PhD Scholarship in Marine Conservation and Blue Economy

Monash University
July 01, 2024
Offerd Salary:$35,013AU
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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PhD Scholarship in Marine Conservation and Blue Economy

Job No.: 665840

Location: Clayton campus

Employment Type: Full-time

Duration: 3.5-year fixed-term appointment

Remuneration: The successful applicant will receive a Research Living Allowance, at current value of $35,013AUD per annum 2024 full-time rate (tax- free stipend), indexed plus allowances as per RTP stipend scholarship conditions at: www. students/scholarships/scholarship-policy-and-procedures. Domestic applicants will be prioritised, however, a tuition fee scholarship and Single Overseas Health Cover (OSHC) will be provided for a successful international awardee.

The Opportunity

This PhD scholarship will align with the Australian Research Council (ARC) funded project, ‘Sustainable Business Models for Marine Conservation' , conducted by Dr Benjamin Thompson.

Marine conservation remains severely underfunded despite the pressing need to safeguard ocean resources, ecosystems, and coastal communities effectively and equitably. Alongside philanthropic donations and grants, innovative financing models for marine conservation are now emerging through private sector actors such as corporations, entrepreneurs, and investors. Dr Thompson's project will investigate under which circumstances sustainable business models can be developed to generate profit alongside positive marine conservation outcomes. The successful applicant will develop a relatable but distinct project; for example, examining relationships between the ecological, social, governance, financial, and/or business aspects of marine conservation, and optionally, linking to broader developments around the blue economy around sustainable use of the oceans.

Undertaking this PhD as part of a larger project has several advantages. First, the successful candidate will be integrated into an already successful research agenda that has been funded by the ARC, and will have access to funding to support for fieldwork travel and conference attendance. Second, the candidate will benefit from expert supervision from research leaders in environmental social science. Finally, the candidate will benefit from being part of outcomes from the research, which may include co-authored publications, funded symposia, school-engagement exercises, and future grant applications.

Monash University is ranked 42nd in the world in the 2024 QS World University Rankings. It is also ranked 21st in the world for performance against the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the 2023 Times Higher Education Impact Rankings. Monash is the largest university in Australia and the applicant will be based at the Clayton campus in Melbourne – regularly ranked among the most livable cities in the world. The School of Social Science sits within the Faculty of Arts, and collaborates extensively with the Faculty of Science, Faculty of Business and Economics, and the Monash Sustainable Development Institute (MSDI), among others.

Candidate Requirements

The successful applicant will have at least one degree in a relevant discipline (e.g., geography, environmental science, business, economics, finance). Specific experience across conservation science, human geography, environmental finance, and/or corporate sustainability would be advantageous. They will also have experience conducting social science research methods, whilst experience with other research methods such as geospatial analysis, ecological census techniques, and/or economic and financial analysis would be advantageous. Dr Thompson's project will afford the successful applicant optional opportunities for fieldwork in Fiji and the Philippines, but applicants are welcome to propose fieldwork in countries where they have pre- existing existing connections, including Australia.

The successful applicant will have an excellent academic track record. In its assessment, the selection committee will prioritise applicants who hold an Australian (or equivalent international) Honours or Master's degree (both in a relevant field), with a significant research component and with first- class honours/H1 awarded. Candidates are advised to discuss their experience with prior research projects (e.g., Masters thesis) including the methods used, in their application.

Details of eligibility requirements, including English-language proficiency skills, to undertake a PhD in the Faculty of Arts are available at Applicants should ensure they familiarise themselves with these requirements before deciding whether they should apply.

Scholarship holders must be enrolled full-time and on campus in Melbourne. Please note: applicants who already hold a PhD will not be considered.

The successful applicant will be expected to enroll by September 2024. However, there may be some flexibility as to the date of commencement.


You are required to discuss your research proposal with Dr Benjamin S. Thompson, School of Social Sciences, Email: [email protected] before you submit an Expression of Interest.

Submit an Expression of Interest

EOIs shall comprise:

  • A cover letter that includes a brief statement of the applicant's suitability and desire to undertake a PhD in this area
  • A brief research proposal not exceeding 750 words in length (excluding references) that fits within the project scope, demonstrates some understanding of the research area, and suggests a few potential research questions of interest
  • A curriculum vitae, including a list of any published works, conference presentations, and relevant work experience. Degree grades / WAMs and thesis grades should be clearly stated
  • A full statement of academic record and official grading system (if available), supported by scanned copies of relevant certified documentation
  • English language proficiency test results (if applicable)
  • Contact details of 2 academic referees
  • Copy of your current passport (if available)
  • Once you have discussed your EOI with Dr Benjamin Thompson, please submit your Expression of Interest Form and indicate that you are applying for a “Special Scholarship Scheme – PhD Scholarship in Marine Conservation and Blue Economy”.

    Closing Date

    Monday 1 July 2024, 11:55pm AEST

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