Associate Professor JaneMaree Maher: Faculty of Arts Excellence in Supervision Award 2014

Professor Rae Frances, Dean of Arts presenting the  Excellence in Supervision Award
Professor Rae Frances, Dean of Arts presenting the Excellence in Supervision Award

In 2014, Social and Political Sciences Program Director, Associate Professor JaneMaree Maher, was the winner of 2014 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Higher Degree by Research Supervision, Faculty of ArtsThis award was given for ‘exemplary support and direction of graduate researchers’. 


Politics and International Relations

Politics and International Relations at Monash is home to some of the leading experts in the discipline. The research interests of our scholars include: Australian Politics; Governance and Leadership; Contemporary Political Theory; Terrorism and Countering Violent Extremism; Gender, Development and Religion; Global Political Institutions; Postconflict and Reconciliation; Asia, Europe and Middle East and North Africa regions; and Political Psychology. Our postgraduate students have the opportunity to conduct their research in a supportive environment under the supervision of academics who are leaders in their areas of expertise.  Recent graduates from our program include Dr Stephen Acreman, now a lecturer in the Department of Politics at Otago University, and Dr Virginie Andre, a Research Fellow at the Centre for Citizenship and Globalization at Deakin University


Social & Political Sciences Graduate Research Symposium

Each year, a two day Graduate Symposium is run by a Graduate Student Committee.

The 2014 Committee: Sally Ka-wing Lo, Brandy Cochrane, James Wong, Kate Burns and Dara Conduit
The 2014 Committee: Sally Ka-wing Lo, Brandy Cochrane, James Wong, Kate Burns and Dara Conduit

This fully funded event, run in the last week of October each year, offers the opportunity for all graduate students to present their work and listen to presentations by early career researchers about career planning and progress. Attended by academics from all disciplines, this is a key event in the Graduate Calendar.



Anthropology is a research intensive discipline area within Monash. We have world-leading staff researching human diversity in a range of fields especially within SE Asia and Australia including: religion and religious communication in Indonesia, gender, international development; international migration and asylum seekers; medical anthropology, the body and biotechnology; reproductive health, medical travel,  and multicultural Australia. We also collaborate with our colleagues throughout SoSS and the Monash Indigenous Centre. Monash anthropologists currently hold numerous grants including two ARC Future Fellowships (Associate Professor Andrea Whittaker and Dr Julian Millie); an ARC DECRA (Dr Antje Missbach); various ARC Discovery Projects and; ARC Linkage Projects as well as other grants including collaborations Oxfam (Dr Sara Niner) and other NGOs. With Monash Anthropology, you will receive dedicated supervision from experienced academics who are leaders in their fields.


Congratulations to Clifford Amoako (Human Geography): Finalist of the 2014 Urban Poverty Paper Competition

Accra Ghana
Accra Ghana

Many congratulations to Clifford Amoako (Human Geography) , whose paper  “The Politics of Flood Vulnerability in Informal Settlements around the Korle Lagoon in Accra, Ghana” has been selected as a Finalist of the 2014 Urban Poverty Paper Competition. The 2014 Urban Poverty Paper Competition is sponsored by Cities Alliance, International Housing Coalition, USAID, Wilson Center, and The World Bank. Clifford will be funded to present at a policy workshop at the Wilson Center Washington in January 2015 and will then have his paper published there.



shutterstock_50000521 (1)Monash Criminology attracts outstanding national and international postgraduate research candidates. We currently have over 20 current postgraduates and since 2007 have had over 15 postgraduates successfully graduate with a PhD or MA (research).  The team of researchers in Criminology at Monash are leaders in their field, changing the way we think about and do justice in every setting across local, national and international contexts. We consider our postgraduates to be a part of this team, leading the way in innovative new research in important fields of inquiry. Our recent graduates are now undertaking a range of important research roles- from research and teaching roles in Australian and International Universities, to leading policy and operational practice at the State and National level in Australia in government and non-government agencies, to leading significant research programs at significant research institutes. Recent postgraduates include Dr Alison Gerard, now a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Charles Sturt University and the 2012 recipient of the Mollie Holman Doctoral Medal for the excellent research presented in her thesis, The Securitisation of Migration and Refugee Women. Monash Criminology research covers a broad range of areas, as detailed on our current research page and we welcome new and interconnected graduate research projects. The Criminology program invests in postgraduate research within in our program and nationally, and are committed to the production of excellent in postgraduate supervision and graduate outcomes for our research students.


