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.

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 - Now open

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.

How to apply:

Application forms are available on the Graduate School's forms and documents page.
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

Lady sitting down reading a book and smiling


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 ( for an informal discussion about the opportunity.


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.


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

  • 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: 30th September 2020.

Interviews: October 2020 (We will confirm dates with you if you are shortlisted).

Two PhD scholarships are offered to join a team investigating methods to reduce coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef

We are seeking high performing PhD candidates for research projects which investigate various technologies with potential to reduce bleaching stress on corals during marine heatwaves. The candidates will be supervised by Dr Daniel Harrison (Southern Cross University) and depending on the project, co-supervised either within Southern Cross University and/or by researchers at the University of Sydney, Queensland University of Technology, Sydney Institute of Marine Science, University of Melbourne, CSIRO, Monash University, or the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 

The Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program (RRAP) is 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. Possible interventions we are researching include creating sea fogs, reflective ocean surface films, or microbubbles to cool and shade corals for short periods right through to conducting marine cloud brightening over large portions of the reef during the summer to increase cloud reflectivity and lower ocean sea-surface temperatures. Modelling undertaken during the RRAP feasibility stage has identified large-scale cooling and shading methods as among the most promising prospective technologies for improving the trajectory of reef health over the coming decades if accompanied by strong global emissions reductions. However, for any of these ideas to move from concept to implementation, the engineering feasibility, efficacy, benefits, risks, and costs must be comprehensively evaluated.

The PhD projects will each focus on one of the following research areas, with scope for additional related research within the sub-program or wider RRAP program:

  1. Atmospheric and ocean sampling from manned and unmanned aircraft to answer fundamental science questions around atmospheric - ocean processes over the reef and support the development of atmospheric-based bleaching interventions.
  2. Engineering systems research and development of sub-micron seawater spray generation equipment required to conduct real-world field testing of the marine cloud brightening concept. This includes design work, laboratory, land based and at sea field testing.
  1. Using regional and global atmospheric and ocean models to assess both the potential benefits and risks of engineering strategies for coral ecosystem conservation.
  2. Combining field measurements, satellite remote sensed data sets and ocean biogeochemical modelling of the Great Barrier Reef to investigate the impact of atmospheric processes on coral mass bleaching events and the locations where cooling and shading interventions can best be targeted.

Successful PhD candidates will be based at the National Marine Science Centre (NMSC), located in Coffs Harbour. As well as a world-class research facility, the NMSC is adjacent to awesome surf beaches, spectacular rainforest and the stunning Solitary Islands Marine Park. You will have the opportunity to work on a large multi-million-dollar 4 year research project with a ground-breaking international team that has a strong record of world first achievements. For example our team includes engineers that designed the “Deepsea Challenger” a manned submersible piloted by film director James Cameron to the deepest part of the ocean, the team which currently holds the world record for the longest hybrid multi rotor ‘drone’ flight at over 8 hours, and the researchers that conducted the world’s first outdoor technology test of cloud brightening.

Applications are open to both Science and Engineering graduates. Preference will be given to candidates with an excellent academic record, strong mathematics / computational / programming / engineering skills, and a collaborative team-focused perspective, who would be available to study in Australia by early 2021. You should possess a driving desire to innovate and explore the boundaries of what is possible. The projects will require a willingness to travel and conduct fieldwork in remote locations aboard research vessels at sea and remote research stations within the Great Barrier Reef.

Students will be enrolled through the Higher Degree Research Training Program at Southern Cross University and will be encouraged to apply for a PhD scholarship that provides a living allowance of AU$28,092 per annum, indexed annually. Scholarship APPLICATIONS CLOSE 18 OCTOBER 2020. Scholarship application forms are available at Beyond this date, expressions of interest will still be accepted and may be considered for subsequent rounds.

Expressions of interest should be submitted to Dr Daniel Harrison with subject line “PhD Application for Cooling and Shading sub Program”.  Please attach a single PDF file that includes: a brief cover letter/statement of interest and experience (1 page maximum), a CV including the names and contact details of 3 referees (2 pages max), and an academic transcript.

To be considered for other PhD or MSc opportunities with the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program, also submit an enquiry form at indicating your interest area, and use the Subject title: PhD Application for Cooling and Shading Sub-Program.

Project: Global warming and associated changes to earth's climate threaten the survival of corals worldwide. Australia's iconic Great Barrier Reef has experienced multiple episodes of severe and widespread bleaching. Thus, it is becoming increasingly urgent to determine how quickly corals can adapt to elevated temperatures and other environmental stressors. A large-scale integrative project is underway as part of the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program that will examine relationships between physiological phenotypes and genomic variation in corals across the Great Barrier Reef to advance understanding of adaptive capacity. PhD students will take primary responsibility for sub-elements of this broader project such as focusing on the physiology and/or quantitative genetics of corals. There is considerable scope for students to develop additional projects depending on their specific interests.

Eligibility: This opportunity is open to Australian and New Zealand citizens or internationals currently residing in Australia. Competitive applicants will have demonstrated relevant research experience in at least one of the following areas: marine field work involving diving for research, physiological experiments on corals or related taxa, advanced training in evolution and genetics, and/or bioinformatics and computer scripting. Strongly qualified applicants will be encouraged to apply for an Australian Research Training Program stipend ($28, 597 per year, 2021 rate indexed annually) and should be available to start their studies in January 2021.

Location: The successful applicant will be based at the National Marine Science in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, under the supervision of Dr. Emily Howells, with collaborative work at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (Dr. Line Bay) and the University of Queensland (Prof. Cynthia Riginos, Dr. Cheong Xin Chan).

How to apply: Prepare a single PDF file that includes: a brief cover letter/statement of interest and experience (1 page max), a CV including the names and contact details of 3 referees (2 pages max), and an academic transcript. Applications and enquiries can be emailed to no later than 30 September 2020.

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.

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.

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

Manager, Graduate School

T: +61 2 6626 9426


For general queries:

T: +61 2 6626 9186

T: +61 2 6620 3705


Dean, Graduate Studies

T: +61 2 6620 3742


General contacts:

For general contact details please visit our contacts page.