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PhD Scholarship with RegNet/EPA

9th July 2018

A three-year full time PhD Scholarship under the ANU/Victorian Environment Protection Authority Linkage project Preventing and Addressing Environmental Harm through Restorative Justice within the Centre for Restorative Justice located in the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet).

About the Linkage Project

The Linkage project was awarded in May 2018 to the ANU and the Victorian Environment Protection Authority. The project aims to develop a knowledge base about how restorative justice (RJ) principles and practices can prevent and address environmental harm. RJ broadly understood involves seeking ways for all stakeholders affected by an injustice to discuss how they have been hurt and how to heal those hurts and repair relationships. It typically involves processes such as group conferences that facilitate discussions between offenders, victims and their respective communities of support. Together the participants are able to develop greater collective understanding about the causes and effects of harm and the systemic factors that have led to the particular offence. This project will explore how RJ can inform a new approach to environmental regulation – one that involves regulators, affected communities, and those who cause or risk causing harm. In so doing, it will make significant contributions to the theoretical development of RJ.

ANU researchers will work with the EPA in developing and testing new regulatory principles, tools and practices to embed RJ broadly into EPA operations. This means seeking to regulate in ways that centre relationships, including Aboriginal relationships with the land, prioritise deliberation and genuine engagement, and engage stakeholders in a democratic and sensitive manner, rather than an approach limited to seeking to control and direct. Key stakeholders will be engaged in the co-design, development and empirical testing of an Environmental Restorative Practices Continuum. The continuum will comprise restorative innovations at the stages of approval/permit, complaints, compliance and investigation, and sanctioning and enforcement. The project draws on the conceptual framing of hybridity, which perceives RJ as involving values, processes and practices to be fused at strategic points within existing regulatory frameworks, rather than established as a separate system. The hypothesis is that in making RJ practice an integrated part of EPA’s broad regulatory functions, it is more likely to be sustainably and culturally embedded within the organisation. These new values and sets of practices will strengthen, support, and be supported by the EPA’s more traditional sanction and compliance tools. The empirical evidence generated will facilitate theoretical advances in optimising the contribution of restorative justice to sustainable environmental harm reduction.

The project will address the following research questions:

Q1 How can restorative justice advance environmental justice within the context of environmental regulation? What reconceptualising of RJ can adjust to the distinctive characteristics of environmental regulation?

Q2 Can compliance and enforcement practices incorporating restorative justice prevent future environmental harm more successfully than existing regulatory practices? To what extent can lessons about how to reorient restorative justice to prevent harm in the environmental sphere be extrapolated?

Q3 How can restorative justice be sustainably embedded within existing regulatory practices?

Q4 Does RJ enhance regulatory legitimacy in the environmental context, and if so, how?

The project is highly interdisciplinary and will be available to students from a range of disciplinary backgrounds including but not limited to environmental studies, law, regulation, sociology and criminology.

The PhD student will be encouraged to select an aspect of the project that suits their interest and expertise.

Further information about the project and the scholarship is available by emailing Miranda.forsyth@anu.edu.au

About the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet)

The School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) is one of five Schools/Centres in the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific (CAP). It is a dynamic community of scholars from different disciplines united by an interest in governance and regulation. It has received international recognition as one of the world’s most vibrant governance and regulatory academic centres, and is built on principles of justice, sustainability and human well-being.

The successful candidate will be supervised by Associate Professor Miranda Forsyth and co-supervised by professors John Braithwaite and Valerie Braithwaite.


The scholarship is open to domestic (Australian nationals or permanent residents) and international students wishing to commence a full-time PhD on the early 2019. The scholarship provides for an annual stipend valued at the Australian Government Research Training Program (AGRTP) Stipend Scholarship equivalent, which is $27,082 for 2018.

The scholarship will be awarded for a maximum period of three years. The scholarship does not provide for tuition fees but RegNet offers international fee waivers for the successful applicant. In addition, the candidate will receive an allowance of up to $7,000 over the period of their PhD candidacy to enable them to undertake fieldwork and attend conferences, subject to the approval of their supervisor.

All RegNet PhD scholars receive shared office space and are required to complete one year of part-time coursework that is provided free of charge. The scholarship does not include funding for overseas student health cover (OSHC), but there is some support to assist with relocation expenses (international return economy airfares for a single person).


To be eligible for the award of this scholarship a student must:

• be enrolled, or be seeking to enrol, as a full-time student in a research higher degree program at RegNet, Australian National University;

• already hold, or about to complete, an Australian Bachelor Degree with at least Second Class Honours - Upper (though First Class Honours is often required for a scholarship) or its international equivalent, or a Postgraduate Degree with a significant research thesis component, and;

• have met the English language requirements (if you are an international student).

The University actively encourages applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. For more information on employment opportunities, contact our Indigenous Employment Consultant on indigenous.employment@anu.edu.au ANU values diversity and inclusion and is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to those of all backgrounds and identities. For more information about staff equity at ANU, visit https://services.anu.edu.au/human-resources/respect-inclusion.

To express your interest

The PhD Scholarship is considered as part of the application for admission to the ANU PhD program, provided that applicants submit their application by the stated deadline (usually 31 August). Applicants must apply through the ANU higher degree by research applications process, identifying the ANU RegNet PhD scholarship on their expression of interest form.

For guidelines regarding how to express your interest, please consult RegNet’s website. After doing so, submit the following materials to RegNet’s HDR administrator (cap.hdr@anu.edu.au, att: Hisako) by 31 August 2018:

  1. Completed expression of interest form
  2. Curriculum vitae (CV)
  3. Academic transcripts
  4. IELTS/TOEFL results (if applicable)
  5. Thesis proposal (5-10 pages)

Upon review, the Director of Education will advise regarding the next steps of the application process

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet