-focused courses and occupations. A mixed methodology will be employed to create rich understandings of the problem being investigated from the perceptions of adolescent girls in North-West Tasmania.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Darren Pullen


The scholarship supporting this project provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $28,597 per annum (2021 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years;
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000;
  • a tuition fee scholarship for up to 4 years (successful domestic applicants will be awarded an RTP Fees Offset and successful international applicants will be awarded a University of Tasmania Fees Offset)

The scholarship supporting this project is funded by the University of Tasmania and the Australian Government through the Research Training Program and the Destination Australia Program.


The project is open to domestic (Australia and New Zealand) and international applicants who are already in Australia (onshore) at the time of submitting their application.

Due to current Australian COVID-19 travel restrictions the University cannot accept applications from International applicants who are currently overseas.

Applicants should review the PhD minimum entry requirements and the following additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Applicants must be commencing a new course of study with the University of Tasmania in the 2021 academic year

Selection Criteria

The project/scholarship is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Additional requirements

  • Applicants must maintain full time enrolment for the full duration of their candidature.
  • This project position is offered at the Launceston campus. The successful applicant must remain enrolled at and study at that campus for the course duration.
  • The successful applicant must commence their candidature by 15th December, 2021.

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select your project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Darren Pullen, if you have any questions about the project; and
  3. Click here to submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including 2 x referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email by the advertised outcome date.

Apply now Explore other projects

Why the University of Tasmania?

Worldwide reputation for research excellence

Quality supervision and support

Tasmania offers a unique study lifestyle experience