CONREP 2020 Top Up Travel PhD Scholarship

The Comparative Network on Refugee and Externalisation Policies (CONREP) 2020 Top Up Travel PhD Scholarship

The world is currently experiencing refugee movement on an unprecedented scale. In an attempt to prevent refugees from reaching their territory, many wealthy Western states adopt externalisation policies. These policies exploit power asymmetries to transfer state and regional obligations and responsibility for asylums seekers and refugees to neighbouring states. At their most destructive, externalisation policies can prevent refugees from reaching safety, and breach their human rights.

Externalisation policies reshape the boundaries of sovereignty and blur the lines of responsibility among states. By avoiding their legal and political responsibility, many states violate their legal obligations. Externalisation deflects responsibility, transforming the governance of refugee protection and border control. Regional cooperation for refugee protection is weakened, and human rights protections are undermined. At a global level, migration pathways are disrupted and refugees are often trapped in transit, placing them at risk. Nationally, governments gain electoral advantage by being ‘tough’ on border protection. The accelerating phenomenon of externalisation characterising these 'tough' border protection policies requires a comprehensive analysis by researchers, civil society actors, refugees and policy makers.

This Jean Monnet Erasmus+ Network grant (599660 EPP-1-2018-1-AU-EPPJMO-NETWORK), The Comparative Network on Refugee Externalisation Policies (CONREP) is an international, interdisciplinary network of experts from six universities in Australia and Europe that will sharpen our understanding of these contemporary regional challenges.

CONREP researches the impact and effects of externalisation in two regions: Australia’s activities in Southeast Asia and the Pacific; and the European Union and its member states’ activities in North Africa. Over three years, the Network will focus on five core themes.

  1. Governance: the implications of externalisation policies adopted by state and non-state actors at different levels of governance
  2. Legitimacy:  the impact of externalisation policies on the legitimacy of states and regional bodies
  3. Responsibility: the effects of the exercise and the delegation of legal and political responsibility on refugees affected by externalisation
  4. Democracy: how externalisation limits the exposure of these practices to the scrutiny of regional and domestic democratic institutions
  5. Human rights: the impact of externalisation policies on access to human rights protections for refugees and asylum seekers

The CONREP scholars are committed to contributing to a robust policy framework which supports refugee protection through stronger regional governance and cooperation. A goal of CONREP is to facilitate the participation of PhD students into many of the activities organised by the Network. As such, CONREP will provide travel funding for PhD students from the six partner institutions to attend one of the two Masterclasses that will be held in 2019 and 2020. In addition, these PhD students will have the opportunity to participant in the International Workshop that will be held at the same time.

In 2020, a half-day Masterclass, hosted by the University of Melbourne (Australia) will be held on Monday 17 February 2020. It will bring together PhD researchers, early career academics, and emerging leaders in civil society to provide career enhancement and training on the impact of externalisation policies in refugee protection and migration governance. Participants will be expected to submit a piece of work which will be workshopped at the Masterclass by peers and a senior academic mentor.

The Masterclass will be followed by a 1.5-day workshop on the ‘Responsibility-sharing or responsibility-shedding? Reflections from Europe and Australia’, at the Deakin University (Australia), 18-19 February 2020.

As the Masterclass and Workshop will be held in Melbourne in 2020, eight scholarships of up to €2000 will be provided to students from the European partner institutions (University of Bologna, University of Geneva and University of Gothenburg).

Funding will be provided in the form of a reimbursement of expenses after the event. You will need to provide a budget with quotes as part of your application and then provide original receipts and flight boarding passes after the event in order to have the funds reimbursed.

Eligibility criteria

  • Must be a currently enrolled PhD students at either the University of Bologna, University of Geneva and University of Gothenburg
  • Student whose thesis will be under examination at the time of the Masterclass and the Workshop can apply
  • Must be undertaking a thesis that is related to the core research focus of CONREP. You must be able to demonstrate this in your application

You are not eligible if:

  • You are on leave of absence from your studies.
  • You have been awarded your PhD
  • Your thesis topic is not related to the core focus of CONREP
  • You are not enrolled in one of the three European Partner institutions (University of Bologna, University of Geneva and University of Gothenburg)

Application procedure

Applications must be submitted by Friday 1 November 2019. Late applications will not be accepted under any circumstances.

Applications must be submitted electronically with the subject heading ‘CONREP PhD Travel Scholarship’. Applications must to be submitted to:

Dr Margherita Matera
Research Coordinator (CONREP)

Your application must be complete. It must include the application form and all the supporting documentation as outlined in the Checklist. Applications that do not include all the required documentation will not be considered for the scholarship.

Applications will be assessed based on merit and your ability to demonstrate how your participation in the Masterclass and Workshop will significantly contribute to your thesis.

Further information

Please direct any enquiries to Dr Margherita Matera (

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