Antarctic Ice Cores and Australian Water Security

Investigating the role of Australian ice core research within the formation of Australian water security policies and their relevant successes

Degree type


Closing date

7 March 2022



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

Australia is at the forefront of untangling the intricacies of the climate system. Antarctic ice cores have been shown to extend our current knowledge of local weather conditions across the Australian continent. However, there is no definitive way to determine if cutting-edge ice core research has had any tangible influence on climate policies in the regional and remote areas of Australia that currently face water challenges.

This project aims to investigate the role of Australian ice core research within the formation of national and global climate policies and their relevant successes. The research will identify the ways science feeds into Australian policy and make recommendations regarding data-based decision making on questions of water security going forwards, in order to improve data-based decision- making about water security across Australia.

This project asks:

  • What is the relationship between Antarctic science and water policy?
  • How can ice core research findings address questions of water security in Australia?
  • How can rural and regional communities in Australia use the findings of ice core research to inform their own decision-making processes?

In resolving these questions the project will develop a transferable framework for enabling those in rural and regional areas to make meaningful connections with ice core data, ensuring resilient and adaptable drought practices.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Hanne Nielsen


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 $28,854 per annum (2022 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.


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

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:

  • Knowledge of key ice core programs
  • Awareness of appropriate qualitative methods and tools

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Experience in science-policy interface
  • Experience of the development of ice core data streams and ice core research findings

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 Hanne Nielsen to discuss your suitability and the project requirements; 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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