Understanding the impact of personal brand promotion, communication, confidence and leadership styles on career progression and promotion

Why is it that ‘after much debate and numerous strategies, universities are still grappling with systemic gender inequality’ (O'Keeffe 2017, n.p.)?

The Australian academic workforce is comprised almost equally of male and female staff (women account for 44%), however, female staff make up just 25% of professor and 36% of associate professor positions (O'Keeffe 2017). Women have just one in four vice-chancellor positions one in three deputy vice-chancellor roles (O'Keeffe 2017). Considered by specific academic rank; women hold fewer lecturer positions than men at the senior level and above (Department of Education and Training 2014a). Is the problem related to less female academic staff putting themselves forward for promotion or higher paid duties?

Gender bias research shows two types: statistical and taste-based. Statistical discrimination is rooted in beliefs about average gender differences in abilities or skills. Such bias is the more difficult to identify and remove. Stereotypes drive taste-based discrimination; it is the favouritism for one group leading to bias against another group. Such bias is easier to ‘see’, however, still difficult to receive acknowledgement for and remove. What is needed is a deeper understanding of training and development for the identification of discrimination types and outcomes and the implementation of career mentoring strategies.

Proposed output

Identification of exemplar institutional and personal practices that aid in the development and pursuit of career paths through the provision of opportunities and information.

Proposed postgraduate research program

  • School: School of Economics, Finance and Marketing
  • Program name: PhD Economics/Masters by Research (Economics)

Value and duration

A stipend of $32,000 per year over the duration of three years.

Number of scholarships available



To be considered for scholarship you must hold, or be currently completing either:

• Master by research
• Master by coursework with a significant research component graded as high distinction, or equivalent
• Honours degree achieving first class honours
• 4 year bachelor degree achieving a GPA of 4 or equivalent (80% or above).

If you do not hold one of the above qualifications you will only be considered for scholarship if you have previous peer reviewed publications or significant research experience.

Please make sure that you check the individual eligibility requirements of these scholarships prior to submitting your application.

It is also important to note that the scholarship rounds are highly competitive and satisfying the eligibility requirements does not guarantee a successful outcome. When a scholarship round closes all applications are received are ranked in order of merit. This process takes five to six weeks to complete. Applicants are typically advised of the outcome of a scholarship round five to six weeks after the round closes for applications.

How to apply

How to apply: International applicants need to apply for admission via iApply and ensure that there is an offer in place before submitting a scholarship application via the Graduate Research Scholarship application form. Domestic applicants can continue to apply for both admission and scholarship via this Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Admission and Scholarship Application Form (PDF). Domestic applicants who already hold an offer of admission from RMIT for a PhD or Masters by Research program but have not enrolled may apply for a scholarship using the Graduate Research Scholarship application form.

Open date

Applications are open until 4 May 2018. International applicants must have an offer of place prior to applying for a scholarship and are encouraged to submit an admission application by 27 April 2018.

Terms and conditions

See the research scholarship terms and conditions (PDF 327KB) for more information.


Professor Lisa Farrell
+61 3 9925 5891

Associate Professor Angela Dobele
+61 3 9925 5904