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10 Reasons to do your PhD at the Future of Work Institute

Are you passionate about helping to create smart, healthy and productive work?


By pursuing a PhD with us, you’ll make discoveries and turn them into real-world outcomes that are highly valued by academia, industry and society.

We know that committing to a higher research degree may seem daunting, let alone choosing the right place to study. Here are the top 10 reasons why you should consider doing your PhD at the Future of Work Institute (FOWI).

  1. You will work directly with world-renowned researchers 

From work design and well-being to leadership, safety and personality, our world-class researchers bring a diverse range of academic and industry expertise. Our Professors lead an array of projects, including the Centre for Transformative Work Design.

Together, our Professors (below) have editorial responsibilities, as editor or on the editorial board of the Journal of Applied Psychology, the Journal of Management, the Academy of Management Annals, the Journal of Applied Psychology, the Organizational Psychology Review, the Journal of Business and Psychology, the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, the Compensation and Benefits Review, Motivation Science, the International Journal of Selection and Assessment, the Journal of Vocational Behavior and the Journal of Personnel Psychology.

You will work directly with one of our Professors as well as with our fabulous team of early-career researchers.

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"Professor Gagne is a walking example of a need-supportive and committed leader who brings out the best in people."

- Dan Agate, PhD Candidate from the United States

Dan Agate

2. We help you set up for a fabulous career

Our PhD students have gone on to fabulous careers, working in prestigious universities or consulting careers. 


FOWI Academy is an informal program of learning, designed for Early Career Researchers (ECRs)

within the domains of Management, Organisational Psychology and Organisational Behaviour.


You can also join the Faculty of Business and Law Research Society that connects HDR students and aims to enhance both the HDR student experience and academic performance. Think networking events, development workshops and peer-to-peer learning sessions!

With a wide range of skills and talents at FOWI, every day will bring many informal learning opportunities.

Testimonial from Associate Professor Bin Wang, Shanghai University 
Recipient of the Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-financed Students Abroad

"The FOWI PhD program provides opportunities that can make your academic dreams come to life. Through academic-industrial collaboration projects, I learned how to present research findings in visual form to communicate with audience without specialised knowledge in I-O psychology. "

Bin Wang

3. You can make a difference by doing research in the real world

Thanks to our strong links with industry and government, you will have the opportunity to work on real-world projects. Assistance and support with research translation is available with our Collaboratory. and Marketing team.


What are some of the highlights of your PhD journey?


"A big highlight of my PhD was being able to conduct field studies, which meant I was able to engage directly with the submariner workforce to collect data over several submarine operational activities.

- Dr Belinda Cham, Research Fellow at FOWI and Eureka Prize Finalist (2021)

How did a PhD help you with your career?

"I came out of my PhD with great research and analytical skills; and with practical skills in problem-solving, project management, and stakeholder engagement – which landed me a position as a Management Consultant in a top-tier multinational firm."

- Dr Georgia Hay, Prospect Research Fellow

Bel and Georgia

4. You will belong to a small, vibrant and valued cohort of PhD students 

Our ambitious and friendly cohort of PhD students is diverse in terms of age, origins, interests, skills and aspirations. There's something to learn from every student.


With our weekly research seminars, you have an opportunity to share and discuss ideas, methods and findings. FOWI is proud of the challenging yet respectful and nurturing space we hold for our research discussions.


"The great thing about doing a PhD at FOWI is the strong support system and sense of community. We have plenty of opportunity to interact with students and researchers at all different stages of their career to get advice, support, and motivation."

- Lucinda Iles, PhD Candidate


Some notable PhD achievements

5. You will be part of a friendly community 

The Future of Work Institute is home to talented researchers from all around the world. We are proud of our welcoming and positive culture and we provide tailored, bespoke support for PhD candidates to help them with their next career step.


"Doing a PhD is challenging and sometimes stressful, but I feel very lucky to have the amazing support from my wonderful supervisors, colleagues, and fellow students."

- Fangfang Zhang, PhD Graduate now Research Fellow at FOWI


6. You will have access to cutting-edge research support, space, and software 

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Future Capability Laboratory

One example of our innovative infrastructure is our upcoming Future Capability Laboratory, a learning facility dedicated to understanding the human requirements of future work. This facility will allow industries to create new ways of working. It will be developed at Curtin University, but it will be designed for replication across other nodes.

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Writing retreats

Accelerate your writing productivity in a convivial and supportive environment.

"The annual writing retreat is one that I always look forward to, not only because of the immersion into and embracing the writing process, but also because of all the informal social interactions that are sprinkled throughout with mentors and peers alike. Colleagues at FOWI are also constantly coming up with different ways to make work fun and engaging, such as integrating presentations with catered sandwich lunches."

-PhD Candidate, Cheryl Yam

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The Thrive at Work Platform

A powerful data analytics platform aligned to the Thrive at Work Framework that supports organisational decision making to ensure employees get well, stay well, and be the best they can be.

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7. You will work in the heart of one of the most liveable cities in the world          

A hub in the city

Our dynamic and central location on the east end of Perth city enables us to be close to our industry collaborators.


Perth is one of the world's most liveable cities, and it's not hard to see why!

Perth is an education destination of the future. Our vibrant city offers a warm sunny climate, a relaxed lifestyle and a prosperous economy, with adventure and new discoveries right on your doorstep.


The Time Zone With The Biggest Population

Western Australia is a gateway to the Indo-Pacific and Perth watches the future unfold from a fascinating vantage point. This presents our economy and society with profound research opportunities around the future of work in the digital age.

During the weekend or a study break, you can escape Perth and explore the wonderful scenery

Western Australia has on offer.


8. We will connect you into top international research networks    

We highly value our diverse, international research network, the exchange of ideas and the mutual benefits of our collaborations. We support visits and professional development in Australia and overseas and we enjoy visits from both leading experts and rising stars.   


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Testimonial from PhD Candidate Lioba Gierke 
Visiting research associate from WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, Germany

"What I enjoyed most during my stay at FOWI was the passion with which the team supports each other’s research projects and the value that is seen in collaborating and exchanging expertise."​

Past senior visitors include Professor Karoline Strauss, Professor Fred Zilstra, Professor Gilad Chen, Professor Gudela Grote and more! Check out what they have to say about their visit.


9. You will be part of a value-based top 1% University

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Curtin University

Curtin is an innovative, global university known for its high-impact research, strong industry partnerships and commitment to preparing you for jobs of the future.

Building on a foundation of integrity and respect, and through courage, Curtin aims to achieve excellence and have an impact on the communities that the University serves.


Top one per cent in the world

Curtin is ranked in the top one per cent of universities worldwide in the highly regarded Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) 2021.


A leader in research

95 per cent of our research output was rated at or above world standard in the 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia results.


10. You will grow as a person and have fun!

With a supportive, creative and ambitious team environment, you will be encouraged to realise your full potential and the make the most of all the opportunities to develop as an academic, professional and person.

Testimonial from PhD Candidate, Cheryl Yam

"The projects that I have had the opportunity to be a part of have pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me to develop skills critical for a psychologist and a researcher, such as client engagement and garnering stakeholder buy-in. Aside from these soft skills, my supervisor in FOWI also constantly challenges me to develop my technical skills. To that end, I am encouraged to seek out opportunities such as formal training programs or to learn from other colleagues who are experts in the field. Together, I have grown exponentially both as a researcher as well as a person."


Now is the best time to join FOWI to do your PhD

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