Indonesian Throughflow variability

Variability of Indonesian Throughflow watermass properties and velocity structure

Degree type


Closing date

25 September 2023



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International


$31,500pa for 3.5 years

About the research project

This PhD project is funded by a grant from the Australian Research Council Discovery Project “Unraveling ocean mixing and air-sea forcing along the Indo-Pacific exchange”. Our project is a collaboration with investigators from the University of Tasmania, CSIRO Environment and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The project will collect new, unique observations using novel profiling floats, moored ocean time-series, shipboard and satellite observations. The project will also develop high resolution model simulations to examine changes in the Indonesian Throughflow (ITF) north of Australia. This project is a significant Australian contribution to a major international field experiment, Measurements and Modelling of the Indonesian Throughflow (MINTIE), which is a collaboration between USA, Indonesia, China and Australia.

The main goal of the project is to quantify the ocean mixing processes and ocean-atmospheric interactions that accomplish the cooling and freshening observed, developing new knowledge of ocean-atmosphere interactions, along the pathway of the ITF from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean. These interactions are the powerhouse that drives changes in winds and rainfall around Australia and over the entire Indian and Pacific region.

The PhD student will focus on fundamental descriptions of watermass properties, including the seasonal cycle of water properties, not previously possible due to lack of observations and appropriate high-resolutions models. The student will work in an integrated team of researchers and will have opportunities to interact with the international partners throughout the course of their PhD program. The combined observational and modelling expertise of the team is recognised internationally and presents an extraordinary opportunity for this student.

Primary Supervisor

Meet A/Prof Helen Phillips


The successful applicant will receive a scholarship which provides:

  • a living allowance stipend co-funded by ARC 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.

Additional funding

If successful, applicants will also receive a top-up scholarship of $5,000 per annum for 3.5 years. This scholarship is funded from the Quantitative Marine Science (QMS) Program.

If successful, international applicants will also receive single Overseas Health Cover (OSHC), funded by the Quantitative Marine Science (QMS) Program.

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:

  • Strong mathematical background
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Experience with Matlab, Python or equivalent programming languages
  • Good understanding of geophysical fluid dynamics
  • Ability to work constructively in a team environment

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Experience working in a Unix computing environment
  • Experience working in a high performance computing environment
  • Experience working with oceanographic datasets
  • Willingness to contribute to communication of science results with the general public through public outreach events and popular media
  • Ability to participate in a research voyage

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact A/Prof Helen Phillips 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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