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Every year Southern Cross University offers many PhD scholarships to come and study in our beautiful region.

Southern Cross University’s Lismore campus occupies 75 hectares of lush, sub-tropical grounds including landscaped gardens and rainforest walkways that are home to a variety of native wildlife. Lismore campus is within striking distance of Byron Bay and less than three hours drive to Brisbane, in the vibrant Northern Rivers region of NSW.

Talk to one of GARG researchers to discuss potential projects for a PhD, Master degree or Honours with us.




PhD Scholarship Opportunity

Trace elemental and isotopic signature in hominid teeth

Key words: Human evolution, geochemistry, isotopes, trace elements, primate, teeth, fossil, archaeometry, archaeogeochemistry

Project details:

In teeth, mineralisation of enamel and dentine occurs incrementally and thus retains a sequential record of an individual’s early-life chemical exposure - both external and internal (e.g., metabolites). The well-preserved elemental and isotopic signals in fossil teeth have been used to reconstruct trophic levels, diet and migration patterns of early hominins and even in some cases the breastfeeding history of late Pleistocene Homo and extant apes. Reconstructing the isoscape (or exposome) of extinct species and in particular the nursing history is extremely valuable to better understand the early life signal of species that composed the broad primate evolution sequence, including for clarifying when the characteristic early weaning and late maturation of modern humans evolved.

This project aims to improve our understanding of the ecological setting of key primate species of the past few million years using high resolution laser-ablation inductively plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICPMS) as well as other characterisation techniques. We seek a PhD student to work on improving the methodology and protocols of LA-ICPMS mapping and isotopic ratio analyses, while investigating early-life events of key fossils. The PhD student will work alongside a team of scientists from Australia, USA, Germany, France, China and South Africa who will contribute and provide guidance on characterisation techniques, trace element and isotopic analyses, dental anatomy, and primate evolution.

We are seeking a graduate with a strong academic record with experience in archaeometry, geochemistry, chemistry and/or biochemistry and either knowledge or a strong interest to work on human/primate evolution problematic. The student should have robust computer skills. Experience with coding in matlab or R is a plus. There is also a large probability to participate in field work campaign in Africa and/or Asia.


Admission to candidature is granted to students who possess a Bachelor’s degree with first or second class honours, or a Masters degree with the relevant research component.

Location: Lismore Campus

How to apply:  Send your resume, transcripts, certificates and relevant publications (if any) in one PDF file to via email to: renaud.joannes-boyau@scu.edu.au

  1. Outcome of expression of interest: You’ll be notified of the outcome of your expression of interest by email.

  2. Interviews: If your expression of interest is successful, you will be invited to attend an online interview for both the scholarship and for the PhD candidature. Instructions will be provided in the invitation.

PhD stipend of 3 year duration to support living costs, rate increased annually.  The 2019 rate is $27,596 per year (indexed annually). Co-funded by Agilent Technologies Australia Pty Ltd and Southern Cross University.

Yearly round of scholarship at GARG starts around end of August with a submission deadline for the application in late October. Contact us if you want to discuss current projects or if you have a project in mind.

Make sure to look here after ARC announcement of Discovery projects around mid-November, as we will post all scholarships available around Australia in the discipline.

Flinders University, Australia - 2xPhD scholarships in Geoarchaeology (deadline March 1st, 2019): There are 2 fully-funded (fee waiver and living stipend) PhD scholarships in Geoarchaeology to work on an Australian Research Council (ARC) project at Flinders University Archaeology with Dr Mike Morley and collaborators. The doctoral candidates will be integral to a 4-year project examining environmental drivers of human (and hominin) dispersals into and out of Southeast Asia during the Late Pleistocene (MIS 5–2). The research will involve fieldwork at various sites across Southeast Asia, examining stratigraphic sequences both at cave and open-air sites. The primary aim of the project will be to generate data enabling the reconstruction of environment change occurring on-site and in the local catchment, and correlating these data with periods of site occupation and abandonment. Candidates will be encouraged to employ a range of geoarchaeological techniques suited to their particular skills and experience, but there will be emphasis on analysing sediments and stratigraphy at the micro-scale (e.g., micromorphology/microstratigraphy, spatially-constrained geochemical and elemental mapping, plant biomarkers, stable isotopes).

The positions will start in around mid 2019 and the deadline for applications is 1 March 2019. Please see official website HERE for more details and apply through the portal only using the contact details provided.


Every year GARG is seeking to support strong applicants for a ARC DECRA proposal, talk to us if you are interested to apply with us.

November-2018 Postdoctorate Researcher at UOW
The Wollongong Isotope Geochronology Laboratory (WIGL) is looking for a postdoctoral researcher. WIGL is an isotope geochemistry research group at the University of Wollongong (Wollongong, NSW, Australia). The candidate will have access to world-class cleanroom facilities, automated chromatography (ESI prepFAST), a laser ablation system (NWR193), 2 quadrupole ICP-MS (Agilent 7500cs and Thermo iCAP-Q) and a multi-collector ICP-MS (Thermo Neptune Plus). Click here for more info and how to apply