Sociology of cosmetic technologies

The sociology of anti-ageing cosmetic technologies

Degree type


Closing date

1 February 2024



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

The signs of ageing are often thought to be, amongst other things, greying hair, dry and sagging skin, and wrinkles. These bodily changes are often construed as negative, whereby ageing and 'growing older' are framed as a negative experience that should be avoided or counteracted. This has allowed a vast industry of cosmetic technologies to emerge, which are marketed to consumers as 'anti-ageing' or can 'combat the signs of ageing'. These include products such as hair dyes, anti-ageing moisturisers and facial treatments (for example, microdermabrasion), to more exotic and costly non-surgical and surgical interventions including Botox injections, dermal fillers, and cosmetic surgery. This global anti-ageing industry was projected as worth over US$62 billion in 2022 and continues to grow.

These social pressures to 'look young', however, can be costly. In addition, there are contradictions embedded in these social expectations – one must look their age but, at the same time, this must look effortless while not going 'too far' with cosmetic interventions. These anti-ageing pressures and experiences are also not evenly distributed across the population, with intersectionality being an important component to also consider (for example, genders and sexualities).

Expressions of interests are invited from suitable applicants who are interested investigating anti-ageing cosmetic technologies. This may include examining perspectives of providers and/or consumers, analysing marketing campaigns, or other topics that speak to the above summary.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Peta Cook


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 $32,192 per annum (2024 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.

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • English language score must be at or above minimum entry requirements for this project
  • Applications are open to domestic applicants from sociology (or related) discipline backgrounds only
  • 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:

  • Honors or Master's degree in sociology or a related field

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Experience with qualitative research methods
  • 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 Peta Cook 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 1 February 2024.

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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