Human Geography

The Research Area of Human Geography offers doctoral training and supervision that equips students with strong interdisciplinary skills for innovative and collaborative research on human dimensions of environmental change, sustainable international and community development, environmental governance and transformation of business through sustainability. The Research Area attracts talented students from diverse backgrounds in geography, environmental and social sciences who work with leading researchers on:

  • Global commodity circuits of transforming waste into new materials
  • Social practices of waste, recycling, and reuse in urban and rural contexts
  • New business models for sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility, such as industrial ecosystems, B Corps and Integrated Reporting
  • Environmental policy and governance, international development, and political ecology of natural resource management
  • Grassroots environmental movements in Southeast Asia
  • Education for sustainable development in universities and NGOs

We aim to produce new generations of scholars and professionals whose approach to education, R&D, and community engagement is path-breaking and transformative for sustaining cities, regions, and environments across the world.



Sociology is an extensive and diverse discipline area with world-leading staff researching gender-and-climate-changethe complex problems of contemporary societies. Monash sociologists research: gender, sexualities and social justice; changes in family life and relationships; young people’s lives and opportunities; media cultures; health, the body and biotechnology; globalising and multicultural Australia; population and migration, and; social dimensions of sustainable, environmental development. Monash sociologists are highly research active with numerous grants and publications, including a multi-million dollar ARC CRC award (Professor Rebekah Brown and Associate Professor Jo Lindsay); an ARC Future Fellowship (Associate Professor Anita Harris); an ARC APD (Dr Helen Forbes-Mewett); ARC Discovery Projects (Professor Petersen; Associate Professor Renata Kokanovic; Associate Professor Dharma Arunachalam; Associate Professor Jo Lindsay; Associate Professor JaneMaree Maher; Dr Mark Davis), and; ARC Linkage Projects (Associate Professor Renata Kokanovic). With Monash Sociology, you will receive excellent supervision from a team of experienced leaders in their fields. Please contact us for advice and assistance with your plans for postgraduate research.



Gender SymbolsWomen’s and Gender Studies is a key research strength in the Faculty of Arts. The Social and Political Sciences Graduate Research Program has outstanding expertise in this area of research. The Centre for Women’s Studies and Gender Research has produced graduates who now work in gender all over the world.In 2011, Centre graduate Dr Karolyne Quinn, supervised by Associate Professor JaneMaree Maher, won the Mollie Holman Medal for Doctoral Excellence.  Gender research expertise in the Program ranges across all areas of social science scholarship, including women’s security, political participation, work and occupational issues, sexualities, health and families.


Dahlia Roque: PhD 2014 Women’s Studies

dahlia-roqueDahlia’s PhD research contained more than the usual challenges of persistence and isolation; her interviews with women in Cairo had to be suspended as the events of the Arab Spring unfolded. She was undaunted however and returned to complete her important research focused on why well-educated middle class Egyptian women leave the labour market once they begin having children. Her research found that the demands of balancing sometimes challenging working environments and key family roles made paid work a difficult almost impossible proposition for many women. The economic and social losses consequent on women’s absence for the labour market are vital to address:

Dahlia is currently a Technical Officer for the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Decent Work Team in Egypt.  She is responsible for managing the Australian DFAT (formerly AusAid) funded “Decent Jobs for Egypt’s Young People Project – Tackling the Challenge in Agriculture”,  providing implementation support and guidance to project staff, national and local partners on policies and project interventions that promote employment opportunities for young men and women.


Schmidt, D and Hassanien, D. 2012.  Poverty and Exclusion: Tackling Unemployment in North Africa.  In Stansfield, G. (ed). 2012. After the Arab Spring: Reconstruction and State Building.  United Nations Association of the United Kingdom (UNA-UK).

