Magnetism of Antarctica

The magnetisation of Earth’s continents: Implications for mapping the lithospheric structure of Antarctica

Degree type


Closing date

25 September 2023



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International

About the research project

Earth’s magnetic field is a powerful tool to study the evolution of our planet over geological timescales. Yet, many gaps in our knowledge still exist in data-poor areas within the oceans and in poorly explored continents such as Antarctica. This project will use new data from the three satellites making up the European Space Agency’s Swarm mission to develop a global understanding of magnetisation in the Earth’s lithosphere.

A key focus of Antarctic research is to establish the geological structure and geothermal heat fluxes beneath the Antarctic ice sheet. This project will address this goal using new satellite data, including the generation of new satellite magnetic maps for Antarctica. The candidate will use satellite data to develop an understanding of the large scale magnetisation structure of well-understood continents such as Australia, and how these inferences from satellite magnetic observations relate to surface geology, deep seismic velocity, and crustal density variations. These findings will then be used to support the ultimate goal - to develop a new satellite magnetic map constructed specifically for Antarctica, together with a comprehensive assessment of the implications for interpreting geological structures and lithospheric characteristics in the Antarctic continental interior.

The project will provide opportunities to work closely with project collaborators based both in Australia and Europe. The successful candidate will also develop skills across a range of disciplines spanning the analysis of Earth observations in space and time combined with novel machine learning techniques.

Primary Supervisor

Meet A/Prof Simon Williams


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.

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 desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • A background in Earth sciences or similar field of study
  • Some experience with computer coding, ideally in python or a similar language

Application process

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