Research Scholarships

Scholarships offered through the Graduate School at Southern Cross University are underpinned by three key factors.

Graduate School scholarships form part of Southern Cross University’s overall suite of scholarships  – including many postgraduate scholarships  – offered thanks to our generous private donors, government and industry groups, other stakeholders, and the University itself.

Man in lab coat conducting research in plant science laboratory

Domestic and international stipend scholarships providing a living allowance to HDR students recognised for their certain criteria.

Applications for the Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) for 2021 have now closed. 


Information: Australian Government RTP Scholarships Information to Applicants

Read more about this scholarship

Young football players contest a ball during a night game

Southern Cross University and Rise Coffs Harbour are offering a fully-funded PhD scholarship in youth football. We are seeking a dedicated, passionate, and highly motivated individual who has the skills to bridge the gap between research and practice

Closing date: Until the position is filled
Contact: Dr Kyle Bennett
Email: Kyle.Bennett@scu.edu.au

Read more about this scholarship

Image of heat Chamber researcher with participant on bike.

Southern Cross University, in collaboration with Prof Corneel Vandelanotte at Central Queensland University, is offering a fully funded PhD scholarship in goal-setting for physical activity promotion. We are seeking an outstanding and highly motivated individual to lead a program of research on this topic and develop research collaborations between both organisations.

Closing date: Until position is filled
Contact: Dr Christian Swann
Email: christian.swann@scu.edu.au 

Read more about this scholarship

Southern Cross University is offering a PhD scholarship to determine the drivers and rates of methane flux from freshwater wetland forests and will employ cutting-edge techniques, including portable greenhouse gas analysers and use of isotopic signatures.

Closing date: Until the position is filled
Contact:  Professor Damien Maher
Email: damien.maher@scu.edu.au

Read more about this scholarship

Human remains - teeth and jaw

Southern Cross University, in collaboration with Agilent technologies ®, is offering a fully funded PhD scholarship to work in the field of archaeo-geochemistry, in particular improving our understanding of hominid exposomes using LA-ICPMS/LA-MC-ICPMS on fossil remains. 

Closing Date: Until position is filled
Contact: Associate Professor Renaud Joannes-Boyau
Email: renaud.joannes-boyau@scu.edu.au

Read more about this scholarship

Lead a program of research on the topic of mental health and develop research collaboration between the lead organisations.

Closing date: Until position is filled
Contact: Dr Chris Stevens 
Email: christopher.stevens@scu.edu.au

Read more about this scholarship

Southern Cross University currently seeking two PhD candidates to work on developing new technologies for transforming the organic residues from red meat processing into soil amendment products that can promote soil nutrient storage, improve plant growth, and actively mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. These projects are guided by principles of the circular economy and are part of a new initiative to promote sustainability in regional food production.

Closing date: Unitl the position is filled
Contact: Associate Professor Dirk Erler
Email: dirk.erler@scu.edu.au 

Read more about this scholarship

Passionfruit Alstonville plant

Southern Cross University is offering a fully funded PhD scholarship in passionfruit breeding and evaluation.  Passionfruit (Passiflora edulis) is cultivated commercially in subtropical and tropical regions of Australia to produce fresh fruit for domestic markets.The growing industry is based on scion varieties that have been clonally propagated for over a decade and are experiencing declines in fruit size and yield

Closing date: Until the position is filled
Contact: Dr Catherine Nock 
Email: cathy.nock@scu.edu.au 

Read more about this scholarship

Southern Cross University is offering a tuition fee waiver to study Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare Management.

Closing date: Until position is filled
Contact: Professor Darshana Sedera
Email: darshana.sedera@scu.edu.au 

Read more about this scholarship

Crown of Thorns

Southern Cross University is offering a PhD scholarship to examine how the response of the Crown-of-Thorns Starfish (COTS) to climate change is influenced by what they eat. The candidate will work to generate new knowledge about one of the most important threats to coral reefs, while also gaining skills and experience useful for a career working in or near the oceans.

Closing date:  Until position is filled
Contact: Dr Benjamin Mos
Email: benjamin.mos@scu.edu.au 

Read more about this scholarship

This project is part of the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program (RRAP), a large-scale collaborative research and development program to develop, test and assess innovative interventions to enhance reef resilience and sustain ecological functions and values. 

Closing date: 11 July, 2021 
Contact: Professor Bradley Eyre
Email: bradley.eyre@scu.edu.au

Read more about this scholarship


Australian Government Research Training Program

Each year, the Australian Government Research Training Program provides scholarship funding to universities to support domestic and international Higher Degree Research (HDR) candidates.

