Assessing the efficacy of nudging techniques for prompting business start-ups

Degree type


Closing date

18 July 2022



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

During COVID-19, businesses have modified their operations to capitalise on online market opportunities, impacting labour market conditions. While this has made it more difficult to find traditional work, this online revolution has also created the opportunity for people to set up a business cost-effectively, i.e., without the need for investing in expensive bricks and mortar. However, incentives are required to encourage under and unemployed workers from traditional labour markets to start sustainable business ventures. One potential tool is to use behavioural science ‘nudging’ techniques, commonly applied to encourage people to make healthier or more sustainable choices, to prompt people to start their own business.

This project brings together the disciplines of entrepreneurship and behavioural economics to consider the efficacy of nudging techniques in encouraging business start-ups. The research focuses on Tasmania, a state with high underemployment in Australia and a high proportion of low paid/skilled jobs. The successful candidate will leverage insights from the nudging literature in relation to entrepreneurship to create prompts for particular cohorts, e.g., under and unemployed youth in regional areas, to start their own business. They will use survey methods to follow up on those participating in the nudge to monitor long-term effects on attitudes/behaviours.

The project will help identify whether and how nudges can be designed and applied to encourage under and unemployed workers to start sustainable business ventures. The outcomes will be of interest to agencies supporting sustainable business growth in regional and remote areas where traditional job opportunities are constrained.

Supervisory team: Dr Roshni Narendran (Management) and Professor Swee-Hoon Chua (Economics)

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Roshni Narendran


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 $28,854 per annum (2022 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:

  • Applicants must have been awarded a First Class or Second Class (Uppers) Honours Degree, or a research Masters Degree, in a relevant area

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 essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Excellent written and verbal English and scientific communication skills

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Experience in conducting empirical research and knowledge of behavioural and/or experimental economics

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 Roshni Narendran, 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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