PhD Scholarship Opportunity in Green Accounting - Apply by March 18 2018

PhD Scholarship Opportunity in Green Accounting - Apply by March 18 2018

Green Accounting: Evaluating the Benefits of Urban Greening under Future Climates

Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment

About the project

Increasing the amount of greenery in our towns and cities is essential for human health and wellbeing, and for the health of the environment and is a strategy at the heart of the 202020 vision for Australia. However, a key challenge is to identify plant species that will be able to withstand future, more extreme climatic conditions and still deliver the many benefits - such as heat island mitigation, regulation of air quality and water cycling, and support for biodiversity - that vegetation brings to urban landscapes.

This project aims to address the following questions:

  • How effective are different plant species in reducing local temperatures and improving air quality in our cities?
  • How can planting design be optimised to support high levels of biodiversity?
  • How are the co-benefits (i.e. ecosystem services) of urban plantings influenced by soil conditions (e.g. water holding capacity) and planting context (e.g. street trees versus parks and gardens).

Applications are open to international candidates as well as Australian or New Zealand citizens or permanent residents of Australia. The position is based at the Hawkesbury campus of Western Sydney University, Richmond, NSW and is in collaboration with the Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University. The successful candidate will join a dynamic team postdocs and PhD students working on the “Green Cities Project” with Western Sydney University’s partners and the horticulture industry to achieve key applied outcomes in plant and soil science.

What does the scholarship provide?

  • Domestic students will receive a tax-free stipend of $27,082 per annum for up to 3 years and a funded place in the doctoral degree.
  • International students will receive a tax-free stipend of $27,082 per annum for up to 3 years. Those with a strong track record receive a tuition fee waiver and Overseas Student Health Cover (single policy).
  • Funding is available for conference travel and attendance.

Eligibility criteria

Relevant professional experience in the broad area of horticulture, agriculture or forestry will be viewed favourably. As a minimum, 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 overseas qualifications.
  • demonstrate research experience in ecological data analyses with a plant or invertebrate biology focus.
  • possess excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • have relevant fieldwork experience.
  • be enthusiastic and highly motivated to undertake further study at an advanced level in laboratory and field environments.

International applicants must also demonstrate a high level of English language proficiency.

How to apply

1. Contact Professor Sally Power ( to discuss your eligibility, the project requirements and your intention to apply.

2. Complete the scholarship application form (PDF, 222.11 KB).

3. Compile your CV, contact information for two referees and a one-page proposal stating how your research interests align with the project aims.

4. Ensure all documentation is certified according to Western Sydney University requirements.

5. All applications and supporting documentation must be submitted directly to the Graduate Research School as follows:

  • Use the email subject line: Application_2018_070_HIE
  • Submit to
  • All attached documents must be submitted as PDF.
  • In the body of your email, include your full name, your student ID (if you are a current or previous Western Sydney University student) and the full title of the scholarship/project.

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

Please contact the Graduate Research School via email at for more information.

Applications close 18 March 2018 - Apply at