The future of Australia in Antarctica

The future of Australia in Antarctica – the "currency of science"

Degree type


Closing date

25 September 2023



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International

About the research project

Since the earliest exploratory voyages, activity in Antarctica has been grounded in science,  and along with territorial acquisition an important driver in the heroic era , and a cornerstone of the Antarctic Treaty.

This focus on science has made it 'the currency' in Antarctica and for Antarctic governance.  Currency provides credibility and status to an activity, in this case maintaining a high profile in Antarctica and being able to influence activities and outcomes.  Australia's involvement in Antarctic science, which has been supported by federal government policies and expenditure, has provided it currency. This currency ensured Australia got a seat at the Antarctic Treaty table and hence power in this theatre.  Australia has maintained support for the ATS over many decades.

Australia's current Antarctic policy interests are outlined in a 20-year plan released in 2016 and updated in 2022.  The plan aims to guide Antarctic activities and decision making supported by the Federal Government.  Given this commitment, it may be considered that science is NOT politics free, and if so, what do these policies reveal about Australia's Antarctic priorities and how do these strategies address Australia's international policy interests?  Are there other interpretations of these interests and who might best be served by them which are unstated?

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Hanne Nielsen


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.

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact Dr Hanne Nielsen 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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