Australian Government Research Training Program Domestic and International Stipend Scholarships - are now closed.

Under the administration of the Graduate School, Southern Cross University offers Higher Degrees by Research candidates the opportunity to apply for scholarships under the Australian Government Research Training Program.

Each year, these domestic and international stipend scholarships provide a living allowance for HDR students recognised for their academic merit, research experience and/or research potential.

Scholarships available

Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Domestic Stipend Scholarships

The Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Stipend Scholarship provides a living allowance of AU$28,597 per annum, (2021 rate indexed annually) tax-free, paid in fortnightly instalments.

Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) International Tuition Fee Offset and Stipend Scholarships

The Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) International Fee Offset and Stipend Scholarships are available to international applicants only. This provides a living allowance of AU$28,597 per annum (2021 rate indexed annually) and a Tuition Fee Offset. Students must be enrolled as full-time, on-campus for the duration of their candidature.

For further information: 

It is important you read:

This to ensure your eligibility to apply and that when submitting the application you supply the necessary supporting documentation.

Click for further information on Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarships.


Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research)

Through the Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) and administered by the Graduate School, Southern Cross University oversees a number of other postgraduate scholarship options. All Scholarships applications need to be assessed and approved by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) and the Dean, Graduate Studies. For an overview of industry schemes/main funding sources from which our industry partners can leverage, please see Overview of Industry Schemes.  Please see available scholarships below. Or for more information email hdrscholarships@scu.edu.au

Lady sitting down reading a book and smiling

Background

Southern Cross University and Rise Coffs Harbour are offering a fully-funded PhD scholarship in youth football. We are seeking a dedicated, passionate, and highly motivated individual who has the skills to bridge the gap between research and practice. The PhD will challenge the current football landscape through shifting the focus from short-term performance outcomes to long-term development, with a specific emphasis on promoting positive mental health outcomes and life skills. The project will focus on RISE Coffs Harbour, which is an emerging community academy that offers scholarships to all their players to cover the costs of participation, which opposes the current pay to play model in youth football. Importantly, their approach allows players from diverse and often disadvantaged socioeconomic, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds to contest selection and receive access to high-quality coaching and support services. We expect that the successful applicant will shape the research project in line with the expertise of the supervisory team and the interests of RISE Coffs Harbour.

Applicants are welcome to contact Dr Kyle Bennett (Kyle.Bennett@scu.edu.au) for an informal discussion about the opportunity.

Eligibility

The scholarship is open to Australian and New Zealand citizens only. The successful applicant will need to meet the entry requirements to enrol in a PhD at Southern Cross University on a full-time basis. The applicant will require an Honours or Masters degree in Sport and Exercise Science or Psychology with a focus on talent identification and development, long-term athletic development, youth athletes, skill acquisition, sports coaching, or sports psychology to be eligible. It is essential that the applicant is culturally competent and can demonstrate community connectedness. It is also desirable that the applicant has knowledge of youth football in Australia and has some experience working in an academy setting either as a coach, sporting professional, or intern.

Location

The successful applicant will complete their PhD at the Coffs Harbour campus of Southern Cross University. We expect they will also attend RISE Coffs Harbour training sessions as part of their service to the academy program.

How to apply

Please send the following documents in one PDF file to healthhdr@scu.edu.au:

  • Cover letter detailing your interests and suitability for the scholarship (1 page)
  • Curriculum vitae (2 pages)
  • Degree transcript and certificate
  • Relevant research items (e.g. publications/theses)

Please quote RISE Coffs Harbour PhD Scholarship in the subject line of the email.

We will notify you of your expression of interest outcome by email after the closing date. We will contact you if we shortlist you to invite you to attend an interview over Zoom with two members of the supervisory team and one representative from RISE Coffs Harbour.

The successful candidate will receive a PhD stipend for a 3-year duration at the Australian Research Training Program rate (2020 = 28,092 per year), which is indexed annually.

Closing date: Until position is filled

Interviews: TBC

PhD on goal-setting for physical activity promotion: what works best for insufficiently active individuals?

School of Health and Human Sciences, Southern Cross University, Coffs Harbour, Australia

Primary Supervisor: Dr Christian Swann

Background: Southern Cross University, in collaboration with Prof Corneel Vandelanotte at Central Queensland University, is offering a fully funded PhD scholarship in goal-setting for physical activity promotion. We are seeking an outstanding and highly motivated individual to lead a program of research on this topic and develop research collaborations between both organisations.

