Study As
Full Time

Principal Supervisor
Professor Ian O'Boyle

Main Campus
City West

Applications Close
09 Jul 2023

Study Level

Applications Open To
Domestic Candidate

Tuition Fees:

All domestic students are eligible for a fee waiver. Find out more about fees and conditions.

Project Stipend:
$32,500 p.a. (Domestic Only)

About this project

Investigate the positive impacts of community sport 

If you’re motivated to build a career in the sport and leisure industry and concerned about meaningful community engagement in sport, the University of South Australia – Australia’s University of Enterprise – is offering a hands-on project-based PhD within UniSA Business, in partnership with seven national sport organisations and two state government departments. 

Outcomes of social connection from community sports are widely acknowledged and touted. However, we know little about how social infrastructure delivers these benefits. This makes it difficult to understand and develop practices that organisations can use to maximise the outcomes of sport participation.  We intend to develop novel, practice-based tools, and guides for community groups to enhance social connection outcomes and generate a new understanding about the role of social infrastructure in enhancing community connection. Improved social connection is expected to improve resilience and community wellbeing. Based within UniSA Business., the sport and recreation research discipline has well-established research relationships and associated outcomes. We have also achieved grant success with several projects supported by local and state governments and private sector entities. UniSA Business has a strong record of supporting and delivering industry-relevant research. You will be embedded in a high-level research environment, and importantly, a sport-focussed research group directly relevant to this project. This outstanding training environment will give you access to top tier researchers working in this field, along with a cohort of other postgraduate students working in related areas. We have a well-developed mentoring program and can offer you exposure to active programs of research in the sport and leisure domain, industry engagement opportunities, computer and communication resources, and high-level supervision.

What you’ll do

In this project-based research degree, you will engage with a broad range of stakeholders, including academic staff, other HDR students, research participants, and industry end users. You will undertake significant data collection activities which will include interstate travel.

Upon completion of this project, you will have expert knowledge in social impact and connection as it relates to community sport, and sound skills in data collection and analysis techniques, both quantitative and qualitative. The project affords you valuable opportunities to make important connections within the sport and recreation networks in Australia and start building a robust professional and research network. You’ll be encouraged and supported to present your work at conferences, both domestically and internationally. There will be opportunities for short-term industry placements where relevant. Alongside networking and engagement activities, these opportunities will help you build a large contact base in the sport and leisure industry and potentially increase your employment prospects.

Where you’ll be based

You’ll be based at UniSA Business. We develop career-ready graduates, and positively affect communities and environments locally, nationally, and globally. We offer a suite of innovative programs in disciplines including business, accounting and finance, marketing, management, tourism and events, and property, as well as our Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Executive Education programs. UniSA Business is the only business school in South Australia accredited by both AACSB International (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) and EFMD (EQUIS).

Our researchers are thought leaders who engage in world-class research and share their insights with students, industry, and government partners. Our findings translate directly into results that transform businesses and affect communities for the better.  Our reach extends beyond the classroom. We offer advice in taxation and marketing at our free clinics, giving students valuable opportunities to apply their skills and make an impact in their community.  People, technology, and the global marketplace are all changing rapidly. UniSA Business is for strategists, disruptors, and entrepreneurs who are ready to lead from the front.

Supervisory team

Swinburne University of Technology
Victoria University
Financial Support

This project is funded for reasonable research expenses.  Additionally, a living allowance scholarship of $32,500 per annum is available to Australian and New Zealand citizens, and permanent residents of Australia, including permanent humanitarian visa holders. Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander applicants will be eligible to receive an increased stipend rate of $46,653 per annum (2023 rates). A fee offset or waiver for the standard term of the program is also included.  For full terms and benefits, please refer to our scholarship information. International applicants are not invited to apply at this time. 

Eligibility and Selection

This project is open to application from domestic applicants only. Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria for entrance into a PhD degree. A merit selection process will be used to determine the successful candidate. The successful applicant is expected to study full-time and be based at our City West Campus in the heart of Adelaide.

Essential Dates

Applicants are expected to start in a timely fashion upon receipt of an offer. Extended deferral periods are not available. Applications close on, Sunday 9 July 2023.

How to apply:

Applications must be lodged online, please note UniSA does not accept applications via email.

For further support see our step-by-step guide on how to apply , or contact the Graduate Research team on +61 8 8302 5880, option 1 or email us at You will receive a response within one working day.

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