[ASC-list] UWA: Three APAI PhD scholarships available

longneck at cyllene.uwa.edu.au longneck at cyllene.uwa.edu.au
Wed Nov 25 09:49:09 UTC 2009

We are seeking three highly motivated PhD students to work within a project
funded by the Australian Research Council, the Graham (Polly) Farmer
Foundation and the Gravity Discovery Centre. The title of the project is

Measuring the Effectiveness of Specialist Science Enrichment Programs

Closing date is 15 December.
Please forward a current CV, including contact details, academic  
transcripts and a cover letter explaining your interest in and  
expertise with any of the three aspects of the project by email to  
Ruby Chan (rpc at cyllene.uwa.edu.au). Applicants will be notified by 22  

This research links academics interested in promoting and enhancing  
science education and communication from the University of Western  
Australia, Curtin University of Technology, the University of Glasgow,  
the Gravity Discovery Centre (a specialist centre for school science  
enrichment), and industry partner The Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation  
which specializes in providing education enrichment to indigenous  
disadvantaged students in remote schools.

The project will make use of the extensive facilities of the Eureka  
Prize-winning Gravity Discovery Centre, UWA’s large new robotic  
telescope – The Zadko Telescope – and university facilities at UWA and  
Curtin. The aim of the research is to evaluate the effectiveness of  
science enrichment programs delivered through the Gravity Discovery  
Centre in changing students’ attitudes towards science, student career  
goals and expectations as well as their science understanding.

The research will provide an exceptional opportunity for research  
training and collaborative partnerships within the fields of science,  
science education and science communication. The PhD students will be  
based in the Faculty of Life and Physical Science at UWA, but will be  
required to liaise and work with the Gravity Discovery Centre  
(approximately 80km north of Perth) and schools in Western Australia.

Candidates could be experienced science teachers with appropriate  
qualifications, recent Bachelor of Science or Engineering graduates  
with an
interest in science communication and education, or graduates of  
double degrees that combine science with arts or social sciences. All  
should have a serious interest in astronomy and physics and in working  
with school students. Candidates will be expected to develop education  
programmes, work closely with school classes and then evaluate student  

The PhD students will be expected to focus their research on one of  
three types of educational programs all delivered through the Gravity  
Discovery Centre as follows:

a)    Specialised Enrichment: Innovative high quality programs already
developed by the Gravity Discovery Centre and comparable to many enrichment
programs offered by diverse facilities across Australia. These activities
include both pre-visit and post-visit classroom activities and international

b)    Motivating through Research: Students will use the Zadko telescope and
interact with research students. This aspect of the program will enable
students to discover new astronomical objects and to provide improved data
for known objects (asteroids, near Earth objects, gamma ray bursts and

c)    Learning through Narrative: Students will use the Cosmology Gallery
facilities at the Gravity Discovery Centre. Here we will focus on the  
story of the universe and compare cultural creation stories at the  
Gravity Discovery Centre with the scientific story. This unique  
facility is specifically designed for multi-cultural approaches to  

We particularly welcome applications from people with special interest in
working with indigenous students, with specialised knowledge of astronomy
and teaching through a narrative approach.

Coinvestigators: Prof David Blair, Prof Grady Venville, A/Prof Nancy  
Longnecker, A/Prof Mario Zadnik, A/Prof David Coward.

For more information, contact:

Assoc Prof Nancy Longnecker

Coordinator, Science Communication Program
Faculty of Life and Physical Sciences, M011
The University of Western Australia
35 Stirling Highway
Crawley, WA   6009

ph: 61 8 6488 3926
email: nancy.longnecker at uwa.edu.au

“There is no point explaining everything in the universe if no one is  
listening to you.”    UWA Sci Comm student, 2009

CRICOS Provider No. 00126G

More information about the ASC-list mailing list