Community-led development and wellbeing

Community-led development for improved social welfare and community wellbeing

Degree type

PhD, Masters by research

Closing date

25 September 2023



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International

About the research project

The University of Tasmania has a memorandum of understanding with City Mission, which is working in partnership with Olive Road to support delivery of Project North.  This is a community led initiative that aims to identify and alleviate persistent and complex social issues in the Northern Suburbs of Launceston, Tasmania.   The College of Business and Economics is supporting City Mission – providing research that helps assess and record project outcomes, the overarching aim being to leverage insights from Project North to further support community wellbeing.  This research project, framed around Project North will thus directly contribute to social welfare and community wellbeing in Launceston, Tasmania; insights generated from the research are also expected to support social welfare and community wellbeing elsewhere in the world, particularly in regional centres.

The successful PhD candidate will undertake research and write a thesis, focused around 3 to 4 journal articles.  The research will involve:

  • Critically reviewing and evaluating literature that considers individual and social utility/welfare functions, noting links to broader literature on individual and community wellbeing.
  • Critically reviewing and evaluating literature that considers the way in which top-down (funder driven) and bottom up (community driven) projects affect individual and community utility / wellbeing, wherever possible identifying critical ‘success’ factors – i.e., the characteristics of projects most strongly associated with improvements in utility / wellbeing.
  • Collating and analysing existing data, relevant to Project North, to generate insights about the potential or actual, success (in terms of ability to improve welfare/wellbeing) of associated activities.
  • Working alongside people involved in Project North, to co-design additional research activities (that may involve surveys, focus groups or other) which could help improve understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the program and related activities.
  • Synthesising insights from the above to generate insights about the characteristics of projects (including ways of implementing and working with communities to co-design) that are most able to improve community wellbeing in Launceston and elsewhere in the world.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Maria Yanotti


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.

Other funding opportunities and fees

For further information regarding other scholarships on offer, and the various fees of undertaking a research degree, please visit our Scholarships and fees on research degrees page.


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

Ensure your eligibility for the scholarship round by referring to our Key Dates.

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:

  • Honours or master’s degree in economics or a related field
  • Solid understanding of individual and social utility / welfare functions
  • Data analytics skills
  • Skills in statistical software: SPSS, Stata, or R
  • Previous involvement in quantitative academic, government or commercial research projects

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Experience with qualitative research (e.g. in-depth interviews, focus groups)
  • Data science skills
  • Previous experience with research focused on wellbeing and/or regional economic development
  • Broad understanding of research ethics

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact Dr Maria Yanotti to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. In your application:
    • 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.
    • Submit a signed supervisory support form, a CV including contact details of 2 referees and your project research proposal.
  4. Apply prior to 25 September 2023.

Full details of the application process can be found under the 'How to apply' section of the Research Degrees website.

Following the 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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