We are offering stipend scholarships to conduct PhD or MPhil research focused on any topic related to human flourishing and early Christian studies, including biblical studies and stretching to the end of late antiquity.

About the Flourishing Project

Flourishing in Early Christianity aims to elucidate the complex and often contested views of flourishing found in ancient Christian sources and how those visions of flourishing interacted with similar accounts put forward in non-Christian classical and Jewish sources. It offers new interpretations of early Christian visions of the good life by engaging with research on human flourishing from other fields, including psychology, philosophy, health humanities, and the social sciences, while also seeking to inform scholarship in these other disciplines by providing a robust set of historical case studies. The project has three strands: 1) ‘Health: Being and Feeling Well;’ 2) ‘Cultivating the Good Life: Reason and Creativity;’ and 3) ‘Flourishing Communities: Communal Ecologies and Places.’ In addition, a series of capstone seminars on the theme ‘Creation, Christology, and Transformation’ draws together the insights of the individual strands. The project involves leading scholars from around the globe as research collaborators and has a rich and exciting line-up of activities planned from 2022 to 2026 which the successful applicant would benefit from. Further information about the project can be found on our website.

About Australian Catholic University

ACU is a world-leading research university in the areas of education, health, theology, philosophy and other liberal arts. Research excellence at ACU is founded on the principles of human dignity and social justice. In 2020, ACU appeared in the CWTS Leiden Ranking for the first time and was the leading Australian university in the Humanities and Social Sciences when ranked both by the proportion of papers in the top 5% most frequently cited (a scientific quality measure) and by the proportion of papers demonstrating interinstitutional collaborative publication. In the 2021 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, ACU has risen to the 251-300 band, skipping the 301-350 band entirely and holding its place in the top 2 per cent of universities in the world. In the 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) assessment, research in religion and religious studies at ACU was assessed as being above world standard.

Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria for the MPhil and PhD programs at ACU can be found in the Higher Degree Research Regulations. We prefer applicants with an honours degree or masters degree in a field related to early Christian studies such as classics; New Testament Studies; ancient Judaism; patristics; late antique studies; historical theology; or Byzantine studies.

Study mode and location

Full-time based at the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry Melbourne Campus, commencing as soon as possible.
Applicants should note that the full-time duration of the PhD at ACU is 3 years while the duration of the MPhil is 2 years.

Scholarship inclusions:
  • An Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) stipend scholarship or an ACU Stipend Scholarship of A$28,854 per annum subject to satisfactory progress and full-time enrolment; plus
  • a Research Training Program Fees Offset Scholarship; that is, a tuition fee waiver for domestic candidates or an ACU tuition fee waiver for international candidates; plus
  • Overseas Student Health Care Policy (Single) for international candidates
Application instructions

This opportunity is open to domestic and international applicants.
Closing date for applications 11:59pm AEST 1st August 2022

As part of the assessment process applicants may be invited to participate in a virtual interview.

Step 1: Interested candidates should contact Associate Professor Matthew Crawford matthew.crawford@acu.edu.au before applying.
Step 2: Applicants should submit a formal application to the PhD or MPhil program. Instructions can be found in the ‘How to Apply’ section of the ACU Research Web Page.

In addition to the standard application components, applicants must also include:

  • A 1-2 page cover letter outlining how the proposed research advances the aims of the Flourishing Project and how the candidate’s prior academic and (if applicable) professional experience has prepared them for undertaking it.
  • A brief curriculum vitae detailing how they meet the eligibility criteria

For general candidature enquiries, email Candidature Services on res.cand@acu.edu.au, with the subject line ‘MPhil/PhD Stipend Scholarship, Specialist Research Area: Flourishing in Early Christianity.’

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