Barriers for indigenous engagement

Barriers and opportunities for indigenous women’s knowledge and voices in agricultural water management

Degree type


Closing date

27 March 2023



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International

About the research project

Around the world, there is growing awareness and momentum to improve engagement with indigenous peoples in water resource management and governance. In Australia, as different states explore opportunities for treaties with First Nations peoples, this need has become salient. At the same time, social inclusion and gender issues are gaining attention in water management in Australia, albeit much later than elsewhere in the world. These goals, while laudable, are extremely challenging in agricultural contexts, in part because agriculture has been at the frontier of colonisation. By the same token, the gains to be made are immense.

This project aims to undertake a critical examination of barriers and opportunities for engaging with indigenous women in agricultural water management. It will explore how the colonial project reinforced through engineering and economic thinking, has excluded indigenous and non-indigenous female voices in current dominant understandings of water management. The critical examination will identify areas where change is needed to help create space for meaningful engagement.

The methods used for this project are likely to be based in critical, feminist, post-structural or decolonising approaches, but will be tailored to suit the interests and skills of the candidate. International candidates could undertake a comparative analysis between Australia and their own regions.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Saideepa Kumar


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 $31,500 per annum (2023 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.

Ensure your eligibility for the scholarship round by referring to our Key Dates.

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • The scholarship is open to Australian and New Zealand (domestic) candidates and to International candidates
  • Research 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, analytical and interpersonal skills

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:

  • Education or experience in the disciplines of humanities, geography or indigenous studies
  • Ability to engage with social theory and critical research methodologies

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Experience in cross-cultural research or other work

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact Dr Saideepa Kumar to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. In your application:
    • 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.
    • Submit a signed supervisory support form, a CV including contact details of 2 referees and your project research proposal.
  4. Apply prior to 27 March 2023.

Full details of the application process can be found under the 'How to apply' section of the Research Degrees website.

Following the 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.

Apply now Explore other projects

Why the University of Tasmania?

Worldwide reputation for research excellence

Quality supervision and support

Tasmania offers a unique study lifestyle experience