PhD scholarship: Machine vision and Instagram's participatory and promotional cultures


Enrolment status New students
Student type Domestic students, International students
Level of study Higher Degree by Research
Study area Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
HDR funding type Living stipend scholarship
Scholarship value $28,597 per annum (2021 rate), indexed annually
Scholarship duration Three years with the possibility of two 6-month extensions in approved circumstances
Opening date 25 September 2020
Closing date 22 November 2020


Research Environment

UQ ranks in the top 50 as measured by the Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities. The University also ranks 46 in the QS World University Rankings, 42 in the US News Best Global Universities Rankings, 66 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and 54 in the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

School of Communication and Arts

The project is embedded within an Australian Research Council Discovery project involving collaboration between Nicholas Carah at the School of Communication and Arts at The University of Queensland and Daniel Angus and Jean Burgess at Queensland University of Technology’s Digital Media Research Centre. The project runs for three years. The project provides opportunities to work alongside leading researchers on digital media across humanities, social sciences and computational approaches. The University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology are both nodes in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Automated Decision-Making and Society. This research environment will provide world-class opportunities for research training and a rich intellectual environment to explore the relationships between machine vision, digital media and our cultural life.

The award

Supervisor – Associate Professor Nicholas Carah

Funded through our ARC Discovery project ‘Using machine vision to explore Instagram’s everyday promotional cultures’, we are looking for a PhD researcher to work with our team to develop a project that examines Instagram’s participatory and promotional cultures. The project will employ media and cultural studies approaches, and computational methods developed by the research team. You will have the opportunity to develop skills in a combination of humanities and computational approaches to digital media, using critical and qualitative approaches alongside novel machine vision and data visualisation techniques. The project will focus on a particular aspect of Instagram’s participatory culture, this might relate to food, lifestyle sport, music or another case you are interested in. An objective of the project will be to explore the intersections between Instagram’s everyday cultures and the classification of those cultures by machine vision systems. The project will be part of a larger effort to develop critical approaches to understanding the interplay between machine learning and everyday life in digital cultures.

A working knowledge of media, communication and cultural studies approaches to digital media platforms would be of benefit to someone working on this project.


To be eligible, you must meet the entry requirements for a higher degree by research.

Applications are closed.

Before you get started

If this scholarship has rules, download and read them.

How to apply

To apply for admission and scholarship, follow this link. There is no separate application for scholarship because you will have the opportunity to request scholarship consideration on the application for admission.

Before submitting an application you should:

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 ‘INSTAGRAM’ in the 'Name of scholarship' field.

See an example of what you have to do

Learn more about applying for a higher degree by research at UQ

Selection criteria

Applications will be judged on a competitive basis taking into account the applicant’s previous academic record, publication record, honours and awards, and employment history.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field/s of media, communication and cultural studies and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of digital media platforms and their participatory and/or promotional cultures is highly desirable.

Applications are closed.


Associate Professor Nicholas Carah
+61 7 3365 3145
Applications are closed.

Terms and conditions

Read the policy on UQ Research Scholarships.

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.

Applications are closed.