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2022 HDR - PhD scholarship on Individual and Team Dynamics in Command and Control (C2) Agility

Image © SGT Sebastian Beurich, Australian Department of Defence

About this scholarship

In many safety-critical workplaces, teams are adapting to significant technological advances accompanied by great volumes of incoming data. Such changes have the potential to improve capabilities in complex and uncertain conditions, but only if sociotechnical systems are appropriately designed.

 

“Command and Control” (C2) is the process taken by organisations and teams to achieve shared goals, and the C2 system is the underpinning technologies, social structures, and networks. Effective C2 organisational systems are critical not only to military settings, but also to the operation of many civil domains, including emergency response coordination (e.g., disasters), remote and distributed workplaces (e.g., virtual organisations), and management of civil infrastructure and services (e.g., aviation).

 

In C2 settings, teams of heterogeneously skilled human operators must acquire and integrate information from multiple distributed sources (e.g., physical and informational environments) to coordinate cognitively (e.g., decision-making) and behaviourally (e.g., sequencing of task executions) in complex environments characterised by uncertain and evolving threats.

 

There is no single best strategy or approach to designing C2 systems because teams and individuals must adapt to the situational demands at hand. The capacity of teams to adapt to cope with, learn from, and exploit their operational situation is referred to as C2 Agility. However, the existing evidence underlying C2 Agility is based mainly on descriptive studies that use cross-sectional or low-resolution (i.e., broad timescale) snapshots of key inputs, processes, and outputs obtained within static networks.

 

C2 research that better reflects the rich dynamics and complexities that occur in real-world contexts has the potential to result in major benefits for many sociotechnical systems. Therefore, the aim of this project is to develop and validate an experimental paradigm that can describe the dynamic processes underlying C2 agility and to characterise the situational factors by which C2 agility can vary.

 

Eligible courses

Doctor of Philosophy

Our People

The project involves a collaboration between researchers at Curtin University and the Defence Science Technology Group.

 

The Curtin team includes: Professor Daniel Gucciardi, Professor Marylène Gagné, Professor Tom Gedeon, Professor Mark Griffin, Dr Luke Strickland, Dr Michael David Wilson, and Dr Mengbin (Ben) Ye.

Focus of the PhD Position

The PhD scholar will, in collaboration with the project team, design and conduct a series of experimental studies of team behaviour in  C2  contexts. Ultimately,  the  focus  of this PhD project  will  be  negotiated  with the  successful  candidate  based  on  their  interests, skills, experiences,  and  goals  for  the  doctoral  degree as  well  as  the  expertise  and  interests of  our interdisciplinary team.

The PhD supervisory  team will  involve a composition of some of the project team listed in ‘Our People’ above. It is anticipated that the successful candidate will have enrolled into and commenced the PhD program by June 2022. Prospective applicants can obtain additional information about the project from Daniel Gucciardi (d.gucciardi@curtin.edu.au). Please include “Query re C2 Agility PhD scholarship” in the email subject heading.

What we offer you

This project has funding for one (1) PhD scholarship. The successful candidate will receive a tax-free stipend of AUD 30,000 per annum, which is indexed annually for the duration of the award.

 

The duration of the scholarship shall be for 3 years, with a maximum possible extension of up to six months (assessed on a case by case basis).

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for this scholarship, applicants must:

 

  • have  completed  a  Bachelor degree  with  FirstClass  Honours,  or  be  regarded  byCurtinUniversityas having an equivalent level of attainment;or

  • have completed a Master degree by Research; or

  • have completed a Master degree with a research component > 25%; and

  • have achieved high academic performance;

  • be an Australian or New Zealand Citizen

The successful candidate also will need to:

  • be enrolled as a full-time student

  • be enrolled as a domestic student(i.e., reside in Australia for the duration of the award)

  • meet the English language entry requirements at Curtin University

Essential Criteria

  • Educational qualifications in psychology, human factors, artificial intelligence, human computer interaction, or a discipline that could shed light on individual and team dynamics within the context of command and control settings; and

  • Evidence of high-quality verbal (e.g., delivering instructions to participants) and written communication skills (e.g., Honours or Masters thesis), as well as excellent interpersonal skills (e.g., working with people from diverse backgrounds).

 

Desirable Criteria

  • Experience with observational research (e.g., simulations) and/or lab or field experiments

  • Experience with the analysis (e.g., sequential analysis, multilevel modelling) and interpretation (e.g., conference presentation) of complex data

  • Evidence of peer-reviewed publications within the behavioural sciences

  • Work experience within Defence settings (e.g., researcher, practitioner)

  • Demonstrated capacity to work independently and as part of a multidisciplinary team to complete tasks within set timeframes and agreed budgets

How to apply

Work on laptop
Application process

Application packages should include:

 

  1. a curriculum vitae

  2. university transcripts (uncertified is fine)

  3. the details of 2 professional referees (preferably from the past 2 years)

  4. a statement addressing the essential and desirable selection criteria.

 

We have extended the closing date for this scholarship until 31 May 2022. Please submit your application to Daniel Gucciardi (d.gucciardi@curtin.edu.au) with “Application for C2 Agility PhD scholarship” in the email subject heading.

Testimonials from current students

"When I finished my Masters of IO, I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to do a PhD, or get out into the workplace to solve real problems.

One of the best aspects of doing a PhD at FOWI is that I can do both of these things at the same time. I receive great mentorship and guidance to develop my own research expertise, but I also get to conduct research that is impactful, multidisciplinary and collaborative.

For example, I’ve been involved in several industry and government collaborative projects. These opportunities have allowed me to apply my research skills in practical settings to solve real problems, and develop other skills through activities like industry presentations, running of workshops and research translation. This has made my PhD journey more meaningful, interesting and varied."

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Belinda Cham

"The Centre for Transformative Work Design is a place where work design is researched, understood and practiced. You can hardly ask for a better environment in which to learn and conduct research."

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Jia-xin Tay (Jay)

Some impactful research projects our students have undertaken

  • Work Design of the Future

  • Cognitive Modelling Human Factors Issues in Future Work

  • Supporting the attraction, retention and engagement of mature workers in organisations

  • The future of recruitment and selection: The job candidate experience

  • Remuneration practices that motivate employees

  • Motivating work teams: An emergence-based process model

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