Australia’s University of Newcastle is leading the wave of alternative higher education with two fully-funded PhD scholarships in “the geographies” of any of the following fields: Homelessness, Veganism, Unschooling, and… Heavy Metal Music.
Helmed by the ambitious Professor of Human Geography and Director of the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies, Simon Springer, the program will see accepted applicants begin their studies as early as January 1st of 2020.
The program is a serious one, with the scholarships on offer providing the necessary funding for students to devote all of their attention to studies and research.
“As per the University of Newcastle (UoN) funding guidelines, the scholarship(s) will provide an annual living allowance of $27,596 per annum (2019 rate – indexed annually).” Anarchist Geography
International students and local scholars alike are encouraged to apply by submitting a preliminary research proposal along with their CVs. Although allowable focuses have intentionally been kept broad, for the heavy metal music scholarship option, an interest in heavy metal’s development in Australia is encouraged.
As for the University’s standing in the offered fields of study, it would appear as though there are few better alternatives worth considering. The latest ERA Outcomes of the Australian Government rated the University of Newcastle as being above world standard in the area of Human Geography.
In speaking with website Kerrang, Simon Springer stated the following about the origin of the groundbreaking program:
“What led to this is that I recently moved from Canada to take up a new position at the University of Newcastle here in Australia, and as part of the negotiation in my accepting the job, I asked for funding to support two PhD students to work with me. I don’t think the university hopes to uncover anything from this, and probably don’t even particularly care what the students I will eventually work with are doing, as long as they are doing something.”