Undertake research in the area of psychological interventions designed to boost high school students’ interest and course-enrolment in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects.

Australian Catholic University is offering one (1) domestic full-time, 3-year PhD scholarship to support the work of A/Professor Jiesi Guo in the area of motivation interventions designed to boost high school students’ interest and course-enrolment in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects; it also aims to increase gender equality in STEM education and careers. This intervention will also aim to increase gender equality in STEM education and careers. This project is embedded within his ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA). Jiesi Guo was recently listed in the top 10 most productive early career researchers in educational psychology and in the top 2% of the most cited researchers in education in the world.

The PhD student will also be supervised by Prof. Johnmarshall Reeve, a leading researcher in psychological interventions.

Study mode and location
Commencement date 
  • Domestic applicants: this scholarship is available for commencement in the second half of 2023.
Value and duration

The successful applicant will be awarded:

  • A stipend of A$32,863* per annum for three (3) years, indexed annually, subject to satisfactory progress and full-time study mode; and
  • A Research Training Program Fees Offset Scholarship; that is, a tuition fee waiver for three (3) years

*The stipend value is comprised of contributions from the Australian Government Research Training Program ($29,863) and from A/Professor Jiesi Guo’s DECRA ($3,000).

About Australian Catholic University

ACU is a world-leading research university in our priority areas of education, health, and theology and philosophy. Research excellence at ACU is founded on the principles of social justice and attracts leading experts, students and collaborators from across the globe. This PhD scholarship is offered in the field of Psychology. According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities, ACU is ranked in the top 100 Young Universities, worldwide. In the 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) assessment, Psychology at ACU received the top score (5/5). ACU was also ranked above (4/5) or well-above world-average (5/5) for ten fields of research in Australia.

Explore research at ACU

About the Institute for Positive Psychology and Education (IPPE)

Since 2011, ACU has significantly increased its research investment and facilitated the growth of the IPPE in becoming a world-class research institute that includes leading international researchers in psychology, such as Professors Rhonda Craven, Herbert Marsh, Richard Ryan, Reinhard Pekrun, Johnmarshall Reeve, and Philip Parker. With a multidisciplinary research focus, IPPE has evolved into a leading university research institute, addressing critical educational and psychosocial issues and consistently producing research of a high standard and impact. This project is aligned with the aims, scope, and strengths of ACU and IPPE. IPPE is internationally recognised for substantive and methodological advances in psychology and education.

Learn more


  • The scholarship is available for a high-performing candidate, with prior experience in Education or Psychology and seeking to undertake research to design and implement psychological interventions to promote students’ STEM participation.
  • This opportunity is only open to domestic applicants, that is Australian Citizens, Australian Permanent Residents and New Zealand Citizens
  • The eligibility criteria for the PhD program at ACU can be found in the Higher Degree Research Regulations.
  • The successful applicant should have teaching experience in mathematics and other STEM subjects (preferred).


Application closes
  • 11:59pm (AEDT) Friday 31 March 2023
Before you apply

Interested candidates should contact A/Professor Jiesi Guo before submitting an application for the PhD program and this scholarship to discuss a research proposal and their fit with the research area/project:

E: jiesi.guo@acu.edu.au

Application process

To be considered for these scholarships, applicants must submit all documentation required for an application to the PhD program at ACU, as detailed in the ‘How to Apply’ instructions on the ACU Research Web Page, plus:

  • A CV detailing relevant academic and practical experience;
  • A cover letter detailing demonstrated interest and/or experience in the program of research described.


For general candidature enquiries, email Candidature Services on res.cand@acu.edu.au, with the subject line "PhD Stipend Scholarship specialist research area: Psychological interventions to boost high school students interest in STEM subjects".

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