How sound shapes the Antarctic experience

The role of sound in shaping experiences of Antarctica

Degree type


Closing date

29 October 2021



Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International Onshore

About the research project

This project aims to investigate the role of sound in shaping human perceptions and experiences of Antarctica. Since the earliest expeditions to Antarctica more than a century ago, environmental sounds have formed important aspects of human interactions with the southern continent. This is evident in the many references to sounds (including those produced by wildlife, wind, ice, and human activity) and silence found in expeditioners' diaries from the Heroic Age (c.1897–1922) and in more contemporary accounts of Antarctic travel.

While there has been considerable research undertaken in recent years in the Antarctic humanities on cultural texts, and preliminary studies relating to the role of the senses in human encounters with the Antarctic region, to date there has been little attention paid to the impact of the acoustic environment on experiences and perceptions of the continent, or how these have been incorporated into cultural responses to the region. Depending on background and interest, this project could focus on a particular periods, types of travellers (explorers, tourists, workers), and/or forms of sound (anthropogenic, environmental, sound art, music). Overall, this study is expected to advance knowledge of the multifaceted ways in which humans engage with Antarctica and how sounds can shape and add value to the Antarctic experience.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Carolyn Philpott


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $28,597 per annum (2021 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years;
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000; and
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.


The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international applicants who are already in Australia (onshore) at the time of submitting their application.

Due to current Australian COVID-19 travel restrictions the University cannot accept applications from international applicants who are currently overseas.

Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Applicants from the following disciplines are encouraged to apply:

  • Creative Arts
  • Humanities
  • Social Sciences

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select the project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Carolyn Philpott, if you have any questions about the project; and
  3. Click here to submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the long title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including 2 x referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email.

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