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PhD Scholarship in SOPHIS – The Other Democracy: Medes in the Iron Age

Job No.: 635833

Location: Clayton campus

Employment Type: Full-time

Duration: 3-year and 3-month fixed-term appointment

Remuneration: The successful applicant will receive a Research Living Allowance, at current value of $30,000AUD per annum 2022 full-time rate (tax-free stipend), indexed plus allowances as per RTP stipend scholarship conditions at: A tuition fee scholarship and Single Overseas Health Cover (OSHC) will be provided for a successful international awardee.

The Opportunity

This PhD scholarship is funded as an important part of an ARC funded project The Other Democracy: Medes in the Iron Age by Dr Hilary Gopnik (Monash University), Associate Professor Leah Minc (Oregon State University) and Professor Pam Crabtree (New York University).

This project aims to use evidence from archaeology and historical texts to develop a new understanding of the consensus-based political system of the Medes of the Zagros Mountains, Iran in the first millennium BCE. The project will undertake an analysis of the ceramic and faunal material from the two Median sites of Godin Tepe and Tepe Nush-i Jan in order to better understand provisioning of ceramics and animal products at the two congregational sites. The successful applicant will contribute to the project but will also undertake their own distinct PhD project related to the archaeology of Media.

The successful candidate will be integrated into an already successful research agenda that has been funded by the Australian Research Council, and will have access to funding to support fieldwork, travel, and conference attendance. The candidate will benefit from being part of outcomes from the research, which may include co-authored publications (where the candidate’s contributions will be recognised through co-authorship), funded symposia, school-engagement exercises, and future grant applications.

Monash University is the largest university in Australia and regularly ranks in the top 100 universities worldwide. Monash has six globally networked campuses and international alliances in Europe and Asia. The applicant will be based at the Clayton campus in Melbourne. The School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies (SOPHIS) at Monash is diverse and vibrant, with a strong and supportive research culture led by internationally recognised scholars successful in attracting national and international competitive funding. The Centre for Ancient Cultures is home to a range of research projects studying the history and archaeology of the cultures around the Mediterranean.

Candidate Requirements

The successful applicant will have an excellent academic track record in Archaeology. Competence in both quantitative and qualitative research methods is preferred. A background in ceramic provenience studies and/or archaeology of Iran is desirable. Competence in Persian language would be an asset.

In its assessment, the selection committee will prioritise applicants who hold an Australian (or equivalent international) Honour’s or Master’s degree (both in a relevant field), with a significant research component and with first-class honours/H1 awarded.

Details of eligibility requirements, including English-language proficiency skills, to undertake a PhD in the Faculty of Arts are available at Applicants should ensure they familiarise themselves with these requirements before deciding whether they should apply.

Scholarship holders must be enrolled full-time and on campus. Please note: applicants who already hold a PhD will not be considered.

The successful applicant will be expected to enrol by December 2022. However, there may be some flexibility as to the date of commencement.

Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI)

EOIs shall comprise:

  • A cover letter that includes a brief statement of the applicant’s suitability
  • A brief research proposal not exceeding 750 words in length that fits within the broad project aims and objectives, and demonstrates some understanding of the area of research
  • A curriculum vitae, including a list of any published works, conference presentations and relevant work experience
  • A full statement of academic record, supported by scanned copies of relevant certified documentation
  • Contact details of two academic referees
  • Copy of your current passport (if available)

It is important that you contact Dr Hilary Gopnik, Centre for Ancient Cultures, prior to submission of the EOI to discuss the project.

Once you have discussed your EOI with Dr Gopnik, EOIs should be sent, preferably in the form of a single attachment to an email, to Ms Kinda Say, Senior Graduate Research Administrator, Faculty of Arts, at the following email address State “EOI [your name] - PhD Scholarship in SOPHIS – The Other Democracy: Medes in the Iron Age” in the subject heading of the email.

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed via Zoom. The interviews will be conducted in English.


Dr Hilary Gopnik, Centre for Ancient Cultures, School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies,

Closing Date

Monday 27 June 2022, 11:55pm AEST


At Monash University, the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff, students and visitors remain our priority. In accordance with the Directions issued by Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, we require all staff, students and visitors to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have an approved medical exemption from receiving a COVID-19 vaccine in order to attend our campuses and locations. 

For the latest information on COVID-19 at Monash, please visit our website.

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