Per annum, for three and a half years. Fee relief additional.

Opening date

Closing date



Who is it for?

Future PhD candidates

Where is it available?


How is it paid?

Fortnightly stipend.


We are seeking an enthusiastic and highly motivated student to undertake a fully-funded PhD project reconstructing the Holocene palaeoenvironment of Port Phillip Bay and investigating human-environmental interactions. The project builds on existing data, with new cores taken by our Industry Partners LXRP. A combination of pollen and charcoal analyses, and geochronological approaches will be used to investigate palaeoecological and sea level changes in the bay; these will be related to archaeological evidence in the region to build a better understanding of human-environment interactions. There is scope to tailor elements of the project to the skills and interests of the candidate.

Port Phillip Bay, on which Melbourne is situated, has a complex history, with evidence for a late Holocene drying event within the last 2,800-1,000BP years, corroborated by local Aboriginal oral traditions. The cores recovered by LXRP on the eastern flank of the bay extend back to 14,000 BP, and offer the opportunity to better resolve our understanding of both sea level fluctuations and palaeoecological change within the bay. There is scope to retrieve further cores with justification.

We are seeking a graduate with a strong academic record, previous experience in geochronology and/or microscopy is desirable but not essential as training will be given.

This research is respectfully carried out on Bunurong Country and will be undertaken in consultation with all stakeholders.

Benefits of the scholarship include:

  • a La Trobe Research Scholarship for three and a half years, with a value of $28,392.00 per annum, to support your living costs (2020 rate)
  • a fee-relief scholarship for up to four years to undertake a PhD at La Trobe University
  • opportunities to work with La Trobe’s outstanding researchers, and have access to our suite of professional development programs.

Are you eligible to apply?

To be eligible to apply for this scholarship, applicants must:

  • a Masters by research degree in a relevant discipline completed within the last ten years assessed at a La Trobe Masters by research standard of 75 or above;
  • an Honours degree, Masters by coursework or ungraded Masters by research degree completed within the last ten years where you achieved a weighted average mark of 70 or above across any coursework subjects;
    any of the following assessed at a La Trobe Masters by research standard of 75 or above:
    - a research thesis of approximately 15,000-20,000 words; or
    - the degree includes a written research component comprising at least 3/8 of one year; or
    - you are the lead author of a peer-reviewed publication or other research published within the last ten years

How to apply

If you wish to apply for this scholarship, follow Step 3 on our research application page – please ensure you submit a full application for scholarship and candidature.

Please note: As part of your application you are not required to identify a potential supervisor – Matthew Meredith-Williams is the designated supervisor for this project;

In your application, clearly indicate that you wish to be considered for the La Trobe University Industry Research Scholarship LXRP.

A research proposal is not required for this application.

Selection process:

  • The University will carefully review your application and consider you for this scholarship.

  • If you are shortlisted for the scholarship and candidature, you will be invited to an interview with representatives of La Trobe. Please note due to current COVID-19 restrictions provisions for virtual interviews will be made.
  • The final decision will be made based on your application and interview. The successful candidate will be made an offer for candidature and scholarship.
  • You will be advised of an outcome in October 2020. The project start date may be negotiable in view of current COVID-19 restrictions.

Who to contact for further information

Dr Matthew Meredith-Williams,