PhD Scholarship Opportunity: Access to screen culture in an algorithmic age

About the project

During the course of their PhD, the candidate will drive a research project that investigates how the use of algorithms in search and recommendation systems affect the discoverability of content, including:

  • long tail and back catalogue content
  • on subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services
  • internet platforms.

The project will explore how digital tools can be developed and used to study the impacts of search and recommendation systems, and examine the regulatory options that might be used to address potential problems in the discoverability of culturally or socially important content.

This project examines how automation, digital distribution, and intellectual property laws shape the reach and diversity of our culture. It studies how streaming video-on-demand services, like Netflix and Stan, are changing:

  • what screen content gets produced
  • what historical cultural material is available
  • what is recommended and made visible
  • whose voices are heard.

These decisions are increasingly informed by data about what consumers are watching, which in turn is influenced by what titles are recommended and made visible.

The project considers how the high costs and complex logistics of screen production and distribution can be reconciled with the public goal of broad, affordable and sustained availability of audio-visual content that represents the full diversity of Australia’s people and cultures. It aims to provide rigorous evidence to inform the development of technology-neutral regulation for Australia’s copyright industries, improve copyright licensing markets, and unlock the value of under-distributed screen content.

The PhD project will be seated within the wider context of an ARC funded project (DE210200525) that examines the impact of copyright law in Australia’s screen industries, focusing on distribution and access to audio-visual material.

Click here for full information and details on how to apply.



The successful candidate will be working under the direct supervision of Dr Kylie Pappalardo in the School of Law. The candidate will be based within the vibrant research cultures of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society and QUT’s Digital Media Research Centre.