It takes a village

The role of community organisations in Increasing student engagement

Degree type


Closing date

10 October 2022



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

Young people can disengage from schooling due to myriad of factors originating both within, and external to the formal education system. Often, organisations within the community play the role of supporting these young people when they have disconnected from school. This support can be through directly facilitating reengagement with education, providing mental health support, advocacy, or other wrap around services that remove barriers.

This project investigates the role that community programs, such as drop in houses, recreational clubs, and volunteer or not for profit organisations play in increasing the engagement of young people in education. It will explore the complementary role in which these organisations support young people in rebuilding their connection with education.

It is hoped that the outcomes of this project inform the education sector of the complementary role that community organisations play in the reengagement of young people at risk of disconnection from education.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Jeffrey Thomas


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/scholarship:

  • 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 essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Ability to communicate with professionals within Government and other professional environments
  • Enthusiasm and motivation to increase the education and health of disadvantaged children and communities
  • Ability to problem-solve and troubleshoot arising issues
  • Willing to be collaborative and interactive with other students, academics and other networks

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Knowledge of evaluation research methodologies
  • Knowledge about quantitative and/or qualitative research methodology

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 Jeffrey Thomas 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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