Research Fellow, Possessing the Pacific City

Melbourne, Australia
$80,258 – $108,906 p.a. (pro rata for Part time) plus 17% super
08 May 2023
End of advertisement period
30 Jun 2023
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Part Time

Location: Parkville
Role type: Fixed-term – Part Time (0.5FTE) 18 months
Faculty: Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning
Salary: Level A – $80,258 – $108,906 p.a. (pro rata for Part time) plus 17% super

The University of Melbourne would like to acknowledge and pay respect to the Traditional Owners of the lands upon which our campuses are situated, the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung Peoples, the Yorta Yorta Nation, the Dja Dja Wurrung People. We acknowledge that the land on which we meet and learn was the place of age-old ceremonies, of celebration, initiation and renewal, and that the local Aboriginal Peoples have had and continue to have a unique role in the life of these lands.

About - Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning

The Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning is the leading educational and research institution in the Asia-Pacific region addressing the design and realisation of environments. It actively seeks to extend the linkages between education, research, and practice in the built environment, and maintains excellent and extensive relationships with members of the built environment professions, government, professional associations and the wider community.

The Faculty has over 200 staff and 3000 students, one third of whom are international. It is responsible for the undergraduate Bachelor of Design degree, and offers majors in architecture, landscape architecture, property, construction, and urban planning.

The Faculty’s graduate school, the Melbourne School of Design (MSD), teaches accredited masters courses across the professional disciplines of Architecture, Construction Management, Landscape Architecture, Property, Urban Design and Urban Planning.

About the Role

The Research Fellow will support CI Day and the ARC Discovery Project, Communities, Kava, Court Orders: The Ways of Possessing the Pacific City (Project ID: DP220101100). The project aims to understand how security is negotiated and recognised in the context of increasing competing sources of value for urban land. Is security possible for the portion of the population without customary ownership over urban land or do they become a group “whose proper place is non-being” (Butler and Athanasiou, 2013). The project explores what people consider to be the foundations of their tenure relationships and how those come under threat.

Responsibilities include:

  • Assist with the co-production of project methods with the CI and with community interlocutors
  • Collaborate with the CI and interlocutors to design, theorise, and write research methods
  • Assist with the adjustment of research methods as conditions and circumstances change
  • Arrange and conduct interviews and possibly other fieldwork specific to the RF’s discipline

About You

To be successful in this role you will have prior experience in working with communities and government in Vanuatu on urbanisation, evictions, tenure, urban identity, placemaking, or related topics

You will also have:

  • Master's degree or PhD in urban planning, geography, anthropology, law, or related field
  • Functional in Bislama
  • Prior experience in working with communities and government in Vanuatu on urbanisation, evictions, tenure, urban identity, placemaking, or related topics
  • Publication record about customary tenure in Vanuatu
  • Knowledge of critical academic literature on future-making, custom and justice, custom and place, anti-crisis, and the Right to the City
  • Familiarity with Vanuatu land policies
  • Be available to travel to Vanuatu for fieldwork

To ensure the University continues to provide a safe environment for everyone, this position requires the incumbent to hold a current and valid Working with Children Check.

How to Apply

Please submit a CV and cover letter to addressed to Associate Professor Jennifer Day. 

The CV can be any length. The cover letter can be up to five pages long (11-point font, single spaced, 2.54-cm margins). It should have a section on why the applicant is interested in working on this project, including how working on the project will further the applicant’s progress toward their interests and academic development. 

The cover letter should also provide specific examples of how the applicant's record demonstrates some or all of the essential and desirable selection criteria. Storytelling is encouraged.  

Application Timeline

Request the grant proposal to review – 26 May 2023

Ask questions by email – 2 June 2023

Submit CV and Cover Letter – 30 June 2023

Please note: To be considered for this role you must have current valid work rights for Australia.

About the University

The University of Melbourne is consistently ranked amongst the leading universities in the world. We are proud of our people, our commitment to research and teaching excellence, and our global engagement.

Benefits of Working with Us

In addition to having the opportunity to grow and be challenged, and to be part of a vibrant campus life, our people enjoy a range of rewarding benefits:

  • Flexible working arrangements, generous personal, parental and cultural leave
  • Competitive remuneration, 17% super, salary packaging and leave loading
  • Free and subsidised health and wellbeing services, and access to fitness and cultural clubs
  • Discounts on a wide range of products and services including Myki cards and Qantas Club
  • Career development opportunities and 25% off graduate courses for staff and their immediate families

To find out more, visit

Be Yourself

We value the unique backgrounds, experiences and contributions that each person brings to our community and encourage and celebrate diversity.  First Nations people, those identifying as LGBTQIA+, females, people of all ages, with disabilities and culturally and linguistically diverse people are encouraged to apply. Our aim is to create a workforce that reflects the community in which we live.

Join Us!

^For information to help you with compiling short statements to answer the selection criteria and competencies, please go to

We are dedicated to ensuring barrier free and inclusive practices to recruit the most talented candidates. If you require any reasonable adjustments with the recruitment process, please contact  us at

Applications close: 30 June 2023 11:55 PM AUS Eastern Standard Time

Position description: Download File 0055415_Reaseach Fellow Possessing the Pacific City_PD (1).pdf