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PhD Research Scholarships: University of Wollongong

The Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts is seeking applications for two PhD scholarships commencing in 2014 to examine the regulation of user-generated on-line content in a transnational framework. Scholarship (1) looks at the implications of child-abuse materials legislation for the production and consumption of fictional user-generated content featuring representations of minors and scholarship (2) focuses specifically on internet content regulation in Japan.

The scholarships are provided as part of the University of Wollongong’s support for Professor Mark McLelland’s ARC Future Fellowship on ‘National Media Regulation and Global Cultural Literacy: International Perspectives on the Regulation of Young People’s User-Generated Content’.

Professor McLelland’s project looks at how the transformation of communication via networked digital media has led to a blurring between media producers and users. There are increasing calls for restriction of content that is legal in some jurisdictions but is considered offensive in Australia, especially in relation to children. This has created a new framework of risk to minors who are fans, consumers and creators of material that conflicts with national classification standards. This project analyses international standards and strategies for regulation and recommends ways that academics, policy makers and users can be brought into dialogue so as to generate culturally literate regulatory policies.

The project will provide an exciting opportunity for two PhD students to contribute to the awareness and understanding of new challenges for media regulation in Australia, Japan and transnationally. This PhD research will contribute to the documentation, critical analysis and theoretical inquiry into the relationships between various media regulation protocols and user-generated content in a transnational frame.

Throughout the research, the PhD candidate will participate regularly in meetings and workshops with Professor McLelland and a multi-institutional team of researchers involved in researching the implications of user-generated content for media regulation. This will provide the candidate with opportunities for sustained engagement and dialogue with leading scholars in the field of media studies and media law. The candidate is also expected to present their research at conferences and contribute to networks of international scholarship on media studies and media law.

Under supervision and guidance from Professor McLelland and a co-supervisor from the Law School, the PhD candidate will:

  • Undertake the analysis of how child abuse materials legislation has been developed transnationally to include purely fictional characters and scenarios
  • Establish and develop contacts with researchers in the UK, Australia, Japan, the US, New Zealand and Canada working on issues to do with the regulation of user-generated content
  • Undertake literature searches and reviews
  • Work closely with University of Wollongong researchers
  • Participate in annual project workshops involving team members from other institutions
  • Contribute to research publications and progress reports
  • Attend and present findings at academic conferences (national/international)
  • Produce PhD thesis

Time commitment: 3 years full-time, commencing 2013

This is a three year full-time scholarship. The tax-free stipend is $24,653 per annum. The scholarship will be awarded on the basis of academic excellence and demonstrated research potential.

Applicants must have an undergraduate degree, preferably in Law, an MA research, or BA (Hons) First Class, or equivalent. Applicants for the Japan-specific study must have relevant Japanese-language qualifications. Overseas applicants are welcome to apply. Applicants should also have knowledge of research methodologies and theoretical approaches appropriate for research in media and media law studies.

In addition, the successful applicant is expected to have:

  • Excellent time management skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills
  • Ability to work independently as well as work within the team
  • Willingness to commit to full-time research for the 3 years of this project
  • Capacity to be based at the University of Wollongong and meet there regularly with supervisor(s).

For further enquiries please contact: Professor Mark McLelland [markmc@uow.edu.au]

Website: http://www.uow.edu.au/arts/ssmac/staff/UOW018742.html


Applications to be sent to:

Professor Mark McLelland
ARC Future Fellow
Law, Humanities and the Arts (Building 19)
University of Wollongong
NSW 2522



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