This scholarship represents an opportunity to complete a PhD and conduct a program of research on goal-setting for physical activity promotion, building on recent publications including:

Updating Goal Setting Theory in Physical Activity Promotion: a critical conceptual review

Do we need to reconsider best practice in goal setting for physical activity promotion

Specifically, this PhD will compare multiple approaches to goal-setting within the delivery of step-count based physical activity programs in insufficiently active adults. The PhD will focus on identifying the most effective goal type(s) to assist these individuals in becoming more active using a web-based program and/or wearables. Ultimately, this work intends to provide guidance on how best to set goals for physical activity promotion, in terms of increasing step count and optimising psychological factors such as enjoyment and motivation.

Applicants are welcome to contact Dr Christian Swann (christian.swann@scu.edu.au) for an informal discussion about this opportunity.

Eligibility: This scholarship is open to Australian and New Zealand citizens. The successful applicant will need to meet the entry requirements to enrol in a PhD at Southern Cross University on a full-time basis, including a second-class Honours or above in Psychology or Sport and Exercise Science.

Although not essential, the following are desirable: (1) background in exercise science and/or physical activity promotion; (2) interest in the psychology of goal-setting and motivation; (3) interest in technology-based interventions and wearable fitness devices; and (4) excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

Location: The successful applicant will be based in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales.

How to apply:  Please send your CV (2 pages max), a cover letter explaining your interest in and suitability for this scholarship (1 page), degree transcripts/certificates, details of two referees, and any other relevant research documents (e.g., publications/theses) in one PDF file via email to: christian.swann@scu.edu.au Please quote the PhD title in the subject line of the email.

  1. Outcome of expression of interest: You will be notified of the outcome of your expression of interest by email after the closing date.
  2. Invitation to attend an interview: If your expression of interest is shortlisted, you will be invited to attend an interview. Further details about the interview will be provided in the invitation. Interviews will take place online via Zoom.

The successful candidate will receive a PhD stipend for a 3 year duration at the Australian Research Training Program rate (the 2021 rate is $28,597 per year, indexed annually).

Closing Date: Until position is filled 

Interviews:  (TBA)

Seeking fully-funded 3-year PhD candidate to investigate methane emissions from Australian wetland trees

Southern Cross University is offering a PhD scholarship to investigate methane emissions from Australian wetland trees

Project Description

Wetlands are among earth’s most efficient ecosystems for carbon sequestration, yet this capacity can be offset by emission of methane (CH4). Recent research indicates that wetland trees can be an important pathway for methane emissions in some systems (1). Various aspects of this pathway are largely unquantified and there are many dimensions that remain relatively unknown (2). Hence, this emerging topic has considerable scope for significant new discoveries (3-7).

This project involves determining the drivers and rates of methane flux from freshwater wetland forests and will employ cutting-edge techniques, including portable greenhouse gas analysers and use of isotopic signatures. Investigations will include exploring the spatial, temporal and seasonal CH4 dynamics of tree-stems with a view to furthering our understanding of key processes, drivers and their overall significance in methane budgets.

We are offering an opportunity for an excellent PhD candidate to work with Professor Damien Maher, Professor Scott Gregory Johnston and Dr Luke Jeffrey on this innovative project that will explore tree-mediated methane emission in Australian forests. The successful student would be part of a vibrant research group located in subtropical Australia (Lismore) and supported by a 3 year Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant (DP210100096). Candidates will undertake / participate in both field-based investigations and controlled laboratory-based studies in a variety of Australian forest types under varied seasonal conditions.

Expressions of Interest are invited from outstanding and enthusiastic graduates with a first-class honours degree or Masters degree or equivalent in Environmental Geochemistry.

  • The applicant’s qualifications should include experience studying environmental systems via field experiments, ideally with some experience using automated greenhouse gas analysers.
  • Very high degree of proficiency in both written and spoken English (strict criteria apply for non-native English speakers).
  • Experience in collecting field data and capacity to undertake independent fieldwork.
  • The applicant’s academic background must be strong enough to qualify her/him for a scholarship, stipend and fee (tuition) waiver.

Funding Notes

Successful candidates will be offered a full-time PhD position and the project includes scholarship at the Australian Research Training Program rate; (the 2021 rate is $28,597 per year, indexed annually), fee-waiver and an additional stipend to cover research costs of up to $5000 AUD pa will be available. Contingent on satisfactory performance, this will be extended to a total period of 3 years. Applications must include a CV, academic grade transcripts, copies of previous research outputs and a cover letter outlining a summary of your research experience, your reasons for wanting to do a PhD and information on how your skills will be relevant to the project.

