Legal Frameworks for Embedding NETS

Embedding Negative Emissions Technologies: Legal frameworks and options

Degree type

PhD, Masters by research

Closing date

1 July 2023



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

Australia has committed to achieving a 43% reduction in emissions by 2030 and to achieve net zero by 2050. Achieving these goals will require a combination of emissions reductions and carbon sequestration. A range of technologies are being investigated to accelerate removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. These include terrestrial applications in the agriculture sector, such as reforestation, biochar, and soil carbon; bio-energy with carbon capture and storage in the energy sector; and direct air capture or “mechanical trees”. Various marine CDR techniques are also under review, include iron fertilization and mineralization.

Australia currently lacks a coherent policy or legal framework for promoting and ensuring the integrity of such mechanisms. The Emissions Reduction Fund lays the foundation for embedding these technologies into Australia’s broader emissions reduction framework but more is needed. Each of these policies carries significant environmental and social risks, and it is important to ensure that the law is capable of managing such risks.

This project would investigate what legal reforms needed to enable Australia to incorporate negative emissions technologies into its wider climate law framework in a way that ensures their integrity, complies with the Paris Agreement and safeguards Australia’s environment.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Prof Jan McDonald


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.

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.

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact Prof Jan McDonald 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 1 July 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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