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   Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment

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  Prof B Singh  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Soil biodiversity plays an essential role in driving litter decomposition, and nutrient cycling. This project aims to identify biotic interactions among soil communities, and decipher their roles in regulating nitrogen and phosphorous cycles. In this first national effort to link quantitative soil biodiversity data across the size spectrum to a range of soil functions in Australia’s agricultural land. This project will develop standardised methodologies and generate a new framework that can assist soil biodiversity conservation and provide significant benefits for improved soil health and agricultural productivity.

The Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment (HIE) within Western Sydney University is seeking a highly-motivated candidate for a 3-year PhD program of research to commence in 2022 in the field of soil biology and ecosystem functions. The successful candidate will conduct research in to provide national level data to link soil biodiversity to key functions including agriculture productivity. The PhD candidate will join a vibrant research team with opportunities to interact with a group of world-class collaborators in an inter-disciplinary environment. The candidate is also expected to take leading roles in disseminating research results through scientific publications and conference presentations. The PhD program is based at the Hawkesbury Campus of Western Sydney University in Richmond, New South Wales, Australia.


We welcome applicants from a range of backgrounds who are keen to apply their skills to the project topic. The successful applicant should:

  • hold qualifications and experience equal to one of the following (i) an Australian First Class Bachelor (Honours) degree, (ii) coursework Masters with at least 25% research component, (iii) Research Masters degree, or (iv) equivalent international qualifications.
  • demonstrate strong academic performance in soil and plant microbiology.
  • demonstrate a willingness to undertake field-based research in remote areas.
  • be enthusiastic and highly motivated to undertake further study at an advanced level.
  • possess excellent written and verbal communication skills.

International applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency.


Complete the application via the link:

Follow the step-by-step instructions on the how to apply for a project scholarship.

  • Note: You do not need to complete 'Step 5: Submit an online application for admission' when applying for this scholarship. You must complete 'Step 6: Submit an online application for a project scholarship'.

Incomplete applications or applications that do not conform to the above requirements will not be considered.

For questions and advice about the research project, please contact the Lead Researcher; Professor Brajesh Singh: [Email Address Removed]

For questions and advice about the application process, please contact the Graduate Research School: [Email Address Removed].

Use the email subject line: Application PS2022_051_HIE

Closing date: 31 August 2022

*Applications close at 11.59pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST).

Funding Notes

Domestic candidates will receive a tax-free stipend of $30,000(AUD) per annum for up to 3 years to support living costs, supported by the Research Training Program (RTP) Fee Offset.
International candidates will receive a tax-free stipend of $30,000(AUD) per annum for up to 3 years to support living costs. Those with a strong track record will be eligible for a tuition fee waiver and an Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)Single Policy
Substantial benefits ($6,000 per annum) in terms of operational funding for project fieldwork and data collection, and travel and conference attendance.
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