Please enquire to Professor Damien Maher (Damien.maher@scu.edu.au)

PhD Scholarship in Archaeo-geochemistry: ISOTOPES AND TRACE ELEMENT IN HUMAN REMAINS

Primary Supervisor: Associate Professor Renaud Joannes-Boyau

Background: Southern Cross University, in collaboration with Agilent technologies ®, is offering a fully funded PhD scholarship to work in the field of archaeo-geochemistry, in particular improving our understanding of hominid exposomes using LA-ICPMS/LA-MC-ICPMS on fossil remains. The PhD will contain both robust methodological and palaeoanthropological components. Several projects are available and shortlisted candidates will be offered specific projects, depending on skills and interests. We welcome candidate with particular human evolution interest to develop their own PhD proposal.

This scholarship represents an opportunity to complete a PhD and conduct a program of research on isotopes and trace element analytical research in human remains

The PhD student will work alongside scientists from Australia, USA, Germany, France, China and/or South Africa depending on the research topic, and who will contribute and provide guidance on characterisation techniques, trace element and isotopic analyses, dental anatomy, and/or human evolution.

The PhD candidate will be based in Australia, at Southern Cross University Lismore campus, (Northern NSW, close to Byron Bay), in the Faculty of Science and Engineering and will be part of the Geoarchaeology and Archaeometry Research Group

Eligibility: The position is open to all domestic applicants and international applicants currently based in Australia. International applicants currently based overseas are welcomed to apply, however, current Australian Government border restrictions may impact on their application. The successful applicant will need to meet the entry requirements to enrol in a PhD at Southern Cross University on a full-time basis, including a BSc (Hons, 2nd class or above) or a MSc degree with a research component, in either Earth science, (geo)chemistry, environmental science or related fields.

Ideally, candidates will have some experience in geochemistry and either knowledge or a strong interest to work on human/primate evolution problematic. Candidate with experience with LA-CIPMS or Multicollector ICPMS from a different field of research such as medical geochemistry or related field are also strongly encourage to apply. Candidates with experience with matlab, R or similar packages is a plus.

Location: The successful applicant will be based in Lismore, New South Wales.

How to apply:  Please send your CV (2 pages max), a cover letter explaining your interest in and suitability for this scholarship (1 page), degree transcripts/certificates, details of two referees, and any other relevant research documents (e.g., publications/theses) in one PDF file via email to: renaud.joannes-boyau@scu.edu.au Please quote the PhD title in the subject line of the email.

  1. Outcome of expression of interest: You will be notified of the outcome of your expression of interest by email after the closing date.
  2. Invitation to attend an interview: If your expression of interest is shortlisted, you will be invited to attend an interview. Further details about the interview will be provided in the invitation. Interviews will take place online via Zoom.

The successful candidate will receive a PhD stipend for a 3 year duration at the Australian Research Training Program rate (the 2021 rate is $28,597 per year, indexed annually).

Closing Date: Until position is filled 

Interviews:  (TBA)

PhD examining the mental health benefits of increasing physical activity in the context of cancer treatment

Project: Southern Cross University and the Mid North Coast Cancer Institute in collaboration with Mid North Coast Physiotherapy are offering a fully-funded PhD scholarship in the mental health benefits of increasing physical activity in the context of cancer treatment. We are seeking an outstanding and highly motivated individual to lead a program of research on this topic and develop research collaboration between the lead organisations.

This scholarship represents an opportunity to complete a PhD and conduct research in mental health and physical activity. Specifically, this PhD will examine the benefits of multidisciplinary support (physiotherapy, exercise physiology and mental health) for individuals undergoing treatment for cancer and their carers. The project is built around Mid North Coast Physiotherapy’s "Can-Ex" initiative: an 8-week group exercise program, designed and run by an exercise physiologist targeting the physical and mental wellbeing of people who care for a loved-one currently undergoing treatment for cancer. The Can-Ex program is designed to increase physical activity and improve mental health outcomes (e.g. body composition, fitness and mood, confidence, self-esteem, motivation, wellbeing, self-empowerment). Moreover, early evidence indicates significant benefits of the program in terms of social connectivity and interpersonal support, resulting in significant quality of life benefits for individuals undergoing cancer treatment and their carers. The goals of this PhD will be to evaluate and build upon the strengths of the current program, with a view to providing the evidence required to embed a physical fitness intervention within the current treatment-as-usual for people impacted by cancer and their carers.

