PhD positions for Pacific research project (Massey University)

Two PhD positions are offered as part of the Marsden-funded project, “Harnessing the power of business: the contested involvement of corporations in community development initiatives in the Pacific” [read about other Marsden Fund Pacific-related research in this earlier post to Outrigger]. One student will work under the supervision of A/Prof Glenn Banks on two mining sector case studies, and one will work under the supervision of Prof Regina Scheyvens on two tourism case studies. Applications due 20 December 2012. Project start date: March 2013 (funding for a 3 year period).

Candidate requirements

  • A first class honours, postgraduate diploma or Master’s degree (i.e. GPA equivalent to at least an A- average) in an appropriate area e.g. human geography, social anthropology, sociology, development studies, business studies.
  • For non-native English speakers, IELTS Academic test score of at least 7.0
  • A strong interest and/or experience in cross-cultural research
  • A good team player who will enjoy collaborating and sharing responsibilities with others involved in the project.

PhD student entitlements under the project

  • NZ$25,000/year scholarship for three years
  • Enrolment fees for three years of full time study
  • Most research-related fieldwork costs (including accommodation) for 4 months (for each PhD student) of fieldwork in the Pacific
  • Attendance at one national and one international conference to present research findings.

The central question driving this research is “Can the community development initiatives of mining and tourism corporations operating in the Pacific bring about locally-meaningful development?” While there are increasing calls globally for the private sector to play roles in international development, there is a need for more evidence of how corporations do community development to better understand both the potential and risks associated with this. We have termed these development initiatives of corporations Corporate Community Development (CCD), and will explore how they can potentially narrow the spaces of development or, perhaps, actively contribute to community empowerment, the promotion of human rights and social equity. This research will extend conceptualisation of the private sector’s roles in community development by building on fieldwork at four tourism and mining case study sites across the Pacific. We will adopt a novel, qualitative multi-scalar methodology that brings in the perspectives of the corporations, states, communities and other actors. Responding to a recognised lacunae in the literature this research will examine the value of these activities from the perspectives of affected communities, and advance theorisation of the relationship between capital and community.

Applicants must provide: a cover letter; CV; Academic transcript(s); 1 page discussion of how your research interests align with the project as described above, and how you could take this project forward; Names of two referees, at least one of whom is an academic. Please direct inquiries to Glenn Banks ( or Regina Scheyvens (

Application due date: Thursday 20 December 2012, 5pm NZ time. Please either email ( or send your applications to: Amy Tootell (Administrator), School of People, Environment and Planning, Massey University, PB 11222 Palmerston North, New Zealand.

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