PhD Scholarship in Sexualised Deepfakes: Predictors, Consequences, Responses and Prevention

Monash University
September 20, 2023
Offerd Salary:$33,000
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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PhD Scholarship in Sexualised Deepfakes: Predictors, Consequences,

Responses and Prevention

Job No.: 655800

Location: Clayton campus

Employment Type: Full-time

Duration: 3.5-year fixed-term appointment

Remuneration: The successful applicant will receive a Research Living Allowance, at current value of $33,000 AUD per annum 2023 full-time rate (tax-free stipend), indexed plus allowances as per RTP stipend scholarship conditions at: www. students/scholarships/scholarship-policy-and-procedures. Domestic applicants will be prioritised; however, a tuition fee scholarship and Single Overseas Health Cover (OSHC) will be provided for a successful international awardee.

The Opportunity

Convincing deepfake imagery can be created and transmitted at a speed and scale never previously imagined. This Australian Research Council funded multi-country, interdisciplinary project investigates ways to limit the social, public health and legal problems associated with the use of AI technology to non-consensually create and share sexualised deepfake imagery.

Working with a team comprising renowned academic and industry field leaders with recognised expertise in criminology, gender studies, psychology and AI, the successful application will have the opportunity to conduct quantitative and/or qualitative research for their PhD across Australia (based at Monash University), the United Kingdom (based at Goldsmiths, University of London) and the United States (based at Florida International University).

The PhD project will focus on the development of prevention and education resources to address the non-consensual creation and sharing of sexualised deepfake imagery. While the law plays an important role in acknowledging harms, holding perpetrators accountable and helping victims seek justice, legal and technological interventions alone are not sufficient to prevent the non-consensual creation or sharing of sexualised deepfake imagery. It is vital that social interventions, such as inclusive and intersectional education and prevention resources, are developed to raise awareness of the harms of sexualised deepfake abuse, and to challenge problematic attitudes that normalise the non-consensual creation and sharing of sexualised deepfake imagery. This will be the focus of the funded PhD project.

The project is led by Associate Professor Asher Flynn (Monash University), an internationally recognised and award-winning researcher, leading work on the intersections between technology-facilitated abuse and social and structural inequalities. The successful applicant will also work alongside Professor Anastasia Powell (RMIT University), a global researcher in domestic and sexual violence policy and prevention, with particular expertise in technology-facilitated abuse; Professor Asia Eaton (Florida International University, US), a quantitative expert on the psychology of gender-based violence and discrimination; and Associate Professor Adrian J Scott (Goldsmiths, University of London, UK), an expert on the psychology of sexual aggression, stalking and image-based abuse. Successful applicants will also have the opportunity to collaborate with government, NGO and digital platform partners on the project.

Undertaking this PhD as part of a larger project has several advantages. First, the successful candidate will be integrated into an already successful research agenda that has been funded by the Australian Research Council, and will have access to funding to support fieldwork, transcription, travel, and conference attendance. Second, the candidate will benefit from expert supervision from research leaders in criminology, gender studies, psychology and AI, and from entering a PhD with a pre-existing structure. Finally, the candidate will benefit from being part of outcomes from the larger research program, which may include co-authored publications (where the candidate's contributions will be recognised through co-authorship), funded symposia, school-engagement exercises, and future grant applications.

Monash University is the largest university in Australia and regularly ranks in the top 100 universities worldwide. Monash has six globally networked campuses and international alliances in Europe and Asia. The applicant will be based at the Clayton campus in Melbourne, but may have the opportunity to travel to the project partner institutions in the US and UK as part of their PhD fieldwork. The Social Sciences at Monash is diverse and vibrant, with a particular strength in technology-facilitated abuse and gender-based violence. We have a strong and supportive research culture, led by internationally recognised scholars successful in attracting national and international competitive funding.

Candidate Requirements

The successful applicant will have an excellent academic track record in criminology or a relevant discipline. Competence in both quantitative and qualitative research methods is desirable.

In its assessment, the selection committee will prioritise applicants who hold an Australian (or equivalent international) Honour's or Master's degree (both in a relevant field), with a significant research component.

Details of eligibility requirements, including English-language proficiency skills, to undertake a PhD in the Faculty of Arts are available at www. Applicants should ensure they familiarise themselves with these requirements before deciding whether they should apply.

Scholarship holders must be enrolled full-time and on campus. Please note: applicants who already hold a PhD will not be considered.

The successful applicant will be expected to enrol by 31 st January 2024. However, there may be some flexibility as to the date of commencement.


Associate Professor Asher Flynn, School of Social Sciences, [email protected]

Submit an Expression of Interest

EOIs shall comprise:

  • A cover letter that includes a brief statement of the applicant's suitability
  • A brief research proposal not exceeding 750 words in length that fits within the broad project aims and objectives, and demonstrates some understanding of the area of research
  • A curriculum vitae, including a list of any published works, conference presentations and relevant work experience
  • A full statement of academic record, supported by scanned copies of relevant certified documentation
  • English language proficiency test results (if applicable)
  • Contact details of two academic referees
  • Copy of your current passport (if available)
  • Once you have discussed your EOI with Associate Professor Asher Flynn, please submit your Expression of Interest Form and indicate that you are applying for a “Special Scholarship Scheme – PhD Scholarship in Sexualised Deepfakes: Predictors, Consequences, Responses and Prevention”.

    Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed by Zoom video call. The interviews will be conducted in English.

    Closing Date

    Wednesday 20 September 2023, 11:59pm AEST

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