Experiences of fieldwork in the Million Year Ice Core project

Degree type


Closing date

29 October 2021



Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International Onshore

About the research project

The Australian Antarctic Division is currently leading one of the most ambitious and challenging scientific projects yet undertaken in Antarctica – the quest to drill an ice core containing a million-year record of Earth’s climate and atmospheric composition – the Million Year Ice Core (MYIC) project. This qualitative, mixed-methods PhD focuses on the MYIC project as a revealing empirical case study of the fundamental challenges associated with the conduct of scientific fieldwork in extreme environments. To date, there is little qualitative research on human performance factors in logistically remote, hazardous polar environments or in overland tractor traverses as required by the MYIC. In this project, you will generate new empirical data on lived experiences of fieldwork to deliver new national and international policy-relevant and operational knowledge about Antarctic field culture for the Australian Antarctic Program, including how field activity can be more inclusive, with comparative lessons for other National Antarctic Programs and field sciences. In this project you will have unprecedented access to a collaborative network of world class researchers and innovators in remote and extreme environments.

Primary Supervisor

Meet A/Prof Meredith Nash


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
  • 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 and the following additional eligibility criteria specific to this project:

  • Applicants must already have or been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant research experience in social sciences with an interest or experience in working across multiple disciplines

Applicants from the following disciplines are encouraged to apply:

  • Sociology
  • Anthropology
  • Gender Studies

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.

Additional essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Demonstrated capacity in critical thinking
  • Background or interest in subject areas relevant to the project (e.Antarctic studies)
  • Qualitative research skills

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, A/Prof Meredith Nash, 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 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 contact details of two 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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