NCEA & GISERA PhD Scholarship

USQ’s National Centre for Engineering and Agriculture (NCEA) in conjunction with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Gas Industry Social & Environmental Research Alliance (GISERA) Land Research Program is offering a PHD scholarship to carry out research in the preservation of agricultural productivity, policies for the development and protection of strategic cropping land, and improved designs for gas infrastructure on farms.

Applicants with an undergraduate qualification in Engineering, Science, Information Technology or Agriculture are encouraged to apply. The following have been identified as possible PhD research projects of high interest due to their ability to inform future industry design and management guidelines for current issues.

1. Measurement and modeling of dust emissions from gas industry developments and the assessment of dust impacts on crops, stock and people. This project would quantify the impacts of likely dust emissions, provide greater understanding of the drivers and inform management guidelines for the industry to abate these impacts.

2. Measurement and modeling of noise pollution on farm from gas industry development and well operation. This project would assess the key industry sources of noise pollution, and the extent and severity of these impacts on farm livelihood. Trial work would also involve investigate methods to minimise these impacts and improved best management practices for the industry.

3. Quantifying the impact of CSG activities on the soil resource. This project would evaluate the types and extent of soil damage which occur from gas industry development on agricultural lands. Changes in industry practice and options for remediation of disturbed lands would be investigated. The project would enable guidelines on soil impact minimisation/remediation to be formulated and also provide recommendations for the future design of mixed gas-farm enterprises.

Other proposed PhD research projects will also be considered that align with the GISERA Agricultural Land Management research area


The NCEA GISERA Land Research Program: Preserving Agricultural Productivity PhD Scholarships carries a yearly stipend of $30000 per annum to the successful applicant. Payments are made on a fortnightly basis over the year. The period of tenure of an award is three years. Periods of study already undertaken towards the degree will be deducted from the period of tenure.

Eligible domestic students will benefit from a Research Training Scheme place and will have their tuition fees paid for by the Australian Government. The Office of Research and Higher Degrees will automatically allocate this on enrolment. International students will be liable for tuition fees and these must be paid in full on 26 July for semester 2 2013. Students should review the cost of fees prior to applying by referring to the Course Fee Finder web site (students will be required to enrol in RES9503 each semester).


To be eligible applicants must:

  • be enrolled or be eligible to enrol full-time on campus in a Higher Degree by Research at the University of Southern Queensland
  • not previously have held an Australian Government-funding postgraduate research scholarship unless it was terminated within six months of the commencement of benefits
  • not be in receipt of similar funding from the Australian Government
  • commence the degree by the date set by the University or the scholarship may be withdrawn and reallocated to another applicant
  • be able to commence their PhD by 15 July 2013 (start of semester 2).


  • Applications are open to both domestic and international students
  • Applications including all supporting documentation must be received by the clsoing date and in writing on the USQ application forms provided
  • Scholarships are not transferable to other students in any circumstances
  • The scholarship will be forfeited if the recipient cancels enrolment in the program or fails to ernol at the University of Southern Queensland
  • The scholarship will be forfeited should the student transfer to another institution
  • The scholarships will be awarded on the basis of academic merit, research capacity and relevance of proposed research.

How to apply

To apply for this scholarship, applicants must complete and forward the following documentation by email to

  • Research Student Scholarship Application form
  • two Academic Referee Reports
  • education qualifications (testamur and all academic transcripts including undergraduate and postgraduate)
  • provide a details (DOC79KB)research proposal outline
  • include a two page summary of your research interests and experiences
  • list of any research publications   

The Office of Research and Higher Degrees (ORHD) also recommend applicants supply a copy of their USQ enrolment application (copy only - original application must be forwarded to Admissions). For enrolment instructions, please refer to the how to apply site.

To ensure your scholarship application is assessed, scanned copies of the above documentation (excluding the Academic Referee Reports which should be forwarded separately by the referee) must be forwarded as one attachment to ORHD, and no other office. 

Closing date

Applications have closed.


Further information

Further information about this scholarship can be obtained from the Office of Research and Higher Degrees at