Schmidt, D and Hassanien, D. 2011. In Need of a Future: Cause and Consequences of High Youth Unemployment – The Case of North Africa.  In Harrison, M. (ed). 2012.  Youth for Democracy: Learning from Nonviolent Struggle across the World. Humanity in Action, Copenhagen.

Hassanien, D. 2010. Gendering Decent Work: Obstacles to Performativity in the Egyptian Work Place. Surfacing: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Gender in the Global South, vol.3(1), pp. 1-16.

Barsoum, G., Ali, R and Hassanien, D. 2009. At Work When There is “No Respect”: Job Quality Issues for Young Women in Egypt. The Population Council. MENA Gender and Work Working Papers.


2013 Mollie Holman Doctoral Medal, Arts awarded to Dr Vicki Hutton (BHS)

Dr Vicki Hutton, with Dr Roseanne Misajon (left), Professor Sharon Pickering (Head, School of Social Sciences) and Associate Professor JaneMaree Maher (SPS Program Director)
Dr Vicki Hutton, with Dr Roseanne Misajon (left), Professor Sharon Pickering (Head, School of Social Sciences) and Associate Professor JaneMaree Maher (SPS Program Director)

We congratulate Dr Vicki Elizabeth Hutton, from Behavioural Studies on receiving the 2013 Faculty of Arts Mollie Holman Medal for Doctoral Excellence.  Vicki’s work looked at the significance of pets in the lives of those living with HIV and both examiners found it to be outstanding. Our  congratulations and admiration to Vicki and her supervisors, Dr RoseAnne Misajon and Dr Fran Collins. Vicki was presented with her medal at the Social and Political Sciences Graduate Research Symposium in October 2014.


Kate Seear: PhD 2009 Sociology

kate-seearManager and Head Solicitor
The David Law Firm, London

Perhaps the most important aspect of any PhD candidature is your relationship with your supervisors. I was very fortunate to have had three wonderful, supportive, patient and encouraging supervisors who encouraged me at every stage of my PhD and who have continued to mentor me since the completion of my candidature. At times during my candidature, I struggled to stay motivated and positive, but my main supervisor always encouraged me to take my time. Such support was invaluable and helped my to complete my PhD within three and a half years.

The best part of being a student at Monash was making connections with the community of fellow HDR students. I made a number of very good friends during my PhD candidature. The support, intellectual discussions and encouragement of my fellow students was the thing that sustained me most during my candidature.



Asher Flynn: PhD 2010 Criminology

asher-flynnMonash University was a fantastic institution to complete a PhD. I was lucky enough to also complete my undergraduate studies at Monash, and was thrilled when I was given the opportunity to undertake a PhD in an area that I was passionate about, within such an incredibly supportive environment.

There are so many wonderful opportunities available to postgraduate students at Monash – not only do you become part of a network of inspiring and intelligent Criminologists, but you have the opportunities and encouragement to attend conferences, workshops and even head to an overseas campus (we went to Prato in Italy) for an intensive one-week research program with postgraduates and internationally renowned critical Criminology scholars.

These opportunities are invaluable in preparing you for life after the PhD (and it is always useful to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel) and to help establish you within your field of interest.

One of the most wonderful aspects that emerge when you undertake a PhD at Monash is the enormous basis of support that you receive, but the special thing about this support is that it doesn’t end with your supervisor. All the staff, both academic and administrative, are happy to offer guidance, encouragement, energy, motivation, and a good laugh, at all the right times.

The other great benefit of completing a PhD at Monash is the wonderful cohort of postgraduate students that you get to meet and share your journey with – people that will remain a source of support and friendship long after the research process itself ends, and that is invaluable.


James Garza: PhD 2006 Anthropology

james-garzaCommunications Lecturer, Department of Chicana/Chicano Studies, San Diego State University, California

James gained a bachelor and masters degree in the USA. While studying for his masters, James was impressed by the depth of research in Anthropology at Monash “It seemed that ‘things were happening’ at Monash and that the university had quite a world-renowned reputation for research in Indonesia”. He made it a personal goal to become connected with the Monash name and to work in Indonesia as a researcher

James describes his experience as “enjoyable, rewarding and challenging”.He says access to a dedicated postgraduate centre, a supportive supervisor, “genuine interest and concern that members of the Monash community has for its students” and exceptional assistance from the library staff were key contributors to his success.


