Skip to menu Skip to content Skip to footer
Banner only

Building Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Government Services

Enrolment status
Future UQ student
Student type
Domestic, International
Study level
Postgraduate research (HDR)
Study area
Arts, humanities and social sciences, Communication, media and experience design, Computer science and IT, Law
Scholarship focus
Academic excellence
Funding type
Living stipend, Tuition fees
Scholarship value
$31,000 per annum (2022 rate), indexed annually
Scholarship duration
3.5 years with the possibility of 1 extension in line with UQ and RTP Scholarship Policy
Number awarded
May vary
Applications open
22 March 2022
Applications close
31 December 2022

About this scholarship

Supervisor: Professor Paul Henman

One scholarship is available for a high calibre student to undertake research on a wide range of PhD projects from diverse academic disciplines examining responsible Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Automated Decision Making (ADM) in Government funded Social Services. Projects may include questions such as:

  • In what ways does AI/ADM in social services impact on diverse populations?
  • How can we build AI/ADM that does not reproduce bias and disadvantage?
  • How might we co-design inclusive AI/ADM for disadvantaged social service users?
  • What might be the policy, legal and governance reforms required to ensure responsible AI/ADM in social services?
  • How can we develop explainable AI/ADM in social services?
  • What might be an Indigenous approach to AI/ADM in social services? (For Indigenous students)

Prospective students are invited to prepare a draft PhD research project relating to responsible AI and ADM in Social Services. PhD projects may relate to criminal justice, disability services, social security/welfare, employment services, child and family services, international aid and refugees, or similar areas. Projects may also focus on particular population groups, such as women, culturally diverse groups, Australian Indigenous peoples, or children and young people.

PhD projects are welcome from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including but not limited to computer and data science, social science, cultural and media studies, and law. Students with an interdisciplinary mindset are particularly encouraged.

Research environment

Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision Making and Society

The Australian Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision Making and Society (CoE ADM+S) was established in 2020 with funding from the Australian Research Council (ARC). Based at nine Australian universities, the Centre has national and international partnerships with leading academic, commercial and service organisations.

The purpose of the Centre is to create the knowledge and strategies necessary for responsible, ethical, and inclusive automated decision-making. Its work is multidisciplinary with investigators from the social sciences, humanities, law and technological sciences. The Centre also operates an active and innovative research training program for PhD students, postdoctoral research fellows and early career researchers.

The UQ Node of the Centre is led by Professor Paul Henman (School of Social Science) and is located within a wider network of digital social science and humanities researchers based at UQ. Paul has a long history of research into the social dimensions of new technologies, and holds degrees in the social and technological sciences. He has a track record of using both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, and using innovative digital methods. Successful scholarship holders will be advised by Professor Henman and one other appropriate UQ researcher.


You're eligible if you meet the entry requirements for a higher degree by research.

How to apply

Before submitting an application you should:

You apply for this scholarship when you submit an application for a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). You don't need to submit a separate scholarship application.

When you apply, please ensure that under the scholarships and collaborative study section you:

  1. Select ‘My higher degree is not collaborative’
  2. Select 'I am applying for, or have been awarded a scholarship or sponsorship'.
  3. Select ‘Other’, then ‘Research Project Scholarship’ and type in ‘AI-HENMAN’ in the 'Name of scholarship' field.

Selection criteria

Your application will be assessed on a competitive basis.

We take into account your:

  • previous academic record
  • publication record
  • honours and awards
  • employment history

An interdisciplinary perspective - particularly crossing humanities/social sciences and computer/data sciences would be of benefit to someone working on this project.


A domestic part-time student with carer’s responsibilities, a medical condition or a disability, which prevents them from studying full time may be eligible for scholarship consideration, on a case by case basis.


Professor Paul Henman