A Fiji-based graduate scholarship opportunity exists for a two-year research Masters by Thesis in Education linked to the USP project in collaboration with Queensland University of Technology “Using Digital Literacy to curate rural women’s lived experiences of Education and Learning”.

This particular endeavour will focus on the lived experiences of women in rural ocean communities in Fiji in the first instance, portraying the lived experiences of women through the use of stories and visual methods supporting conversations around social change. Through this project we aim to capture the stories of women in rural ocean communities regarding their memories of and their views about education.  This is important to better understand some of the communities we serve as educators. 

The MA position created will develop research capacities in local Fijian cultural stories.The project strengthens the skill sets of the team from the School of Education and promotes the importance of women and girls within society.

This project is underpinned by the philosophies of both SGD 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all and SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

We hope that this is the first of many such projects which will venture further afield in other USP countries in the Pacific to engage with the voices of women who usually are the primary caregivers of children and the backbones of households. We seek to understand the following:

  • How do Fijian women from rural ocean communities understand the importance of education and learning?
  • What type of education do women think is important for their children?
  • To what extent do women perceive early childhood education as important?
  • What aspirations do women have for their children?
  • How can digital media and digital literacies support the voices of women from rural ocean communities?

We use storytelling and creative processes as a key methodology to work with communities. These processes are applied to capture and support local knowledge systems and provide opportunities for collective reflection. They also present communities and individuals with strategies to share what they know with others. The project seeks to produce both traditional and non-traditional research outputs including creative works such as digital stories and films. Through the integration of creative processes the project team aims to contribute to sustainable approaches to research and development in the Pacific.

Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates to undertake the Master’s degree by research at The University of the South Pacific, Laucala campus, starting from Semester 2, 2020. 

Benefits and Conditions

The scholarship awarded will comprise of the following:

  • Tuition fees (paid directly)
  • Book allowance of up to FJD750/year
  • General Services fees paid directly
  • Living allowance of FJD21,600 p.a.
  • Dependents Allowance of FJD10,883 p.a. for qualifying awardees
  • Establishment Allowance of FJD1,942 for qualifying awardees
  • Research grant – only after the research plan and budget have been approved by the appropriate Research Committee
  • One return airfare when the person receiving the award has to travel to a USP campus in another country to take up the offer.

All amounts are in Fijian dollars.

Scholarship Conditions

These scholarships are for full-time study only. Awardees are not permitted to be in paid employment during the tenure of their awards. Scholarship holders will also be expected to contribute to ongoing teaching in their respective faculties for a maximum of eight hours per week only during semester time.

Criteria

Selection criteria for the scholarship candidate are as follows:

  • Must have completed a Postgraduate Diploma or equivalent in a relevant discipline from USP or equivalent.
  • Must have an undergraduate GPA and postgraduate diploma GPA of 3.5 and above.
  • Must be a citizen of a USP member country with links to an ocean related community.
  • Applicants must be 40 years or younger at time of application.
  • Women are encouraged to apply.

Applications

The application must contain a completed Applicant Detail Form, a cover letter, and an outline of a proposed research topic which demonstrates knowledge of the proposed subject. Applicants should also submit a full CV, certified true copies of their academic transcripts, and the names and contact details of three referees.

The application must include:

  1. Completed Applicant Detail Form
  2. Cover letter or a letter of application
  3. An outline of proposed research topic*
  4. Curriculum vitae
  5. Name and contact details of three referees
  6. Certified true copies of relevant transcripts and certificates
  7. Proof of citizenship

*Applicants may discuss their applications with a potential supervisor. 

Closing date for application is 31st July, 2020

Completed applications can also be sent to:

Research Student Coordinator
Ms Anushka Maharaj
Research Office The University of the South Pacific
Phone: (+679) 323 1888
 or Email: research@usp.ac.fj [preferred]