Understanding the attention economy

Degree type


Closing date

27 March 2023



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

In our media saturated environment audience attention is at a premium. This project investigates how communications professionals are navigating complex media, marketing, public relations, and advertising ecosystems to capture sustained audience attention. Drawing on foundational research into human attention processing, audience studies, and framing theory the aim of this research is to understand how professionals seek to maximise the attention of viewers, readers, and listeners through creative content production that leverages specific media attributes and attention-grabbing triggers. International in scope, the research will also investigate the impact of attention-grabbing media on the economy and society, including the 'crowding out' of other activities. In doing so it will theorise how 'attention inequality' – the imbalance in the distribution of user attention across social networks and platforms - impacts on our behaviour, our environments, and our personal goals and motivations.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Prof Alana Mann


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $31,500 per annum (2023 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.


Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Professional or academic background in field
  • Applicants must be able to undertake the project on-campus

Selection Criteria

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

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Professional work experience in the field of media, marketing or advertising

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, Prof Alana Mann to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. 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.

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