Graduate research

Why study at CAEPR?

As a university-based research Centre, CAEPR offers students a unique environment in which to undertake research into Indigenous economic and social policy. 

CAEPR students benefit from:

  • The opportunity to work with some of Australia’s research leaders in Indigenous affairs;
  • Excellent facilities, including office space, networked computers and access to the CAEPR library;
  • Funding for field work, training and/or conference attendance; and
  • A supportive environment where students are treated as part of the team and encouraged to collaborate with staff in research projects and publication.

Students also benefit from the Centre’s diverse external links, including:

  • CAEPR’s long track record of working with Indigenous communities;
  • CAEPR’s extensive collaborative research arrangements with Indigenous organisations, Commonwealth agencies, national academies, industry, foundations and other public institutions;
  • CAEPR's active engagement with policy makers, facilitated by the Centre’s strategic location in Canberra;
  • CAEPR’s close research relations with a number of parts of the ANU including the National Centre for Indigenous Studies and the Fenner School of Environment and Society.

What we offer

CAEPR offers Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Masters of Philosophy (MPhil) degrees by research in the areas of Indigenous economic and social policy for full-time or part-time students.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

PhD degrees are expected to submit their thesis for examination within four years (full-time study), or up to eight years part-time. A standard-format thesis is about 80,000 words, and makes a substantial contribution to the relevant scholarly literature, and demonstrates how their research relates to their discipline. It is also possible to submit a PhD in an alternative format (such as a composition, exhibition or other creative work) or by publication upon approval by your supervisory panel and School or Centre.

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

Program duration for MPhil degrees is up to two years full-time and up to four years part-time. An MPhil thesis is normally limited to 60,000 words.

Research areas

Research may be conducted in many areas of Indigenous affairs and through a range of disciplines. Students can undertake research under the supervision of leading scholars in the Centre. Academics in other areas of the University may also supervise research. We encourage students to contact us to find out more about our staff and to discuss potential research projects and supervision requirements.

Research themes

CAEPR is currently engaged in an array of research projects, centring on, but not limited to, seven themes:

  • Indigenous-driven development
  • Land, water and livelihoods
  • Education and learning in dynamic societies
  • Work, production and economy
  • Governance, policy and the state
  • Health, wellbeing and sociocultural change
  • Demography of Indigenous peoples

For more information about CAEPR's current research see Key Research Areas.

Indigenous students

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are strongly encouraged to apply to CAEPR.

The Tjabal Indigenous Higher Education Centre provides a meeting place and support-base for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and staff at ANU.

'Tjabal' means large assembly of groups from widely separated areas. Here you will find Indigenous students and staff strongly committed to improving education outcomes and achieving study and career goals that positively impact our communities.

Support for Indigenous communitites

There are a number of scholarships that ANU offers to empower Indigenous students based on academic excellence. Tjabal encourages ANU Indigenous students to meet with staff to discuss the options available to them.


We encourage you to make contact with the Higher Degree (HDR) Convenor, identify a prospective supervisor and arrange an appointment to visit the Centre. This will provide you with an insight about our people and facilities.

Find out more about applying for an MPhil or PhD with CAEPR in the College of Arts and Social Sciences.

CAEPR student administration contacts

Centre Administration
Phone: (02) 6125 0587 


For further information on graduate study at CAEPR, contact the HDR Convenor, Dr Julie Lahn.




Updated:  15 March 2019/Responsible Officer:  Centre Director/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications