PhD (HDR) Scholarship: Pollinators, Floral Resources and Climate Change

About the project

This PhD project will include research at field sites and in controlled-environment facilities exploring the availability and quality of floral resources across different seasons, and factors influencing pollinator choice of foraging plants. This will include assessment of candidate species for on-farm floral resource enhancement and the impact of climate change manipulations on floral resource quality and attractiveness to bees. The project is suitable for a candidate with strong interests and preferably research experience in subjects such as ecology, conservation, insect behaviour and/or botany.

Applicants should be enthusiastic and highly motivated to undertake further study at an advanced level. A strong background in one or more of the relevant subject areas listed above and a strong interest in the research issues are required. A valid driver's licence, and willingness to travel and work in off-campus field sites are also required.

You will be based at Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment at Western Sydney University's Hawkesbury campus in Richmond, NSW and will join a large and diverse cohort of scientists at all career levels. You will learn a variety of techniques (in field and laboratory) to sample and describe pollinator communities, assess pollination of crops and characterise bee behaviour. The PhD program will also develop the candidates statistical, analytical and communication skills, and involve collaboration with the wider Pollination Project team and our industry partners.

What does the scholarship provide?

  • Domestic students will receive a tax-free stipend of $26,682 per annum and a funded place in the doctoral degree.
  • International students will receive a tax-free stipend of $26,682 per annum. Those with a strong track record may receive a tuition fee waiver.
  • Funding is available for project costs and conference travel.

Eligibility criteria

We welcome applicants from a range of backgrounds, who are keen to apply their skills to key issues in environmental biology. In particular, the project is suitable for candidates with strong interests and previous experience in ecology, botany and/or insect behaviour. The successful applicant should:

  • hold qualifications and experience equal to an Australian First Class Bachelor (Honours) degree, coursework Masters with at least 25% research component, Research Masters degree, or equivalent overseas qualifications
  • demonstrate strong academic performance in subjects relevant to ecology, botany or insect behaviour
  • have an interest of the importance of pollination services and threats to pollinator populations
  • be willing to learn modern sampling and analytical techniques applicable to plant ecology (e.g. floral services, climate change manipulations), and pollinator behaviour (e.g. pollen and nectar analysis, behavioural experiments)
  • be enthusiastic and highly motivated to undertake further study at an advanced level
  • International applicants must also demonstrate a high level of English language proficiency.(opens in new window)Opens in a new window

How to apply

  1. Contact Professor James Cook (james.cook@westernsydney.edu.au) to discuss your eligibility, the project requirements and your intention to apply.
  2. Complete the scholarship application form (PDF, 222.11 KB).(opens in new window)
  3. Compile your CV, contact information for two referees and a one-page proposal stating how your research interests align with the project aims.
  4. Ensure all documentation is certified according to Western Sydney University requirements.(opens in new window)
  5. All applications and supporting documentation must be submitted directly to the Graduate Research School as follows:
  • Use the email subject line: Application_2017_035_HIE
  • Submit to grs.scholarships@westernsydney.edu.au
  • All attached documents must be submitted as PDF.
  • In the body of your email, include your full name, your student ID (if you are a current or previous Western Sydney University student) and the full title of the scholarship.
  • Incomplete applications or applications that do not conform to the above requirements will not be considered.
  • Please contact the Graduate Research School via email at grs.scholarships@westernsydney.edu.au for more information.

Applications close 21 July 2017