This PhD project will take a multipronged approach to identify the most effective ways to assist patients and carers in becoming active, with physical activity being a highly modifiable factor for the improvement of overall wellbeing and building social connectivity. Furthermore, the project will investigate barriers for patients and carers in commencing an exercise program and investigate a number of approaches to improve referral, initiation and adherence to the program. Finally, the project will focus on identifying the psychological benefits of the program and investigate the impacts of supplementing the physical training components with motivational interviewing and mental health support.

Applicants are welcome to contact Dr Chris Stevens for an informal discussion about this opportunity.

Eligibility: This scholarship is open to Australian and New Zealand citizens. The successful applicant will need to meet the entry requirements to enrol in a PhD at Southern Cross University on a full-time basis, including a second-class Honours or above in Psychology or Sport and Exercise Science.

Although not essential, the following are desirable:

  1. Interest in exercise psychology, exercise science and/or physical activity promotion
  2. Interest in, or experience with exercise prescription and delivery - especially group fitness
  3. Excellent communication and interpersonal personal skills.

Location: The successful applicant will be based in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, and will spend time at both Southern Cross University and the Mid North Coast Physiotherapy Clinics. The time at each organisation will be dictated by the needs and stage of the project, but initially, it is expected that 4 days are spent at Southern Cross University and 1 day is spent at Mid North Coast Physiotherapy, per week.

How to apply: Send your CV (2 pages max), a cover letter explaining your interest in and suitability for this scholarship (1 page), degree transcripts/certificates, details of two referees, and any other relevant research documents (e.g. publications/theses) in one PDF file via email to Christopher.Stevens@scu.edu.au

Please quote the PhD title in the subject line of the email.

  1. Outcome of expression of interest: You will be notified of the outcome of your expression of interest by email after the closing date.
  2. Invitation to attend an interview: If your expression of interest is shortlisted, you will be invited to attend an interview. Further details about the interview will be provided in the invitation. Interviews will take place online via Zoom.

The successful candidate will receive a PhD stipend for a 3-year duration at the Australian Research Training Program rate (the 2021 rate is $28,597 per year, indexed annually).

 

Closing Date: Until position is filled.

Interviews: TBA

Southern Cross University currently seeking two PhD candidates to work on developing new technologies for transforming the organic residues from red meat processing into soil amendment products that can promote soil nutrient storage, improve plant growth, and actively mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. These projects are guided by principles of the circular economy and are part of a new initiative to promote sustainability in regional food production.

Project details

One PhD project will look at the influence of the amendments on soil nutrient biogeochemistry, and the other will focus on understanding the effects of the amendments on soil greenhouse gas dynamics. Candidates will be expected to contribute to the design and implementation of their projects, and lead publications arising from their work. Both projects will involve lab and field work (often intensive and sometimes in remote areas), as well as active engagement with regional food processers. The appointed students will be trained in cutting edge analytical techniques including stable isotope tracing, laser spectroscopy, numerical modeling, and molecular characterisation. Applicants must have an Honours or Master degree, undertaken in English, in a scientific discipline, and must be currently based in Australia. 

The candidates will be based in the Centre for Coastal Biogeochemistry at Southern Cross University (Australia). Southern Cross University received the highest rank of 5.0 in the most recent national research excellence assessment. The university is nationally and internationally recognised for its stable isotope and greenhouse gas capability.

Scholarship details and application information

Scholarships provide a tax-free annual stipend for a 3-year duration at the Australian Research Training Program rate; the 2021 rate is $28,597 per year,(indexed annually). Interested applicants should send a CV and short (< 1 page) statement highlighting their research background, and interests in this field, to Dr Dirk Erler  dirk.erler@scu.edu.au. The closing date for applications is until the position is filled. Starting date is ideally 1st July 2021 but can be extended. Only applicants currently residing in Australia will be considered.

About the region

Southern Cross University is based in Lismore, northern NSW, Australia (near Byron Bay). The region is a great place to live with a sub-tropical climate, some the best beaches and surfing in the world, plus great fishing, scuba diving and wilderness areas. The quality of life is high and the cost of living relatively low.

PhD scholarship: Evaluation and selection of passionfruit germplasm for breeding new commercial varieties

This PhD position will be based within the Southern Cross Plant Science research centre, at Southern Cross University’s Lismore campus in eastern Australia.

