2024 HDR Scholarship - Roads to the Future: the human and environmental impacts of infrastructure development in East Africa

Updated: 18 days ago

Status: Closed

Applications open: 6/11/2023
Applications close: 6/12/2023

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About this scholarship

Roads to the Future: the human and environmental impacts of infrastructure development in East Africa

As global roadbuilding accelerates at an unprecedented rate, especially in the developing world, there is an urgent need for understanding roads' potential benefits and their risks in social, environmental, cultural, economic, and political lives.

This project seeks to understand the socio-cultural, ecological, political, human rights and related impacts of new roads and related infrastructure development in East Africa and the Indian Ocean Rim.

In particular, it seeks to provide new knowledge on how infrastructure projects are altering East African lifeworlds and what lessons this provides to the wider world including Africa and Australia.

Roads alter lifeworlds in positive ways. They create connection across distant lives, cultures, experiences, and aspirations. They build interdependence and communication across societies through trade and services, create job opportunities, enhance the provision of services to isolated areas and become a basis for sharing what the future holds for humanity.

Roads can also alter lifeworlds in negative ways. They take away lands from local farmers or communities. They provide powerful entities access to control or influence vulnerable communities and their futures. Roads serve authorities to move military forces, to extract natural resources with serious environmental consequences and increase the dependence of cultural communities on emerging markets and jobs. All of these could lead to environmental, social justice, and human rights issues.

The PhD research funded through this scholarship seeks to understand how roads influence East African current and future lives, what the social justice and land use or environmental impacts of road infrastructure projects are in East Africa.

  • Future Students

  • Faculty of Humanities

  • Higher Degree by Research

  • Australian Citizen
  • Australian Permanent Resident
  • New Zealand Citizen
  • Permanent Humanitarian Visa
  • International Student

  • Need Based
  • Merit Based

This scholarship provides a living stipend of $33,220 p.a. pro rata indexed, based on full-time studies, for up to a maximum of 3 years and tuition offset support for international candidate.

Scholarship Details


Any applicable HDR courses

We are looking for a high performing, enthusiastic and independent PhD candidate with interdisciplinary skills in African studies, critical research, social justice research, land and/or environmental research, climate change research, anthropology, cultural studies, or human rights.

Work experience related to infrastructure, human right, environmental management, or  law is an advantage. Passion and advocacy for epistemic, environmental, decolonial, and/or social justice is considered but it is not a strict requirement.

Willing to travel to Africa and or Indian Ocean Rim countries and work alongside a range of stakeholders including government officials, non-government actors, other PhD student in the Roads to Future cohort and academics.

Experience of having lived and worked in Africa or understanding of a relevant African language is highly desirable. The opportunity is open to both Australian Domestic and International applicants.

Application process

Future student, please apply/contact us via the EOI form

Enrolment Requirements

Recipients must complete their milestone 1 within 6 month of enrolment and remain enrolled on a full time basis for the duration of the scholarship


Dr Yirga Gelaw Woldeyes, [email protected]

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