Coal Minesite Rehabilitation Trust Fund Scholarship

We invite high quality candidates with a passion for managing and mitigating human impacts on Australia’s rivers and coasts through engaged research in the field of applied science. Previous experience in the coal mining industry and/or in experimental biological methods would be highly regarded but are not essential.

Scholarship Value: $35,000 per annum

Length of Scholarship: Three Years

Number Available: One

Opening Date: 08 January 2018

Closing Date: 05 February 2018

Study LevelPostgraduate (Research)
Year of StudyFuture/First Year
CitizenshipAustralian Citizen; Permanent Resident; Permanent Humanitarian Visa; International; New Zealand Citizen
Study RegionRockhampton
Study ModeOn-campus
Study LoadFull time

To be eligible for this Scholarship the candidate must be a domestic student or an overseas student, approved for admission and enrolling in a Doctor of Philosophy – Sciences, Engineering and Health, at CQUniversity. Prospective applicants should consult the Research Higher Degrees Course Rules Policy and Procedure for further information about eligibility requirements for admission to CQUniversity.

The candidate must be a full time, on campus student at CQUniversity’s North Rockhampton campus.

The candidate must not be receiving income from another source to support general living costs while undertaking the course of study if that income is greater than 75 per cent of the Scholarship stipend rate. Income unrelated to the course of study or income received for the course of study by not for the purposes of supporting general living costs is not to be taken into account.

The Scholarship will be awarded by the University through a competitive selection process. Individual applications will be ranked on the basis of merit and responses to the Selection Criteria.

Applicants should have a degree in a field such as biology, environmental science or environmental management.

Applications are invited from candidates who are able to provide evidence of -

  • Knowledge of marine and/or freshwater science, preferably with experience in experimental biology
  • Knowledge, or ability to rapidly acquire knowledge, of coal mining and transport activities in Queensland
  • Excellent communication skills and demonstrated ability to work with various stakeholders

The successful applicant will be required to publish scientific and peer-reviewed papers in relation to their thesis during the period of candidature.

Coal mining, coal transport and coal export expose aquatic (marine and freshwater) environments to varying risks of contamination from unburnt coal. To date, there has been little scientific consensus on the effects of unburnt coal on aquatic biota, particularly for tropical regions. The Queensland coal mining industry produces high quality metallurgic coal and thermal coal which is transported by rail domestically and exported internationally by ship. The relative risks of each of the potential sources of unburnt coal to aquatic environments in Queensland are not well understood, but are likely to vary markedly based on a range of management and environmental factors. This research project will aim to:

  • Review high-level operating procedures and environmental management practices at each stage of Queensland’s domestic and international coal supply chains, to assess the relative risk of unburnt coal to aquatic environments at each stage of the coal supply chain.
  • Experimentally investigate the effects of unburnt coal on the aquatic biota that are exposed to the highest risks of exposure to and impacts of unburnt coal.

The successful candidate will join the Environmental Monitoring and Management research group at CQUniversity, a high performing team with a focus on applied science, improving understanding and management of freshwater, marine and terrestrial environments. Recognised by the Australian Government research rankings as “Above World Standard”, CQUniversity’s Environmental Science and Management research capabilities are matched only by our philosophy of industry engagement and applied research. Uniquely located in the epicentre of Northern Australia’s food bowl and resource sectors, CQUniversity’s scientists and research students are leading the wave of technological advancement and adaptability, driving environmental and industrial innovation. CQUniversity’s Environmental Science team has built a reputation as a world-leading unit with remarkable influence and impact, working to solve environmental challenges in Australia’s most resource-rich area – regional Queensland.

This Scholarship will be governed by CQUniversity’s Research Training Program and Research Higher Degree Scholarships Policy and Procedure, except where specific provisions are listed below.

The Scholarship will be terminated if the candidate makes a substantive change to the thesis topic, research plan or supervisory panel to the extent that the research higher degree project no longer meets the Project Description described above.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Dr Nicole Flint for further information about this scholarship project before submitting an application.


Applications for this Scholarship are to be submitted by email to .

Applications are to include:

  • A letter of motivation describing your skills and research experience [with specific responses to the Selection Criteria listed above]
  • Your current resume, including certified academic transcripts, and a list of your previous publications and projects
  • A list of three academic referees together with contact information.

Applicants may be invited to undertake an interview as part of the selection process.

Applicants will be advised the outcome of their application by email, after the closing date.
Queensland Resources Council and CQUniversity Australia

Queensland Resources Council

CQUniversity Australia