Vicki Sentas: PhD 2009 Criminology

victoria-sentasMonash criminology is a dynamic, creative place, perfect for the challenges and joys of writing a thesis. I really enjoyed the cross-disciplinary focus of the school, where critical theory, history, law, sociology and politics dance with criminology. As well as excellent and attentive supervision, I found support and encouragement came from staff and students in diverse and accessible forms – from informal reading groups with students, to organised seminars and retreats aimed at research and writing skill development. Monash criminology was a challenging, supportive and well-resourced environment to study.

I’m currently working as a postdoctoral fellow at the School of Law, Kings College London, awarded under the Newton International Fellowship scheme. I’m writing a book on self-determination, migration, conflict and terrorism laws. My time at Monash was integral in learning how to think critically, research and write.


Kim Toffoletti: PhD 2004 Women’s Studies

kim-tofolettiUndertaking undergraduate and postgraduate studies in the CWSGR opened me up to new and fresh ways of thinking about the world we live in. I was immediately hooked.

One of the best aspects of this course was its interdisciplinary nature, which introduced me to critical theory, cultural studies and visual culture frameworks to approach gender issues.

The staff provided a supportive learning environment to explore questions of gender difference and equipped me with the relevant knowledges, requisite skills and personal confidence to apply feminist theories to current day concerns and issues.

During my PhD I was encouraged to pursue my own research interests in the visual representation of gender, technology and posthuman bodies – research which has now been published as a book.


Sanja Milivojević: PhD 2007 Criminology

sanja-milivojevicMonash University and Monash Criminology provided unique learning environment that include not only fantastic supervision and mentorship. In addition to working with some of finest criminologists in the country, we were provided with support, positive and encouraging atmosphere and best working conditions we needed to get us through a very challenging PhD process.

At Monash, we were never left alone. I never felt that I was doing this massive, three-year long project on my own. My peers, a wonderful group of Monash Criminology PhD students, my supervisors and other Criminology staff were always there to talk to us and encourage us to keep going.

They were great role models and without them this journey would be much harder indeed. This is why Monash is the place to go if you are thinking about post-graduate research in Criminology.



The Program consists of more than 60 expert supervisors covering key areas of social and political research. Currently we supervise over 160 graduate students conducting innovative studies focused in the listed research areas. Our alumni are working in universities, non-government organisations and policy leadership roles all across the globe.

Our researchers cover key Social Science discipline areas
Women’s & Gender Studies
Politics and International Relations
Human Geography


Our Program

In our Program, we focus on the important role of the discipline-based programs providing expert supervision toGroup2-150x150 students through a structured induction into postgraduate life, an emphasis on the research skills training necessary to achieve research success and the successful launch of professional careers for all our graduates. We focus on building and sustaining our graduate research community through cohort activities which bring together students and academics and support the intellectual and professional development of all our postgraduates. We offer a range of Higher Degree Research programs, including masters and PhD by research. Our Program adopts an active and supportive approach to research candidature which supports graduate students throughout their studies and beyond.

Our constituent disciplines have a long and distinguished history in the delivery of excellent higher degree by research education. The Program encompasses a range of disciplines including Anthropology,  Criminology, Women’s and Gender Studies, Politics and International Relations and Sociology situated in the School of Social Sciences. We offer excellence and innovation in graduate research education and provide the conditions necessary to support and facilitate the timely and effective completion of a research project (the thesis) and the acquisition of a suite of professional and transferable skills within and alongside the candidature experience. The Monash PhD is committed to excellence in research, in research training and in student support.


How to Apply

Information about how to apply can be found here . In particular, we encourage to examine the expertise of our supervisors and identify potential supervisors as you begin your process of inquiry. Supervisors cannot formally be put in place until your eligibility has been assessed through the EOI process and you have received notification of your Invitation to Apply.