Water Accountability and Sustainability

Water accountability and sustainability in irrigated agriculture

Degree type


Closing date

10 October 2022



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

As demand for irrigation water increases with a changing climate, greater water accountability is recommended for managing water in sustainable and equitable ways. Programs to improve water accountability typically seek to meter, monitor and report the use and impacts of irrigation. This project explores the connection between accountability and sustainability within the context of irrigated agriculture by asking the following questions:

  • How is accountability defined and interpreted in water management institutions in different river catchments? How is it linked to sustainable and equitable use of water?
  • How do irrigators interpret water accountability? What information do irrigators use and value to support their decision making and adoption of sustainable practices?
  • To what extent does water accountability drive sustainable irrigation practices in a catchment? What else is at work in catchments where sustainable outcomes have been reported?

The methods used for this project could include policy or institutional analysis, analysis of secondary data, interviews with stakeholders or comparative case study research using a mix of methods. This can be tailored to suit the skills and preferences of the candidate.

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 $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.

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 sociology or natural resource management
  • Ability to engage critically with social theory

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Experience with qualitative research methods

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 Saideepa Kumar to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. 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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