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PhD Scholarships in Social Media and Audience and Market Foresight with Smart Services CRC

Now that the new Smart Services Cooperative Research Centre has been officially launched, we've begun to recruit for PhD students who'll be based with the QUT node of the CRC. This is an excellent opportunity to work with major Australian industry partners and key researchers in the Creative Industries and Business Faculties at QUT. If you're interested, get in touch now; if you know of anyone who may be interested, please spread the word!

My involvement is with the Social Media and Audience and Market Foresight programmes in the CRC (key industry partners here are Fairfax Digital and Sensis), so that's the focus of my interests; other colleagues in the CRC have slightly different research orientations. If you're considering proposing a PhD project in this field, it should address one or more of the topics of interest listed below.

I also have a Research Assistant position available (probably around 2-3 days/week for the next 12 months) - more on this shortly!

PhD Scholarships in Audience and Market Foresight with Smart Services CRC

The Smart Services CRC is a $120 million, commercially focused collaborative research initiative, developing innovation, foresight and productivity improvements for the services sector. Services are the largest sector of the economy representing approximately 80% of Australia's GDP and 85% of employment. Within the services industries Smart Services' initial programs will be customer-focused with outcomes translatable across the whole services sector. Initial research outcomes and demonstrators will principally be associated with the digital media, finance and government sectors.

In order to achieve these goals, Smart Services CRC will be supporting research higher degree students at PhD and Masters level through scholarships, top-ups and in-kind support for research, travel, conferences etc. As a partner in Smart Services CRC, the Queensland University of Technology is offering scholarship packages for 2009. Research higher degree students with CRC scholarships will have access to the full range of resources offered by QUT (access to equipment and facilities, Grants-in-Aid, teaching opportunities etc.), as well as the opportunity to work with leading industry partners in the media, finance and government sectors on projects of direct real-world relevance through Smart Services CRC.

The Audience and Market Foresight program is researching how audience and industry use of media is changing in the context of market and audience fragmentation, as well as underlying drivers such as user-created content, increasing use of social media, and the proliferation of mobile communications tools and devices. Led by the Creative Industries Faculty and the Faculty of Business, the Audience and Market Foresight program provides the opportunity to work collaboratively with industry partners such as Fairfax Digital and Sensis on aligning research activity with industry goals and strategies in the emergent digital media environment.

The following topics are of interest to supervisors in the Audience and Market Foresight research project team:

Professor Terry Flew (Creative Industries Faculty, QUT)

  1. Audiences and markets for online and mobile media;
  2. Digital futures for news media;
  3. Mobile and digital media content production.

Dr. Axel Bruns (Creative Industries Faculty, QUT)

  1. Drivers and motivations for users to participate in social media Websites;
  2. Future developments in online social media and social networking;
  3. Business models for social media sites.

Dr. Christy Collis (Creative Industries Faculty, QUT)

  1. Emerging uses and users of locative mobile media;
  2. Audiences and markets for online, mobile, and cross-platform media.

Dr. Edwina Luck (School of Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations, Faculty of Business, QUT)

  1. Future drivers of participation within virtual social media;
  2. The role of 'electronic word-of-mouth' in product and service marketing;
  3. Hyper-targeting and advertising within virtual social networks.

Dr. Larry Neale (School of Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations, Faculty of Business, QUT)

  1. Network and device convergence;
  2. Future entertainment business models;
  3. Delivering digital customer service.

Smart Services CRC is a research and development partnership between 12 major industry players and six Australian universities, funded by the private sector and governments under the Australian Government's Cooperative Research Centre program. Its aim is the creation of research-enabled commercial outcomes for its partners.

For more information on the Smart Services CRC, go to

For more information on scholarships at QUT, go to

Information for prospective research students in the Faculty of Business can be found at

Information for prospective research students in the Creative Industries Faculty can be found at

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