Australians’ Knowledge of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean

Degree type


Closing date

18 July 2022



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

This project will examine what Australians know about the Antarctic and Southern Ocean region.  Understanding the level of public knowledge and support will uncover gaps in the public knowledge base, inform science communicators in engaging with the public, and assist in planning future learning and teaching in Antarctic and Southern Ocean related studies.

Research Aims:

  1. Gauge Australians’ factual knowledge of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean region
  2. Determine gaps in public knowledge, and the social factors that detract from communicating science and other knowledge
  3. Improve understanding of public knowledge of Antarctic and Southern Ocean science, to facilitate effective communication

This research will draw upon an expert panel to develop a survey instrument, which will be administered locally, to gauge adults’ knowledge of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean region in the ‘Antarctic gateway’ of Tasmania.  The survey will then be administered to measure Australians’ understanding of the region and identifying public knowledge gaps (e.g. among certain social groups).  The supervision team’s previous research has found that (for example) Australians’ polar knowledge is similar to citizens of the United States, but in both countries polar knowledge varies according to gender, educational attainment, age, and political party identification.

Findings will be disseminated to chart ongoing research progress, document relevant publications and results, and attract feedback from interested parties, scholars and the public.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Prof Bruce Tranter


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 $28,854 per annum (2022 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.

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:

  • Quantitative data analytic skills

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select your project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Prof Bruce Tranter to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. Submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • 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.
    • As part of your application, you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including 2 x referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application 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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