Background: Southern Cross University is offering a fully funded PhD scholarship in passionfruit breeding and evaluation.  Passionfruit (Passiflora edulis) is cultivated commercially in subtropical and tropical regions of Australia to produce fresh fruit for domestic markets. The growing industry is based on scion varieties that have been clonally propagated for over a decade and are experiencing declines in fruit size and yield. The central goal of the National Passionfruit Breeding and Evaluation Program, managed by Southern Cross University, is to develop new high-yielding varieties with improved agronomic traits that meet consumer demands.

In this project, estimated breeding values based on important traits will be used to optimise the selection of parents and develop an improved system for selecting new varieties. Diverse germplasm from breeding populations, an arboretum and seed bank will be utilised for breeding, evaluation and selection of promising new genotypes with the potential to revitalise the Australian passionfruit industry.

Activities: A unique collection of passionfruit accessions will be characterised to guide the selection of parents for breeding to develop potential replacement varieties for the Australian passionfruit industry.

The work will include:

  • A critical review of existing relevant peer-reviewed scientific literature
  • Identifying important traits and phenotyping methods for trait measurement
  • Developing a breeding goal
  • Estimation of breeding values to optimise parental crosses
  • Assessing molecular genetic variation in Australian germplasm
  • Assessment of genetic variation and potential of breeding for fruit shelf life
  • Travel for fieldwork

The successful candidate will be part of a vibrant research group focusing on plant breeding and genetics.  This research opportunity will contribute to an existing Hort Innovation project and will involve industry collaboration.

What is required: The ideal candidate is highly motivated for scientific research in plant breeding and genetics. The successful applicant will need to meet the entry requirements to enrol in a PhD at Southern Cross University on a full-time basis, including a second-class Honours degree (or above) or a MSc degree (or equivalent) in biological or agricultural sciences. Excellent knowledge of spoken and written English as well as excellent communication and team skills are expected. A valid driver’s licence is required. The position is open to all domestic applicants and international applicants currently based in Australia. 

What is being offered: Successful candidates will be offered a PhD stipend (for a 3-year duration at the Australian Research Training Program rate; the 2021 rate is $28,597 per year, indexed annually), plus a tuition fee-waiver and an additional stipend to cover research costs.

International candidates currently based in Australia are eligible to apply, however, if successful the candidate will need to fund their own application fees for any required visa and overseas health cover insurance expenses.

How to apply: Applicants are asked to submit an expression of interest, which must include a CV, copies of previous research outputs and a cover letter outlining a summary of your research experience, your reasons for wanting to do a PhD and information on how your skills will be relevant to the project (email to cathy.nock@scu.edu.au). This project aims to officially start in the second quarter of 2021, but there is some flexibility with the exact starting date (upon mutual agreement). Applications will remain open until filled in 2021.

Applicants are welcome to contact Dr Catherine Nock (cathy.nock@scu.edu.au) for an informal discussion and any further information about this opportunity.

Invitation to attend an interview: If your expression of interest is shortlisted, you will be invited to attend an interview. Further details about the interview will be provided in the invitation.

Southern Cross University is seeking enthusiastic students for their doctoral research on Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare Management. The positions will be based in Southern Cross University’s Gold Coast Campus, in Queensland, Australia. Up to three full-time PhD places are available to start in 2021-2022.

Background: This research is designed to explore the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in managing healthcare.  With the increasing potential of AI technologies, healthcare management has been offered substantial opportunities to improve its efficiency, effectiveness, and efficacy. For example, the current circumstances related to COVID-19 demonstrated the wide-spread applicability of AI capabilities in a range of circumstances, including AI‐assisted analysis and modelling helping to reconstruct the progression of an outbreak, predict transmission pathways, trace contacts, and determine impacts of various public health control measures. On the other hand, the use of AI raises increasing concerns from general public, industry and regulatory bodies. Issues of trust and transparency in data-driven and automated decision support are still to be consistently measured and validated for fairness and effectiveness. Similarly, anecdotal commentary suggests that low user acceptance and high degree of resistance for AI-led solutions in the healthcare sector from its primary stakeholders such as clinicians and nurses. The projects are designed to utilise both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to understand, evaluate current issues, mechanisms and procedures and future engagement models relating to AI in managing healthcare better.

Topics of interest include (but, not limited to);

  • Confidence and trust in AI-led decision making
  • AI and managing multi-stakeholder viewpoints in healthcare
  • AI readiness in healthcare workforce and organisations
  • Responsible AI use in healthcare management
  • Increasing AI-led engagement of public healthcare
  • Impact of AI in healthcare sector

Activities: The selected PhD candidates will receive a unique opportunity to engage with a range of industry partners in healthcare management and AI. The successful candidate will be part of a vibrant inter-disciplinary research group that includes researchers from management, information systems and health.  

