Environmental Aesthetics and Law


There is a competitive process of scholarship application applicable at UTAS. A typical scholarship provides $27,596 p.a. (2019 rate, indexed annually) living allowance for 3 years, with a possible 6 month extension.

The Faculty of Law also provides to candidates some operational funds to support the PhD research project. Further information may be found on the Scholarships web page.

Closing Date

31 October 2019

The Research Project

Nature’s aesthetics have been an important driver of environmental law historically, providing a rationale for laws to protect scenic landscapes and charismatic species. But aesthetics have also become seemingly less important to contemporary environmental law, which focuses more on economic rationales, scientific evidence and human rights considerations. This PhD research project will explore the role of aesthetics in environmental law, with the aim to develop new theoretical insights into how aesthetics can play a stronger role in shaping environmental decisions. The project will also involve analysis of existing environmental laws in Australia and / or other countries, to understand the evolving role of aesthetics in environmental decisions. Ecological reconciliation and ecological restoration may also be researched as frameworks for engaging human communities with their natural surroundings in order to better appreciate its aesthetic dimensions. Socially engaged art, such as climate change activist art, is also relevant to this topic in assessing the role of the visual arts in mobilising public support for new environmental policies and laws.


The following eligibility criteria apply to these scholarships:

  • The scholarship is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates;
  • The Research Higher Degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis;
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector;
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills.

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Legal service delivery
  • Qualitative research methods, particularly in depth interviewing


The competitive PhD scholarship programme is funded by the University of Tasmania.

Application Process

Applicants requiring more information, or who are interested in this specific project, should firstly contact the Supervisor listed below.

To determine eligibility, applicants should also contact the Research Hub for their proposed area of research and request an Expression of Interest Form (EOI). Further information on the application process can be found on the Apply Now website.

If a Graduate Research Administration Officer (GRAO) subsequently invites you to complete an application after you have submitted an EOI, please visit the Apply Now website and complete an application via the University of Tasmania's Online Application System. Please indicate under Scholarship Support that you wish to be considered for a living allowance scholarship.

Self-funded applications are welcome at any time. Information about scholarships, and scholarship round deadlines, may be found on the Scholarships webpage.

More information

Please contact Professor Benjamin J Richardson for more information at b.j.richardson@utas.edu.au or +61 3 62266902.

The supervision team for this research will be led by Professor Ben Richardson, with other academics from the University Tasmania as co-supervisors.