An app for disaster preparedness

Co-developing an app for multi-hazard awareness and preparedness with at-risk communities

Degree type


Closing date

25 September 2023



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International

About the research project

As natural hazard risk increases under climate change, there is a critical need to build awareness and enhance preparedness for a range of natural hazards. Such information is needed at all levels of society, and importantly, it should be accessible and useful to non-experts. In Tasmania – already subject to a range of natural hazards which are projected to increase under climate change – there is currently no single source for multi-hazard risk information that is accessible to non-experts. To build awareness of and resilience to natural hazards, co-creation with communities of awareness raising efforts has been identified as the most effective avenue for genuine public engagement (Cook et al. 2022). This PhD project will therefore draw on science communication concepts, social science participatory research methods, and advanced IT skills to understand stakeholder information needs and build a smartphone app for multi-hazard risk awareness and preparedness.

The project is offered by the Climate Futures research group and forms part of a Disaster Ready Fund project funded by the Australian Government, A Natural Hazards Atlas for Tasmania: mapping natural hazards to build disaster resilience and preparedness. The PhD research forms part of this wider project which will for the first time assess multiple hazards across the state of Tasmania and will deliver a wide range of actionable climate and hazards information for a range of end-users in industry and government. As part of the larger project, this PhD will focus on the hazard information needs of communities, resulting in an output that is of practical use to many Tasmanians.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Kathleen Beyer


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.

Other funding opportunities and fees

For further information regarding other scholarships on offer, and the various fees of undertaking a research degree, please visit our Scholarships and fees on research degrees page.


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:

  • 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:

  • Background in social science and social research methods, including working with stakeholders for co-production of information outputs
  • Skills and experience in the design and build of a smartphone app
  • Understanding of natural hazards and initiatives that promote community awareness and resilience to natural hazards
  • Experience in working with and analysing quantitative and qualitative data
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Similar experience with app development
  • IT skills

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact Dr Kathleen Beyer 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 25 September 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.

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