Planning for environmental improvement

An identification and evaluation of the social and environmental costs, benefits and trade-offs generated by select Tasmanian primary producers

Degree type


Closing date

30 August 2021



Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International Onshore


$28,597pa for 3.5 years

About the research project

Environmental (in)justice is a global problem, with damaging implications for society, and especially its most vulnerable. The Derwent Estuary (Tasmania) is identified as one of Australia’s most polluted, with significant government efforts, in recent decades, to address this issue. However, since environmental ‘report cards’ have focussed on biophysical, rather than social, indicators, little is known about the extent to which improvements have actually benefitted the community.

The successful candidate for this project will focus on Hobart’s Derwent Estuary and Launceston’s Tamar Estuary. Leveraging insights from the environmental justice literature, s/he will collate primary and secondary socio-economic data, combining it with existing water-quality datasets (across two decades, for many pollutants, at several collection points), and analyse them, employing both quantitative and qualitative methods that utilise environmental and social indicators, consistent with the UN SDGs.

This research will provide empirical insights for Tasmanians about the extent to which recent water-quality improvements have benefited various groups in society. It will also refine existing methodology, and develop new ways of combining biophysical and socio-economic datasets, to inform cost-benefits assessments of potential projects, and generate internationally relevant insights into how to more effectively deal with environmental change.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Alia Alshamari


The scholarship supporting this project 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 fee scholarship for up to 4 years (successful domestic applicants will be awarded an RTP Fees Offset and successful international applicants will be awarded a University of Tasmania Fees Offset)

The scholarship supporting this project is funded by the University of Tasmania and the Australian Government through the Research Training Program.


The project is open to domestic (Australia 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 PhD minimum entry requirements.

Applicants from the following discipline are encouraged to apply:

  • Accounting with econometric background

Selection Criteria

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

Additional selection criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • A strong interest in sustainability

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select your project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Alia Alshamari, 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 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 by the advertised outcome date.

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