The Cookson Scholars

Embark on a collaborative research project with two of the world's most impactful universities

Established by the University of Melbourne and the University of Manchester in 2019, the Dr Isabel Clifton Cookson Scholars are a collective of international researchers comprised of joint PhD candidates and their supervisors from both universities. Collaborative research teams investigate issues in a variety of areas across the sciences and the humanities.

Candidates who are part of the Cookson Scholars receive an immersive experience alongside a diverse and motivated cohort of researchers. They are mentored by global experts, learn how to adapt to new cultural and research environments, and gain access to the best facilities and resources at both universities.

Our partner: the University of Manchester

The University of Manchester is a leading public research university located in Manchester, the United Kingdom. With roots in the civic university movement of the 19th century, it is today a part of the Russell Group of universities in the UK. Social impact is the core driver of research at the University. It is ranked first in the world in the Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings 2021 and its five research beacons – advanced materials, biotechnology, cancer, energy and global inequalities – are formulated around the world’s most pressing challenges.

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Current opportunities

The Melbourne-Manchester research group is currently recruiting candidates for several Cookson Scholar projects. See these and other International Joint PhD opportunities with the University of Melbourne and our global partners.

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Project spotlight

Creative economy entrepreneurs and market research

The creative economy encompasses industries such as advertising, architecture, the arts, designer fashion, and more. The creative economy is a hotbed of entrepreneurial activity, with many startups in the field finding great success. However, as a whole, failure rates for new ventures in the creative economy remain high. This is the case despite the heavy use of market research and market validation methods amongst entrepreneurs in this field. After all, proving that customers want your product is a fundamental principle of entrepreneurship. But why is this the case? This project aims to understand how creative economy entrepreneurs and corporate innovators use (and omit) market research in the creative economy.

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Image of Isabel Clifton Cookson with a companion in her office

About Isabel Clifton Cookson

Dr Isabel Clifton Cookson (1893-1973) was a pioneering Australian palaeobotanist. She received her first-class honours in biology and zoology from the University of Melbourne. After graduating she received a government research scholarship to study flora in the Northern Territory, and then travelled to England to work alongside Professor Lang, a specialist in fossil plants at the University of Manchester.

During her 58-year career she authored and co-authored 93 scientific publications, and her papers on fossil plants are said to have helped to shape theories of early plant evolution.

Meet our academic lead

Dr Suzie Sheehy is the academic lead of the Melbourne and Manchester Graduate Research Group. She is a physicist, academic and science communicator based at the University of Melbourne, where she is a Senior Lecturer in Accelerator Physics and at the University of Oxford, where she holds a Royal Society University Research Fellowship. Dr Sheehy’s research focuses on developing new particle accelerators for future applications in areas such as medicine and energy.

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Explore Cookson Scholar projects currently underway

First published on 31 March 2022.

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