PhD scholarships at the National Marine Science Centre, Southern Cross University, Australia

Up to three PhD scholarships are available to work with Prof. Isaac Santos at the National Marine Science Centre (NMSC), Southern Cross University, Australia. Each scholarship will include an annual stipend of AU$ 27,082 (tax free) plus tuition and fee waivers. The PhD candidate will work full-time on one of the following fully funded projects:

Project 1: Attenuation of coastal groundwater pollution. The student will use a combination of laboratory experiments (sand tanks), field observations, and modelling to better understand the role of subterranean estuaries in modifying pollutant fluxes from groundwater to coastal waters.

Project 2: Influence of land use on estuarine water quality. The student will collaborate with government agencies to investigate how intensive horticulture modifies water chemistry and groundwater-surface water connectivity in estuaries. The project will also involve working with high school students to investigate water quality in estuaries.

Project 3: Resolving the relative contribution of fresh versus saline submarine groundwater discharge. The student will use a combination of geochemical tracers such as radon, radium isotopes, and water isotopes as well as modelling to quantify submarine groundwater discharge into iconic Australian waterways, and separate different hydrological pathways.

NMSC researchers are major contributors to SCU’s highest rank of 5 “well above world standard” in the fields of Oceanography and Geochemistry. Collaboration opportunities will be available with co-supervision by colleagues such as Prof. Ling Li at the University of Queensland and Prof. Adrian Werner at Flinders University and government agencies.

The NMSC, situated near pristine beaches and sub-tropical rainforest, has world-class laboratories, field equipment and aquarium system to facilitate research. Successful applicants will enjoy the Coffs Harbour coastal lifestyle and low cost of living compared to large Australian cities.

Applications are due on 18 August via email to To apply, please email:

A 1-page letter of interest including details of 2 referees who can comment on your capacity to work towards a PhD degree;
A 2-page CV including any publications and relevant experience; and
An example of a written document in English (a thesis or a scientific publication in draft or published).
Applicants should hold a completed Honours or Masters degree by the time of commencement. Papers in the broad field of hydrology or marine science will be seen favourably. Relevant experience with isotopic tracers, laboratory analysis, modelling, water quality, GIS, data processing, and team work should be highlighted in the application.

Shortlisted candidates will be contacted by 21 August 2017 with interviews (Skype or in person) shortly after that.

Start date: Negotiable, but ideally by early 2018.

Duration: 3 years

Value: AU$ 27,082 per year. The stipend is tax free. Tuition and fee waivers will be provided, and research expenses will be covered through support from research grants.

Australian and overseas applicants will be submitted to the same evaluation process.

Students holding another scholarship can be topped up to a higher stipend.

More information @