PhD Scholarships – Dung Beetle Research

The Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation is a strategic research alliance between Charles Sturt University and the NSW Department of Primary Industries. The Centre undertakes multi-disciplinary and integrated research to create knowledge and capacity to deliver farming systems for the future. The Centre’s activities are focussed around three key areas – or research pathways – plant systems (crops and pastures), livestock systems (sheep and beef focus), and grain and meat quality.

The Centre is seeking high-quality candidates for two PhD scholarships to undertake research as part of a large, federally-funded project entitled “Dung beetle ecosystem engineers”. The successful candidates would be expected to commence in 2019 to study full-time at Charles Sturt University for three years. The successful candidates will undertake research as part of a broader study which aims to perform a targeted and monitored release of various introduced and existing species of dung beetles and quantify the impact of dung beetles on soil properties and pest life-cycles.

Scholarship 1 will focus on investigations related to dung beetle rearing. The study will cover reproductive biology of selected dung beetle species and will involve both field-based and controlled-environment experiments to determine optimal conditions for beetle rearing.

Scholarship 2 will undertake research evaluating aspects of dung beetle ecology and how management practices impact dung beetle activities. This will include investigating how dung beetle activity alters belowground processes, impacting soil quality and pest biology, alongside associated impacts on the productivity of grass pasture species. This work will involve field, controlled-environment and lab-based research.

The scholarships are for full-time study towards higher degrees by research and are open to Australian and international applicants.

  • Eligibility

    AGRTP-GC scholarships are generally for full-time study towards higher degrees by research. These scholarships are highly competitive, and only applicants who meet the following eligibility criteria will be considered:

    • Commencing a CSU HDR program in 2019, or currently enrolled
    • Enrolling/enrolled as a full-time student, or in exceptional circumstances, granted CSU approval for a part-time scholarship in line with the CSU policy on AGRTP Scholarships
    • Undertaking research relevant to the Graham Centre's research pathways

    AGRTP-GC scholarships will not be available to those who:

    • Are enrolled concurrently in any other study program, unless it is essential to the success of the HDR, or exceptional circumstances exist and are approved.
    • Are receiving another Commonwealth-funded postgraduate research scholarship

    CSU will rank scholarship applicants according to a specified criteria (see Scholarship Application Guide for further details).

  • Award value

    The scholarship provides the following benefits:

    Stipend: $32,596 per annum, payable in fortnightly instalments. NB: This includes a supplementary top-up amount of $5,000 per annum which is awarded to the successful applicant at the discretion of the Centre Director.

    Tuition Fees: Fee exemption for a period equivalent to three years (six sessions) for PhD/Research Doctorate at full-time study.

    Operating Funds: Scholarship recipients are allocated an allowance per session of enrolment to assist with the reimbursement of costs associated with the candidate's research.

    Relocation Allowance: Scholarship recipients may be eligible to receive a relocation allowance for the cost of relocating themselves, their spouse, and dependants to a CSU campus, to a maximum of AUD $5,000.

  • Scholarship duration

    AGRTP-GC scholarships are normally tenable for three years for Research Doctorate studies, subject to satisfactory progress.

    An extension of up to six (6) months may be granted for Research Doctorate candidates, 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.  NB: the supplementary top-up component of this scholarship is not applicable for extension.

    Scholarship candidates are entitled to 20 paid annual leave working days per year, 10 paid sick leave days per year and may be eligible for up to 12 weeks paid maternity leave with the duration of the scholarship.

Application closing date

For February 2019 intake, International applications will close at 5:00pm (AEST) Friday 7 September 2018 and Domestic applications for the 2019 Scholarship round will close at 5:00pm (AEDST) Wednesday 31 October 2018. Applicants may also consider applying for July 2019 intake.

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Further Information