Psychology of charitable giving

Project opportunity

This Earmarked Scholarship project is aligned with a recently awarded Category 1 research grant. It offers you the opportunity to work with leading researchers and contribute to large projects of national significance.

I am recruiting a PhD student to join my Australian Research Council-funded project on the psychology of charitable giving. The core aim of the project is to understand how relationships between donors, beneficiaries, and fundraisers influence donation decisions. The successful candidate will be supervised by Dr Cassandra Chapman and will enroll through the University of Queensland’s School of Business. 

Project detail

The charitable triad: Testing how triadic relationships between donors, beneficiaries, and fundraisers influence charitable giving

This project aims to test a new model of charitable giving to examine how donors, beneficiaries, and fundraisers together influence donor decisions. Until now, no holistic model has existed to explain donor behaviour: past research has focused on donors but neglected beneficiaries and fundraisers. This project is expected to provide evidence for a new bedrock theory of philanthropy. Findings can also inform practitioner toolkits, offering advice to nonprofits on how to raise money effectively by understanding how the particular organisation and its beneficiaries can influence donor decisions. By helping ensure the survival of charities, this research will contribute to the delivery of essential social services that benefit many Australians.

The successful candidate will select a PhD topic related to the themes of this broader project and will have the opportunity to define and lead their own research program. 

Ideal candidate

The successful candidate will have completed undergraduate studies in a relevant field, such as psychology or marketing. The ideal candidate will have training in research methods, quantitative analyses, or psychology and have experience conducting and/or publishing research. Candidates with professional experience working in nonprofit marketing and fundraising will also be considered.

Candidates must meet all the requirements for entry into the PhD program at UQ (

Application process

In the first instance, please submit your CV for consideration with a cover letter outlining why you wish to understake a PhD and why are interested in working on this project. Please direct any enquiries to Dr Cassandra Chapman:  

Scholarship value

As a scholarship recipient, you'll receive: 

  • living stipend of $28,854 per annum tax free (2022 rate), indexed annually
  • tuition fees covered
  • single Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)


Dr Cassandra Chapman

School of Business


Preferred educational background

Your application will be assessed on a competitive basis.

We take into account your

  • previous academic record
  • publication record
  • honours and awards
  • employment history.

A working knowledge of social psychology, nonprofit marketing, or fundraising would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

Latest commencement date

If you are the successful candidate, you must commence by Research Quarter 1, 2023. You should apply at least 3 months prior to the research quarter commencement date.

If you are an international applicant, you may need to apply much earlier for visa requirements.

How to apply

You apply for this project as part of your PhD program application.

View application process