The Korean Studies Research Hub (KSRH) supports multiple research projects on the following three themes: Korean migration to Australia: North Korea; and Australia-Korea Relations.

Current Projects: 2020-2023

The Korea Hub would like to acknowledge funding from the following institutions:

  • Academy of Korean Studies under the South Korean Ministry of Education (Seed Grant 2020-2023, AKS-2019-INC-223000X and Lab Grant 2022-2025);
  • Australian Research Council Discovery Project (2022-2024, DP220103223)
  • Korea Foundation (Policy-Oriented Research Grant 2022-2023)
  • Australia Korea Foundation under the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (2021-2023, AKF2020117)

Global Korean Migration

The Korean Australian Project is the Korea Hub’s flagship research and a cross-faculty collaborative project, led by Dr Jay Song at the Asia Institute (AI) of the Faculty of Arts. Current members include Dr Wonsun Shin (School of Culture and Communication) and Dr Daejeong Choi (Melbourne Business School). The Project launched its first comprehensive survey of Korean Australians in 2021 to mark the 60th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Australia and South Korea. The Korean Australian Survey takes place every two years to understand motivations, routes and social networks of migration from Korea, as well as their media use, inter-generational communications and life satisfaction in Australia. The Project is funded by the Academy of Korean Studies and the Australia Korea Foundation.

The Project has received additional funding from the Australian Research Council in 2022 to carry out archival research on early Korean immigrants since the late 19th century. Ms Louise Spencer (PhD students, AI) and Ms Jun Kim (Honours student, AI) join the Project to pursue their independent research on early Korean Australians.

The team welcomes collaboration with museums, Korean resident associations, language schools, student associations, adoptee networks, working holiday makers and the like.

North Korea

The Korea Hub's second main research theme is North Korea. Researchers discuss key conceptual and methodological issues in studying North Korea in collaboration with North Korea experts in South Korea and beyond. The team hosts regular workshops with graduate students and early career researchers in North Korean Studies in Asia, Europe and North America.

Dr Jay Song has won several Chancellery and Faculty research grants to run collective projects on ‘North Korea as a method’ and ‘everyday lives in North Korea’. Ms Jasmine Barrett (PhD student, AI) is undertaking independent research on disabilities in North Korea. The team welcomes post-doctoral fellowships, academic visitors and international collaboration on North Korean human rights, human security and migration.

Australia-Korea Relations

The third main research theme of the Korea Hub is Australia-Korea relations. Australia and South Korea have had diplomatic relations since 1961. The two countries have many common interests in security and trades. Yet, people-to-people relations on migration, energy/environment, food/agriculture, and media/education have been relatively under-studied areas.

The Korea Hub has received further funding from the Korea Foundation to conduct policy-oriented research on people-centric bilateral relations: the Korea-Australia Relations Project, KARP. The team hosted Dr Jeffery Robertson from Yonsei University as Visiting Fellow in 2021-2022. Dr Peter Lee joined the team in 2022 to lead a series of policy roundtables in collaboration with various experts and practitioners on the ground in both countries. Mr Theo Mendez also joined the team in 2022 to conduct independent research on Australia Korea relations on clean energy. In 2022, the Australian Korean Business Council has recognised the Research Excellency of Korean Studies at the University of Melbourne. The Korea Hub welcomes applications for PhD research or externally funded fellowships on people-centric Australia-Korea relations.