The work will include:

  • A critical review of existing relevant peer-reviewed scientific literature
  • Conducting case studies on the utility of AI in healthcare management
  • Developing management frameworks and theories for impactful use of AI in healthcare management
  • Travel for fieldwork

What is required: The ideal candidate is highly motivated for scientific business research in the broad topic of digital business transformation. The successful applicant will need to meet the entry requirements to enrol in a PhD at Southern Cross University on a full-time basis, including a second-class Honours degree (or above) or a relevant research masters degree in business, information systems, healthcare management or computer science. Excellent knowledge of spoken and written English as well as excellent communication and team skills are expected. The position is open to both domestic and international applicants currently based in Australia. International applicants currently based overseas are welcomed to apply, however, current Australian Government border restrictions may impact their application.

What is being offered: Successful candidates will be offered a tuition fee waiver and additional funding of up to $10,000 to support research activities.

International candidates are eligible to apply, however, if successful the successful candidate will need to fund their own travel to Australia to commence studies, application fees for any required visa and overseas health cover insurance expenses.

How to apply: Applicants are asked to submit an expression of interest, which must include a short video of the proposed topic of less than 3 mins, a detailed CV, copies of previous research outputs (email to Professor Darshana Sedera at darshana.sedera@scu.edu.au). This project aims to officially start in the last quarter of 2021, but there is some flexibility with the exact starting date (upon mutual agreement). Applications will remain open until filled in 2021.

Applicants are welcome to contact Professor Darshana Sedera (darshana.sedera@scu.edu.au) for an informal discussion and any further information about this opportunity.

Invitation to attend an interview: If your expression of interest is shortlisted, you will be invited to attend an interview. Further details about the interview will be provided in the invitation.

Southern Cross University is offering a PhD scholarship to examine how the response of the Crown-of-Thorns Starfish (COTS) to climate change is influenced by what they eat. The candidate will work to generate new knowledge about one of the most important threats to coral reefs, while also gaining skills and experience useful for a career working in or near the oceans.

Project details: The PhD project will examine how diet influences the response of the larvae of COTS and other invertebrates to climate change. The candidate will contribute to the design and implementation of their project, lead publications arising from their work, and assist in communicating research findings to stakeholders and the public. The project will be primarily lab based, with potential for field work, locally or in remote areas. The candidate will interact with a team of ocean change researchers based at Australian and international universities, with opportunities for network building and collaboration. The candidate will undertake training in modern analytical techniques, such as potentiometric titration, linear and non-linear statistical modelling, and fatty acid extraction and quantification. The candidate will also gain practical skills in the culture of microalgae and the larvae of marine invertebrates.  

Applicants must have a research Masters or Honours degree (ideally 1st class), undertaken in English, in a scientific discipline. Only applicants currently residing in Australia will be considered.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are strongly encouraged to apply. Southern Cross University is committed to supporting students from diverse backgrounds in a culturally safe workplace.

The candidate will be based at the National Marine Science Centre at Southern Cross University (Coffs Harbour, Australia). The university is internationally recognised for its world-leading research in the fields of fisheries and oceanography and has a strong marine climate change focus. Coffs Harbour is on the idyllic northern coast of New South Wales. It has a sub-tropical climate with great surfing, fishing, and diving, and easy access to Gondwana rainforest and wilderness areas.

Scholarship details: Scholarships provide a tax-free annual stipend for a 3-year duration at the Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) rate. The 2021 rate is $28,597 per year (indexed annually).

Application information: Interested applicants should submit an expression of interest, which must include a CV, copies of previous research outputs, contact details for two referees, and a short statement (< 1 page) highlighting your research background, interests in the topic, and reasons for wanting to do a PhD, to Dr Benjamin Mos benjamin.mos@scu.edu.au. Applications are open until position is filled.  This project aims to officially start in the third quarter of 2021, but there is some flexibility with the exact starting date (upon mutual agreement).

Invitation to attend an interview: If your expression of interest is shortlisted, you may be invited to attend an interview. Further details about the interview will be provided in the invitation.

Biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) emissions from coral reefs under stress

Biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) are trace gases of biological origin that play a key role in earth system processes. There are two principal aspects relating to climate change and BVOCs: (1) the potential influence of BVOC’s on regional and global climate, and (2) the potential influence of a changing climate on the production of BVOCs, an inter-reliance which is well illustrated on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR).

