Next Generation Water and Engineering Hub

The Next Generation Water Engineering and River Management Hub will develop solutions to the current and future problems threatening inland Australia’s waterways, including poor water quality and diminishing fish stocks.

The Hub Scholarships provide enhanced opportunities in science for outstanding graduates enrolling in a PhD at Charles Sturt University. The program is now looking for suitable applicants and up to three scholarships are available. The three potential research projects are:

  • Mitigating Thermal Pollution within reservoirs
  • Citizen Science: Integrating community groups into basin-scale fish tagging and recovery programs
  • First Nations water rights, management, and engineering
  • Project 1: Mitigating Thermal Pollution within reservoirs

    Thermal stratification particularly in deep reservoirs, is frequently observed. The hydrodynamics of these reservoirs are mainly controlled by the water demand characteristics, such as discharge rate for hydropower generation, drinking water supply and agricultural activities. However, the impact of specific hydrodynamics on water quality, including thermal pollution of a given reservoir is often poorly understood.  Both downstream ecosystem and reservoir water temperatures can be affected by significant fluctuations of the reservoir discharge.

    For more information review the Mitigating Thermal Pollution within reservoirs information sheet.

  • Project 2: Citizen Science - Integrating community groups into basin-scale fish tagging and recovery programs

    The Australian government has heavily invested in fish detection systems which have been installed across the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) to understand fish migrations. Government agencies require The success of any tagging program requires a large pool of tagged fish to be maintained. But there are very rarely resources available. Community groups are often eager to be involved but there are many constraints to this becoming mainstreamed. These constraints include permitting, capacity, animal welfare and a general lack of a coordinated framework for citizen scientists to be involved in such programs. This PhD aims to address this gap.

    For more information review the Citizen Science: Integrating community groups into basin-scale fish tagging and recovery programs information sheet.

  • Project 3: First Nations water rights, management, and engineering

    Indigenous water management and engineering is complex and has history of over 40,000 years. Drawing on archival research and comparative analysis of water catchment restoration projects internationally, this project will examine the socio-cultural and environmental complexity and benefits of First Nations water rights, management and stewardship, and engineering systems. This research will also include identification of traditional and contemporary water management and engineering practices approved by Elders in a significant river restoration project. The student would be unconstrained by topic and could explore any significant line of inquiry in consultation with their supervisors.

    The focus of the PhD will be developed and refined through a co-design approach between the members of the research team. This team includes the PhD candidate, First Nations Elders, CSU researchers, industry partners such as Oz Fish, and First Nation peoples who are experts in this field.

    For more information review the First Nations water rights, management, and engineering information sheet.

  • Eligibility

    As per Charles Sturt University's standard eligibility requirements for entry to a PhD.

    Essential: First Class Honours or a Masters degree with a research component or many years’ experience in research with a strong track record of publication.

    Mitigating Thermal Pollution within reservoirs

    Desirable: a background in water engineering or environmental studies; independent; excellent writing skills with a track record of publication; an interest in the subject matter; and enthusiastic about working in a dynamic interdisciplinary environment.

    Citizen Science: Integrating community groups into basin-scale fish tagging and recovery programs

    Desirable: a background in water engineering or environmental studies (a passion for fisheries and/or working with regional communities would be a distinct advantage); independent; excellent writing skills with a track record of publication; an interest in the subject matter; and enthusiastic about working in a dynamic interdisciplinary environment.

    First Nations water rights, management, and engineering

    The opportunity is only open to Australian citizens, Australian residents or those eligible to study in Australia under the commonwealth research training program.

    Desirable: a background in Critical Indigenous Studies and or Indigenous knowledges and or environmental history; willingness to adopt Indigenous and Indigenist theories and methodologies; excellent writing and communication skills; an interest in the subject matter, and enthusiastic about working in a dynamic transdisciplinary environment.

  • Award value

    The scholarship provides the following benefits:

    Stipend: This scholarship is valued at $28,854 - $35,000 per annum payable in fortnightly instalments.

    Tuition Fees:
    Domestic candidates: Fee exemption for a period equivalent to four years (eight sessions) for PhD at full-time study.
    International candidates: Fee exemption for a period equivalent to three years (six sessions) for PhD at full-time study.

    Operating Funds: Operational expenses will be built into the overall Next Generation Water and Engineering Hub budget over three years.

  • Scholarship duration

    Domestic candidates:

    The scholarship is tenable for four years for Research Doctorate studies (4 years FTE tuition fee coverage and 3 years FTE for stipend and operating funds allowances) subject to satisfactory progress.

    An extension of up to six months may be granted (stipend and operating funds components only), where the candidate is making satisfactory progress and the grounds for the extension relate to the study and are beyond the control of the candidate.

    International candidates:

    The scholarship is tenable for three years for Research Doctorate studies subject to satisfactory progress.

    An extension of up to six months may be granted, where the candidate is making satisfactory progress and the grounds for the extension relate to the study and are beyond the control of the candidate.

    Scholarship candidates are entitled to 20 paid annual leave working days per year and 10 paid sick leave days per year, however are not eligible for paid primary parental care leave or additional personal leave.

  • How to apply

    Applicants will need to apply for enrolment.

    Prospective Higher Degree by Research candidates can apply for a Next Generation Water and Engineering Hub Scholarship when completing their Charles Sturt course admission application. When given the option to apply for a scholarship select 'Yes'; 'Full-time AGRTP' and 'Other'. Under 'Other' enter Next Generation Water and Engineering Hub Project 1, 2 or 3.

    In addition to the documentation required as part of the AGRTP Scholarship application, applicants will need to send an expression interest (including a full CV and a brief cover letter of no more than two pages) outlining your experience and research interests to:

    Project 1: Mitigating Thermal Pollution within reservoirs
    Lala Senevirathna lsenevirathna@csu.edu.au and Professor Lee Baumgartner lbaumgartner@csu.edu.au

    Project 2: Citizen Science: Integrating community groups into basin-scale fish tagging and recovery programs
    Professor Lee Baumgartner lbaumgartner@csu.edu.au and Dr Katie Doyle kadoyle@csu.edu.au

    Project 3: First Nations water rights, management, and engineering
    Professor Lee Baumgartner lbaumgartner@csu.edu.au and Dr Peta Jeffries pjeffries@csu.edu.au

Application timelines

Expressions of interest will remain open until a candidate has been selected

Contacts:

Mitigating thermal pollution within reservoirs:
Dr Lala Senevirathna lsenevirathna@csu.edu.au and Professor Lee Baumgartner lbaumgartner@csu.edu.au

Citizen Science: Integrating community groups into basin-scale fish tagging and recovery programs:
Professor Lee Baumgartner lbaumgartner@csu.edu.au and Dr Katie Doyle kadoyle@csu.edu.au

First Nations water rights, management, and engineering:
Dr Peta Jeffries pjeffries@csu.edu.au and Professor Lee Baumgartner lbaumgartner@csu.edu.au