Curtain University offers the PhD scholarship at the Future of Work Institute on Compensation in the 2022/2023 academic session.

The scholarships are funded through an Australian Research Council Discovery Project Grants entitled “To use or not to use financial incentives for motivation and performance”. The research team is led by Professor Marylene Gagne and the recipients will be based at the Future of Work Institute.

For decades, compensation experts have advocated for the use of financial incentives to motivate work performance, yet organisations keep encountering performance issues caused by these incentives. Using agency, expectancy, and self-determination theory, this research will help uncover the most important motivational mechanisms that explain how financial incentives influence performance. Given that compensation accounts for an important proportion of an organisation’s operating expenses and that employee engagement is on the decline around the world, this research will provide a strong empirical basis to develop more effective compensation systems.


The recipients will be using different methods, including meta-analysis, experiments, and field studies, to find evidence for the motivational mechanisms responsible for the effects of incentives on performance, well-being, and moral disengagement.

Worth of Award

The scholarship provides a living stipend of $28,106 p. a. indexed annually for a period of three years based on full-time studies.

  • A top up scholarship of $10,000 p. a. for up to 3 years.
  • An internal nomination for a tuition fee waiver for a successful international candidate.
  • A support package which includes a laptop, project-related travel allowance and project costs allowance
  • A rich and dynamic work environment where you will work alongside world leading academics and highly motivated researchers and PhD students on projects of international significance
  • Outstanding opportunities to engage with industry and make a real difference to people’s lives
  • Opportunities to undertake paid Research Assistant roles and internships
  • Weekly development workshops
  • A dynamic city-based location
  • A fantastic lifestyle – Perth is one of the most liveable cities in the world


The successful candidate must meet the minimum academic entry requirement for admission into the Doctor of Philosophy program including the English proficiency levels set by Curtin University.

The successful candidates will have (required):

  • Bachelor’s degree in psychology or in business/management (or closely related discipline) with First Class Honours; OR
  • Master’s degree in psychology or in business/management (or closely related discipline) with a weighted average minimum 70% and at least 25% of the course completed as a thesis/dissertation.
  • An interest in organizational psychology and particularly work motivation.

Additionally, strong candidates will have (desirable):

  • Experience in survey and experimental research methods used in psychology.
  • Knowledge and experience of psychometric and statistical methods including factor analysis, regression analysis, latent variable models, longitudinal analyses, and analysis of variance.
  • Experience in field organizational research and in experimental research.
  • Relevant work experience.
  • Presentations of research work at conferences and peer-reviewed publications.

How to Apply

To apply, please email an expression of interest to Professor Gagné ([email protected]) with:

  • Unofficial copies of University transcripts for all completed degrees (official transcripts will be required for retained candidates)
  • Copy of Honours/masters thesis/theses
  • Curriculum vitae with details on any relevant work experience
  • A brief covering letter (no more than 2 sides A4) that addresses the eligibility criteria. The letter should explain why you are interested in the project and how your skills, attributes and experience make you a good candidate for the award.
  • Contact details of two academic referees (at least one of whom was a thesis supervisor).
  • Conference presentations or peer-reviewed articles if available.


Deadline: Applications are accepted all year


Click here for more details and to apply