Evaluating the impact of freight subsidy

Evaluating the impact of freight subsidies – Lessons from the Tasmanian experience

Degree type


Closing date

25 September 2023



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International

About the research project

Governments implement subsidies to achieve certain goals. These subsidies can take various forms, such as financial incentives, tax breaks, or infrastructure investments. While freight subsidies can be effective in promoting the adoption of specific modes of transport, they can also lead to distortion of the freight market itself. Encouraging shippers to favour one transport mode through subsidies and can have far-reaching implications for the freight sector such as reducing overall transport efficiency.

This study aims to understand how subsidies impact the competitiveness of different transport modes and the effectiveness of subsidization in achieving public policy objectives. Specifically, the research proposal aims to assess the impact of the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme on the Tasmanian shippers’ choice of transport mode. By providing a comprehensive understanding of the impact of the Tasmanian freight equalisation scheme on transport mode choice, this research project will contribute to the development of effective and sustainable transport policies.

To achieve the above aim the following research questions shall be answered:

RQ1: How does subsidization affect the transport mode choice of Tasmanian shippers and what factors influence this decision-making process?

RQ2: To what extent do subsidies achieve their intended policy objectives, such as promoting trade growth and regional development?

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Peter Fanam


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 demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications (e.g. master’s degree) or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • 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:

  • Applicants must have knowledge and skills in the following areas:
    • Shipping operations
    • International trade
    • Freight operations

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • A previous research qualification (Honours or Masters by Research) in a management discipline, preferably shipping, commerce or logistics
  • Experience in quantitative and qualitative research.
  • Good knowledge of international shipping
  • Highly developed written and communication skills
  • Being familiar with statistical or econometric analysis software such as SPSS, R, and EViews

Application process

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

Apply now Explore other projects

Why the University of Tasmania?

Worldwide reputation for research excellence

Quality supervision and support

Tasmania offers a unique study lifestyle experience