Posted on: 12 September, 2019
Application deadline: October 1, 2019

Seeking prospective PhD students interested in examining labour market preferences of retrenched workers, University of South Australia (UniSA) Business School, Australia

The University of South Australia (UniSA) Business School is seeking applicants interested in pursuing a PhD on labour market preferences of workers as they negotiate their way through the 21st Century labour market.

Over recent years the closure of a number of manufacturing plants in Australia has generated considerable uncertainties and challenges for retrenched workers. The closures come at a time when labour demand in affected regions is relatively weak despite low national unemployment rates: job prospects are poor in these places, and retrenched workers who find new jobs are likely to face under-employment and work in roles that do not fully utilise their skills or are consistent with their established notions of ‘appropriate’ work. Many workers struggle to comprehend how they will fit into a labour market that is transforming under the weight of labour-displacing innovations in digital and robotic technology, and the growing incidence of ‘precarious’ work arrangements, including the rise of ‘platform’ and ‘gig’ economies.

This dissertation will use Discrete Choice Experiments (DCEs) to measure retrenched workers’ preferences for employment, retraining and/or retirement, as a function of their past histories, present circumstances and future expectations. This will be a Doctorate commencing in 2020 and conforming to the general requirements of UniSA. A Bachelor’s degree in Business, or a similar discipline, is NOT necessary, and we would welcome candidates with strong quantitative skills from a range of backgrounds including engineering, statistics, geography, sociology, management, economics and psychology. Candidates with the following skills are especially encouraged to apply:

  • Strong mathematical skills;
  • Some experience in computer programming; and
  • Interest in econometric methods and data analysis.

The candidate will be supervised by a panel led by Dr Akshay Vij of the Institute for Choice, University of South Australia Business School. The research will be undertaken as part of a larger program of work funded by the ARC.

The exact details of the thesis topic are expected to be developed by the interested candidate in close consultation with their supervisors. The UniSA Business School has a strong research environment and is deeply committed to world-class research performance. It is expected that the individual selected for this program will be highly competitive in the academic job market after completing this program.

Interested and highly qualified candidates will be eligible to receive $27,596 per annum (2019 stipend rate) over 3 years in scholarship support.

Interested candidates should send a CV to Ms Cate McKenzie ( along with a personal statement of research interests and how they relate to the topic, no later than 1 October 2019.

For further information about research degrees at UniSA and the application process itself please visit: