Horizons Program

The Horizons program is an intersectional training program designed to expand the conceptual, spatial, and collaborative horizons of graduate researchers' and their future career trajectories.

About the program

Horizons is a doctoral training program, hosted by the Melbourne Centre for Cities. Through it selected graduate researchers will developed a suite of skills designed to further their postdoctoral careers, building on intersecting disciplines, campuses, sectors and countries.

Each year the Centre will select a cohort of doctoral researchers from across Melbourne to share their research, knowledge and ideas on working across disciplinary, industry and international intersections.

2022 Doctoral Cohort in Session

The Horizons program offers peer-learning opportunities and small group mentoring from high profile academics and urbanists. Participation in the program will involve engagement with internationally focused scholars and organisations, as well as the fostering of critical skills that can inform the development of their own research and equip them in career building. The program will have a particular focus on:

  • expanding participants' understanding of the modes, possibilities and challenges of engagement across intersecting disciplines, sectors and countries when conducting cities research;
  • reviewing the changing landscape of key career development processes for graduate researchers (e.g. overseas fieldwork, conferencing, visiting, joint degrees/supervisions, funding sources, career opportunities beyond academia) and;
  • building an inclusive community of practice and exchange that goes beyond one-directional training and expands the support system available for cities researchers to ‘think intersectionally’ across disciplines, sectors and countries.

2022 Cohort

Our 2022 program was a great success! Click here to meet last year's cohort of 13 brilliant urban researchers from across the University of Melbourne.

2022 Horizons Doctoral Cohort

Time commitment

The Horizons program is a six-month program running from late May to early November 2023 in conjunction with the Centre's City Building series.

What does participation involve? 

  • 2.5 hours attendance at six sessions (once per month)
  • 3 hours independent learning in preparation for each monthly session
  • Participation in a final full day workshop

All sessions will be run in person at the University of Melbourne's Parkville Campus. It is not a requirement to be present for every session. However, regular participation is expected and candidates should only apply if they can attend at least 80% of the program.

There is no cost associated with taking part in the program.

Session details

Participants will attend the City Building series (required) followed a bespoke session which will include: a guided discussion of each of the monthly City Building themes with a focus on the international context and; a practical, skill building activity designed to further embed knowledge and understanding of different concepts.

What are the session times?

Sessions will take place on the first Thursday of every month from June to November 2023:

  • 12:30pm - 1:30pm City Building
  • 2pm - 3:30pm Horizon Program

What topics will be covered?

  • Session 1: Research partnerships
  • Session 2: Writing portfolios
  • Session 3: Grants expertise
  • Session 4: Knowledge exchange
  • Session 5: Conference know-how
  • Session 6: Career trajectories

How to apply

To be considered for the 2023 academy, please complete this form below by 7 May 2023. Successful applicants will be notified within the following fortnight.

Apply for the 2023 academy

Selection Criteria

Applicants must be enrolled in doctoral studies based in Melbourne, and will ideally have completed their doctoral confirmation process (if relevant). Applications will be reviewed by a selection panel appointed by the Melbourne Centre for Cities, who will assess applicants against the following criteria:

  • Does the applicant’s research align with the core aims of the Melbourne Centre for Cities?
  • Has the applicant demonstrated ambition and plans that show a clear interest in engaging intersectionally across disciplines, sectors and/or countries in their research?

In determining successful applications, the Centre will seek to bring together a mix of students from a diverse range of disciplines.

Application Process

Applicants are asked to provide the following information via an online form. We strongly recommend that you prepare your answers offline (in Microsoft Word or similar) and save a copy for your own records.

  • Name, faculty and contact information
  • Thesis title or summation of core research project
  • Research progress and expected completion date / project timeline
  • Principal supervisor's name and contact information / Head of School or Department
  • Research Summary: Please provide a brief summary of your research and key research questions (up to 200 words)
  • Briefly outline how your research topic aligns with the aims of the Melbourne Centre for Cities (up to 200 words)
  • How do you expect your participation in the Horizons program will benefit your research?
  • Briefly outline how you engage across intersecting disciplines, sectors and/or countries in your research (up to 200 words)
  • A current CV (upload attachment)
  • A letter of support from your supervisor, indicating their support for your participation in the program if accepted (upload attachment – a copy of an email is sufficient)