PhD Scholarship, Mice, Gazelles and Elephants

Hawthorn, Boroondara, Victoria, Australia
13 Oct 2016
End of advertisement period
06 Nov 2016
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time
  • Faculty of Business & Law
  • $26,288 (indexed) for three years
  • Based at the Hawthorn campus

Swinburne’s emphasis is on high-quality, engaged teaching and research in science, technology, business, design and innovation – teaching and research that makes a difference in the lives of individuals and contributes to national economic and social objectives.

We are seeking a higher-degrees-by-research student with exceptional research potential who has a strong desire to explore the fast moving space of the knowledge-intensive sector in Australia.

Of mice, gazelles and elephants: Overcoming hurdles and challenges for Australia’s high growth start-ups
Australia is recognised as an innovative country, producing game-changing global products and services from our research and development, yet many of our start-ups head overseas or do not grow beyond small venture size. Australian businesses do compete on the global stage, but few achieve the status of disruptive innovators such as Apple or gazelles such as Atlassian. Globally, Australia ranks around 17th in the Global Innovation Index, and our ratio of innovative outputs to inputs is cause for concern. We need conscious action to create an ecosystem that fosters and supports start-ups to achieve the size and impact that will benefit society and stop the overseas exodus of our potential gazelles. The exponential rise in disruptive industries and businesses in the world today puts Australia at risk of being permanently regulated to a derivative economy (Crossroads, 2015).

This project aims to explore and examine the fast moving space of the Australian knowledge-intensive sector, with a particular focus on tech-start-ups and the platform economics that fuels them. Working with Australia’s peak national start-up community as our primary industry partner, this project aims to investigate:

  1. Factors that contribute towards high growth knowledge-intensive ventures (such as tech-start-ups) being successful and remaining in Australia;
  2. The economic and social impact of successful Australian high growth knowledge-intensive ventures;
  3. Strategies to enhance and encourage the growth and sustainability of start-ups in Australia;
  4. Academic and managerial implications.

Skills and Experience
You must reach the required standards of achievement and research experience for entry into one of Swinburne's PhD programs (see:

In particular, we are seeking applicants with a minimum H1 or H2A equivalent in a discipline relevant to field of research. The applicant should have excellent project management and data management skills as well as strong attention to detail. A demonstrated ability and willingness to learn new skills, work in a research team environment and acquire knowledge are essential requirements. Demonstration of peer-reviewed authored publications in relevant research areas is desirable.

Demonstrated ability in the following areas is favoured:



  1. Experience in a knowledge intensive industry and/or tech start-up
  2. Quantitative research methods

A full list of the selection criteria is available in the position description

To find out more about the extensive benefits offered to Swinburne employees please visit:

The diverse culture within Swinburne is our strength and our success lies within the inclusive working environment built of employees from a variety of backgrounds. Swinburne celebrates and respects the strength that difference creates. We acknowledge that diversity in the university workforce increases the effectiveness of teams and generally the capacity for innovation. We welcome applications from Indigenous people; varying age workers; people with disabilities; people who identify as LGBTIQ; and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

We are proud to be recognised by the WGEA as the Employer of Choice of Gender Equality 2015, and of key initiatives such as Pride @ Swinburne Strategic Action Plan and Reconciliation Action Plan which are integral components of our 2020 vision – to become Australia’s leading university in Science, Technology and Innovation.

How to apply
Please include the following attachments; a detailed CV (including contact details of one academic and one professional referee), a certified transcript of all higher education results and a 1-2 page cover letter addressing the criteria laid out in the position description.

For further information, please contact Dr Rosemary Fisher, +61 3 9214 5479

If you are experiencing technical difficulties submitting your application, please contact the Recruitment team on +61 3 9214 8600 (option 2).

Refer to position number: 30521B
Closing date: 5pm Sunday 6 November 2016