PhD Scholarship in ‘Networks for Combating Social Isolation in Older Australians’

You will research the mechanisms through which computer-mediated collaborative networks can offer pathways to combat social isolation and promote integration and empowerment of older Australians.

Value and duration

$32,000 (plus fee waiver) per year for up to three years.

Number of scholarships available



To be eligible for this scholarship you must:

Other eligibility criteria:

  • completion of an honours or a postgraduate qualification in a business-related area is desirable, especially for those with a bachelor degree in a non-business area. Similarly a postgraduate qualification in health or ageing is desirable, especially for those with a bachelor degree in business.
  • a minimum of 2 years experience working with the elderly population is preferred.

How to apply

Submit your application including the following documents to Dr Janneke Blijlevens at

  1. A detailed CV and cover letter;
  2. Certified copies of relevant academic transcripts from your undergraduate studies and postgraduate studies where applicable;
  3. Copies of any published or submitted papers where applicable;
  4. Proof of English proficiency if you are an international candidate;
  5. A research proposal outlining synthesis of relevant literature (see Additional information document (PDF 127KB 6p) for details), proposed research design and analyses techniques, and your unique contribution to this project;
  6. A separate document addressing the following key selection criteria:
    1. Evidence of experience working with the elderly population. This experience can be linked to government agencies, community programs and not-for-profit work with the elderly or health care for the elderly.
    2. Evidence of research output including publications, conference contributions and/or technical reports in the field.
    3. Ability to generate alternative funding for projects through effective liaison with industry and government.
    4. Ability to work autonomously whilst displaying a strong commitment to working in a team environment, including the demonstrated ability to confidently and effectively work with colleagues, project team leaders, and industry partners.
    5. Demonstrated ability to meet deadlines and effectively manage varying workloads and respond to changing priorities as required.
    6. Demonstrated high level written and verbal communication skills.
    7. Have a bachelor degree in economics or marketing or relevant discipline to the project from the social sciences including business.

Open date

Applications are now open.

Close date

Applications close 8 September 2017.

Terms and conditions

RMIT's standard research scholarship terms and conditions (PDF 327KB 10p) will apply to this scholarship. However note the allowances for this scholarship are specifically $32,000 (plus fee waiver) per year for up to three years and the additional allowances stated in the terms and conditions (PDF 327KB 10p) are not applicable.

Further information

As the ideal PhD candidate, you need to have experience in working with issues surrounding the ageing population. This experience can be linked to government agencies, community programs and not-for-profit work with the elderly or health care for the elderly. You will bring your expertise and contacts to the project. The project tackles an important issue for Australian society, but there is currently no integrative framework for understanding the process of consumer socialisation and technology adoption in the ageing population. As the PhD candidate, you will be the catalyst for the ground work that needs to be done integrating consumer socialisation processes, market exclusion, collaborative networks, consumer digital literacy and social marketing. You would be willing to leverage your industry knowledge to build a theoretical framework and form guidelines that can help address critical issues impacting Australia's ageing population. The process has the potential to contribute to various research areas, including market exclusion, social stigma, consumer learning and digital literacy, and the role of technology in supporting collaborative networks for the elderly. The final (specific) research question however will be decided conjointly with you, based on your previous field experience, training and interests.

Read the Additional information document for a full description of the project and key accountabilities (PDF 127KB 6p).

  • Kinsella, Sarah, Wirral Council Business, Old Market House, Hamilton Street, W. C. Birkenhead, and Fiona Murray. (2015)."Older people and social isolation: A review of the evidence."
  • Pate, A. (2014). Social isolation: Its impact on the mental health and wellbeing of older Victorians. Melbourne, Victoria: COTA.
  • Morris, M., Ozanne, E., Miller, K., Santamaria, N., Pearce, A., Said, C. and Adair, B. (2012). Smart technologies for older people: A systematic literature review of smart technologies that promote health and wellbeing of older people living at home. Institute for a Broadband-Enabled Society.
  • Figueiredo, B. and Scaraboto, D., (2016). Systemic Value Creation: A Value-in-Action Perspective on Collaborative Consumer Networks. Journal of Consumer Research, 43, pp.509-33.
  • McColl-Kennedy, J.R., Vargo, S.L., Dagger, T.S., Sweeney, J.C. and Kasteren, Y.V., (2012). Health care customer value cocreation practice styles. Journal of Service Research, 15(4), pp.370-389.
  • Hill, R., Betts, L. R., & Gardner, S. E. (2015). Older adults’ experiences and perceptions of digital technology: (Dis)empowerment, wellbeing, and inclusion. Computers in Human Behavior, 48, 415-423.


Bernardo Figueiredo
Torgeir Aleti