Addressing the hour-glass ceiling: New case for action on gender equality [closed]

Applications close 20 February 2020

The National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health (NCEPH) in partnership with the Centre for Social Research and Methods (CSRM) at The Australian National University is seeking a PhD candidate funded by an ARC Discovery Grant titled ‘Addressing the hour-glass ceiling: New case for action on gender equality’.

This is an interdisciplinary study, seeking to develop new methods and new evidence on the health, social and economic cost of gender inequality in employment.

The PhD student will focus on the quantitative microsimulation aspect of the study – the aim of this element of the research is to simulate policy relevant options for work time reform, estimating health, wealth and equity costs and benefits of various work hour regimes, and how each option enables or constrains equality in unpaid time. The scholar needs to have a background in quantitative methodology (e.g. in econometrics, health economics, sociology, statistics or biostatistics, household economics or gender studies) and an interest in social, health or gender equity. A key question is how household decisions regarding work hours affect health and wealth estimates. The student will form an essential addition to our interdisciplinary microsimulation modelling team which includes academics from economics, sociology, epidemiology and public health. The study has a strong international focus, and PhD student’s research is likely to be informative for a planned future international study, involving comparisons between Australia, Japan, Germany and Finland.

There is an opportunity for the student to be a part of a scholar exchange to Berlin (hosted by WZB Berlin Social Science Centre, conditional on funding from ANU travel grants) building international opportunities. Given the project seeks to build international links with our partners in Finland, Germany and Japan, candidates currently residing in these countries as well as Australians are highly encouraged to apply.

If you are a highly motivated student with an understanding of quantitative research approaches who has demonstrated data analysis, research skills and writing experience, this is an excellent opportunity for you to pursue your PhD within a high quality research environment at the Australian’s leading university. ANU is ranked 1st in Australia and =29th in the world (QS World University Rankings, 2020). Ranked in the top 20 worldwide in 14 of 26 assessed disciplines, it hosts six Nobel Laureates – the highest in Australia.

The position will be based at NCEPH or CSRM, at ANU in Canberra. The student will study in a highly engaging and supportive environment, and have the opportunity to work in a multi-disciplinary team and participate in a national and international collaborative study. 

The project has started and the successful candidate will start as soon as the recruitment process is completed.

The scholarship covers three year study with a total of $AU84,276 (tax free). 

International students:  Will be sponsored for their OSHC costs and may be considered for a HDR Fee Remission Merit Scholarship to cover the tuition fees.

The successful candidate is responsible for Australian student visa application and related costs, and all enrolment requirements by the ANU higher degree education.

The successful candidate will be supported to:

  • Conduct an independent and interdisciplinary program of research, undertaking coursework and training if required, and completing their PhD thesis within the allocated 3 year timeframe.
  • Develop the skills and approach needed to conduct quantitative data analyses, including microsimulation modelling, and preparation of data.
  • Report research findings in peer-reviewed journal articles, supported by their supervisors and the broader project team.
  • Present research findings at peer-reviewed conferences and seminars during the PhD candidature.
  • Liaise effectively and coordinate activities within the investigator team, national and international and develop an impact plan.
  • Attend and contribute to team meetings, workshops and seminars, and other meetings associated with the project and/or departmental, centre and/or faculty meetings.
  • Comply with all ANU policies and procedures and in particular those relating to work, health and safety.


National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health


We are seeking a candidate with the following conditions:

  1. A first class Honours or Master degree in econometrics, health economics, household economics, sociology (including quantitative methods), statistics, biostatistics, or gender studies.
  2. Highly developed statistical or data analysis skills and knowledge/experience in the following:
  • Application of quantitative research methods and statistics to address social, economic or health challenges;
  • Conduct of multi-or interdisciplinary research that brings social science insights, methods and approaches to problems of population health and public policy;
  • Managing and analysing large, longitudinal surveys and data sets;
  • Use of various software and systems, particularly Microsoft Office suite (incl. Word, Excel, Powerpoint) and in the use of email, internet, Endnote (or equivalent) and statistical software package (e.g., Stata, Python, R).
  • It is desirable if the candidate has experience conducting microsimulation and microsimulation coding
  • Knowledge and application of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning is an advantage
  1. Experience or a demonstrated interest and capacity of working successfully in teams within a multicultural working environment
  2. Highly developed oral and written English communication skills and a demonstrated ability to develop and maintain positive relationships with team members, other students, and external stakeholders or partners
  3. Highly motivated, self-disciplined, and able to work independently, with clear goals that lead to highly quality outcomes

See also

 Conditions of Award
 Policy: English language requirements for admission