Trauma in postgraduate research education

Opportunity without funding
Closing date No closing date

Subject(s)Education, Nursing, Health Science, Social Sciences.

DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)

SupervisorDr Katrina McChesney

About this opportunity

This project relates to an emerging topic (trauma-informed postgraduate/doctoral education) situated within a broader, well-established landscape including the fields of higher education studies, inclusive education, doctoral education, research supervision pedagogy, and mental health/wellbeing.

The successful student will develop a project related to advancing understanding of the intersections between trauma and postgraduate research education, aligning with their individual interests, background, and skills. For example, the project could explore:

  • students' lived experiences
  • specific forms of trauma (e.g. intergenerational trauma, childhood/developmental trauma ...)
  • specific groups of students (e.g. Māori students, international students, refugee students ...)
  • institutional and/or supervisory policies and practices
  • student agency, self-care, safety, and/or wellbeing
  • supervisors' wellbeing and mental health
  • learning environments in postgraduate research education, and their relationship with trauma
  • researching sensitive/traumatic/dangerous topics
  • trauma-informed practices in postgraduate research education
  • barriers or enablers to embedding trauma-informed practice in postgraduate research education

Successful candidates could come from education, social science, or mental health backgrounds, and any of these would be valuable for informing the research. However, it should be noted that the doctoral project will not be clinical in nature (diagnosing/treating trauma) but will be situated in higher education studies.

The project could use any of a range of research methodologies and methods. The identification of an appropriate second supervisor would be informed by consideration of the student's proposed topic and/or methodological focuses.

Unfunded vacancy

If you are selected for this vacancy and you are successful in being admitted to the Doctoral programme at the University of Waikato, you will need to cover all costs yourself or via a scholarship that is independent of this vacancy.


The application process


Review of applicants will begin on 1 June, 2023 and will continue until the vacancy is filled.

How to apply

If you are interested in this vacancy, please email the supervisor. Please include evidence that you meet the eligibility criteria for this vacancy.

The supervisor will let you know whether they have shortlisted you for this vacancy and will advise you of next steps.


Ready to apply for this opportunity?

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Questions about the process?

If you have any questions about the process, you can contact the School of Graduate Research.

School of Graduate Research