The MARCS Institute, University of Western Sydney, PhD Scholarship


The MARCS Institute, University of Western Sydney

PhD Scholarship

“Thinking Brains & Bodies: Distributed Cognition & Dynamic Memory in Australian Dance Theatre"


MARCS Institute is a vibrant interdisciplinary research institute of the University of Western Sydney (UWS) with members and collaborators from many disciplines: Medicine, Neuroscience, Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Linguistics, Psychology, Music, and Dance.


MARCS research focuses on the explanation and enhancement of human-human and human-machine communication. Using behavioural, neuroscience and computational approaches, we conduct pure and applied research on perceptual, cognitive, creative and social skills from infancy to adulthood, in real and virtual worlds, and within normal, heightened (e.g., performing arts) and impaired (e.g., developmental delay, sensory loss) contexts.

MARCS invites applications from highly motivated graduates seeking to undertake a PhD as part of an ARC Linkage Project on Distributed Cognition and Dynamic Memory in Australian Dance Theatre. This interdisciplinary PhD project, under the supervision of Prof Kate Stevens, will use theory and experimental methods from cognitive science to investigate long-term memory for contemporary dance. The larger ARC project involves collaboration with researchers at UWS, Deakin University, and the Australian Dance Theatre (Adelaide).


Essential Criteria

Applicants should hold a First Class Honours degree, or equivalent qualifications and/or research experience (including research publications) in psychology, cognitive science, or human movement science, have experience or demonstrable interest in the performing arts, especially dance, and have a good understanding of quantitative methods and statistics.

International applicants must also demonstrate a high level of proficiency in the English language. Please refer to the University’s website for information about English Language Requirements.


What does a Scholarship at MARCS provide?

All students receive:

• Support for conference attendance (domestic and international), fieldwork and additional courses costs as appropriate.

• Access to the extensive range of MARCS specialised equipment, laboratory space and facilities.

• A rich environment of support and academic expertise via supervisory panels, seminars, colloquia, international and industry collaborations.


Domestic students receive:

• Tax free stipend of up to $34,653 per annum for up to 3 years and a funded place in the doctoral program


International students receive:

• Tax free stipend of up to $34,653 per annum for up to 3 years.

• Outstanding students may also be offered a tuition fee-waiver scholarship valued at approximately $24,000 per annum for up to 3 years.

• Up to $2,600 towards the cost of an Overseas Student Health Care Policy.


Commencement date: early 2014.


The next step?

Contact Professor Stevens to discuss your research proposal: (+61 2) 9772 6324)


Need more information?

Please visit the MARCS website or contact MARCS Institute Executive Officer Sonya O’Shanna (, +61 2 9772 6585) to discuss your application.


Contact the Office of Research Services to discuss enrolment and scholarships:; +61 2 4736 0966.


How to apply

Applicants should submit the application form (PDF, 160Kb), a 500 word research proposal and a CV by the closing date.