Regional collaboration for STEM pathways

Supporting an environmentally sustainable mining industry through regional collaborations for STEM

Degree type

PhD

Closing date

18 July 2022

Campus

Launceston

Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International

Scholarship

$28,854pa for 3.5 years

About the research project

Critical metals are vital, scarce resources required for modern technology, infrastructure and the transition to a renewable energy future. To address global supply issues and support decarbonisation, growth in critical metal resources and advances in their extraction technologies are required. However, low community engagement with, and support for, the minerals industry impedes sustainable critical metal production in Tasmania. In the absence of social acceptance within community, the critical metal industry is impeded in its ability to mobilise an ongoing workforce, particularly in rural, regional and remote (RRR) areas. Similarly, a lack of understanding within RRR communities of the benefits of mining, its operations and needs, can result in the limited inclusion of engaging and placed-based learning activities within school curricula. Without young people being inspired to participate in contextualised science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning in school, they will not continue onto higher education study or be available to take advantage of the job opportunities in the minerals industry.

This PhD project will contribute to our understandings of how university-industry-community partnerships can be developed within RRR communities for mutually beneficial and sustainable outcomes for all stakeholders. It will include the development, trialling and research into the effectiveness of innovative educational and outreach tools and activities, in engaging RRR communities in STEM. Key community stakeholders will work with the candidate and project team to co-design and implement educational tools (e.g., immersive 3D visualisations of mining operations) and activities (e.g., STEM forums). Importantly, the research will identify ways in which placed-based curricula can inspire young people's interest in learning STEM in school and beyond.

This project will be conducted as part of a new CODES critical metals research initiative. The candidate will work in a multidisciplinary research team and collaborate with a large industry sponsor group.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Kim Beasy

Funding

The successful applicant will receive a scholarship which 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.

Eligibility

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

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Proficiency in written and oral English
  • Applicants must be able to undertake the project on-campus

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:

  • Masters with research component in a relevant area
  • A strong background in both natural and social sciences
  • Demonstrated understanding of/experience in implementing pedagogical approaches to STEM learning

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Knowledge of and experience in the Australian primary and/or secondary school system
  • Demonstrated experience in working within community
  • Previous publications in international peer-reviewed literature and/or conference presentations

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 Kim Beasy 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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