Coral reefs are considered potential hotspots for BVOC emissions due to their high biological productivity, temperature and light, but little is known about the amount or forms of BVOCs emitted, and the mechanisms underlying their production. BVOCs can all act as precursors of secondary organic aerosols, essential for particle nucleation and the production of cloud condensation nuclei, which seed cloud droplets and influence the properties including the albedo (reflectivity) of low-level clouds, potentially playing a role in regulating climate.

The production of BVOCs by coral reefs is also a poorly understood potential feedback mechanism in coral bleaching episodes. Some studies have suggested that production of BVOCs by the GBR may help to down-regulate solar irradiance and sea surface temperatures, mitigating against bleaching, while others argue this effect may not be significant, or exist at all. Compounding this ongoing debate, changes to BVOCs production as a result of warming and associated coral bleaching (and other stressors such as light and ocean acidification) in the Great Barrier Reef remain almost completely unquantified.

One of the major problems with BVOC research on coral reefs to-date is that seawater BVOC samples are collected in a bottle and then analysed back in the laboratory. This limits the number of BVOCs measured, and the quality, and temporal resolution, of the data. This project will overcome these previous limitations by using a transportable Equilibrator Inlet Proton Transfer Reaction Mass Spectrometer to make in situ, high-precision, high-temporal-resolution measurements of the full spectrum of BVOCs in coral reef systems. As such, it will make significant advances in quantifying and understanding the mechanisms of BVOCs release from coral reefs and their influence on the regional and global climate system.

This project is part of the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program (RRAP), a large-scale collaborative research and development program to develop, test and assess innovative interventions to enhance reef resilience and sustain ecological functions and values. The Cooling and Shading sub-program is focused on evaluation and development of interventions to reduce coral bleaching stress across multiple scales, ranging from individual high-value reefs right up to the scale of the entire GBR ecosystem. This program incorporates fundamental science on atmospheric – radiation – ocean – coral interactions as well as applied science and engineering in the development and testing of innovative coral conservation approaches.

Applicants will need to have an Honours or Master degree, undertaken in English, in a related field such as biogeochemistry, environmental chemistry, or closely related. The project will involve extended periods in the field, including on boats, sometimes in remote areas. The PhD scholarship will provide a tax-free stipend for a 3 year duration at the Australian Research Training Program rate (the 2021 rate is $28,597 per year, indexed annually), plus a tuition fee-waiver for 4 years. Interested applicants should send their CV highlighting their research background and interests in this area to Prof. Bradley Eyre – (bradley.eyre@scu.edu.au). Only short-listed applicants will be notified. Closing date July 11, 2021 although it may be extended longer if position is not filled. Starting date is November 2021 (for overseas applicants this will depend on Australian boarders and getting appropriate visas).

The project will be undertaken in the Centre for Coastal Biogeochemistry  at Southern Cross University which received the highest rank of 5.0, well above world average, in geochemistry in the most recent assessment of research excellence by the Australian government.

This position is based at Southern Cross University’s Lismore campus, northern NSW, Australia (near Byron Bay). The region is a great place to live with a sub-tropical climate, some of the best beaches and surfing in the world, plus great fishing, scuba diving and wilderness areas. The quality of life is high and the cost of living relatively low compared to many cities.

 

Close up of researcher wearing blue latex gloves preparing test tube samples in a laboratory setting

New Project Scholarships (1)

A three-year PhD scholarship stipend at the current Australian Government Research Training Program base rate of AU$28,597 per annum, indexed annually. This is for successful projects where the external funding amount to Southern Cross University (net) is a minimum of $150K total within three years.

Female research student in lab coat working with mechanical engineering equipment

New Project Scholarships (2)

Co-funded 50 per cent of a postgraduate scholarship stipend (two years for Masters or three years for PhD) at the current Australian Government Research Training Program base rate of AU$28,597 per annum, indexed annually). This scholarship applies where an external funding body on a Category 2 or Category 3 project co-funds 50 per cent of the total scholarship stipend.

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Linkage Scholarships

3-year PhD scholarship stipend at the current Australian Government Research Training Program base rate of AU$28,597 per annum in 2021 - indexed annually). This is for a successful contracted ARC Linkage project (LP19) round project in which Southern Cross University is the lead.


Contact the Graduate School

Administration

T: +61 2 6626 9186

T: +61 2 6620 3705

E: gradschool@scu.edu.au

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