Supporting decent work

Supporting decent work through digital work in Australia

Degree type


Closing date

25 September 2023



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International

About the research project

The rapid growth of gig work in both advanced and emerging markets challenges not only existing business models, but also existing labour regulations and employer-employee relationship models with important labour market implications.

This project examines the labour market risks indicated by the rise of the disruptive industry of digital work. An estimated one billion people are set to enter the job market in the next three years through these digitally enabled platforms. Gig work will allow workers to compete in a global marketplace. Policymakers hope advanced economies may capitalize on this digitally mediated work opportunity, thereby addressing a global mismatch in the supply and demand of labour. In the face of skilled labour shortages, as the ageing population rate hits historic peaks in Australia and other developed economies, internet-based marketplaces might, as well as matching local workers to jobs, permit virtual migration for work performed online and offer economic benefits akin to physical migration. But are these hopes justified when gig work may carry significant risks of discrimination, overwork, low pay, job insecurity and regulatory constraints?

The successful applicant will address the following research objectives:

  1. To explore opportunities to regulate digital work to support decent work
  2. To identify ways that digital platforms can be held to account for poor working conditions
  3. To examine ways in which workers can be encouraged to voice employment issues

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Desmond Ayentimi


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:

  • Applicants must have been awarded a First Class or Second Class (Uppers) Honours Degree, or a research Masters’ Degree (Business, Social Sciences or any other related discipline) or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills, especially in qualitative research techniques
  • Excellent written and verbal English and scientific communication skills
  • Evidence of the ability to prepare scientific research for publication in international peer-refereed journals

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact Dr Desmond Ayentimi 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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