Postgraduate Studies

Postgraduate study in the Climate Change Research Centre at UNSW

Postgraduate research programs in the CCRC are undertaken through a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Master of Science (MSc). Please visit the research topics section of this site to find more out about the areas of research that we specialise in. Potential supervisors can be identified by contacting the researchers on this page whose work interests you. For a list of current PhD students and their projects please browse the CCRC postgraduate student list.

If you are not sure whether your undergraduate background is appropriate or are interested the differences between the PhD and MSc programs, please see the Can I study climate science page.

If you are interested in applying for a postgraduate research degree at the CCRC, please use the online Expression of Interest form from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science website. Ideally you will have contacted a potential supervisor before completing this form, but this is not a prerequisite if you are unsure.


The University of New South Wales offers a variety of scholarships for undergraduate, postgraduate, local and international students. Scholarships are competitive and awarded on the basis of academic merit.

In Australia, scholarships to cover living expenses and tuition must be sought independently of the application to the Graduate Research School.  The main funding source is the government RTP scheme. These scholarships are competitive and require high marks in the last few years of tertiary education, and/or previous research experience.  There are other funding opportunities including scholarships available directly through CCRC staff members, through the ARC Centre of Excellence in Climate System Science, or through external funding bodies. If you have any further questions please contact the Postgraduate Research Coordinator.

Local and international students click here for information on postgraduate scholarships and potential CCRC supervisors. For other scholarship opportunities go to UNSW Graduate Research School Scholarships page or the UNSW Scholarships web site.

Scientia PhD Scholarships (for both domestic and international students)

Topic area:  The physics of drought extremes in the 21st Century

Expressions of interest are sought from outstanding graduates with a strong academic record including Honors Class I or equivalent for up to two 4-year PhD scholarships that include a living allowance of $40,000 per annum (tax-free) and $10,000 per annum in additional project support costs (e.g. relocation, travel, etc).  The scholarships also include full fee-waivers for international students.

Graduates with a strong background in physics, mathematics, oceanography, atmospheric science, engineering or similar quantitative sciences are particularly encouraged to apply.  Graduates with additional past experience working as a research scientist or assistant are also strongly encouraged to apply.  Expressions of interest require (1) full copies of academic transcripts (2) a CV and (3) the names of up to three qualified referees.

The PhD students will be based at the UNSW Climate Change Research Centre, with supervision from Professors Matthew England and Andrew Pitman, among others.  For further details on the CCRC, including faculty, research staff, students, research foci, and publications, see

Up to two PhD scholarships will be offered; the first will focus on the ocean-atmosphere dynamics regulating drought using models and observations. This will focus on the large-scale drivers of drought including the role of the oceans via the El Niño and Indian Ocean variability, and the role of variations in the Southern Annular Mode.  For this project, knowledge of ocean-atmosphere dynamics and GFD would be an advantage.  The second PhD will focus on the role of land-atmosphere interactions. Here, the specific role of the land in intensifying drought will be examined including the importance of turbulent energy and/or vegetation feedbacks, and the role of regional-scale heating in re-organizing the atmosphere towards persistent patterns of blocking.  Both PhD scholarships seek graduates with strong quantitative and numerical skills.

Both students will also gain direct support through the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science (ARCCSS). This will include access to technical and computational support, formal engagement through the Centre’s Graduate Program (including targeted training, mentorship, Winter Schools and so on) and allocation of supercomputing resources for simulations via the National Computational Infrastructure facilities.

Apart from experts based at the UNSW Climate Change Research Centre, students will also be able to engage with international experts and have opportunities to spend time in Europe or the US working with colleagues.

Expression of Interest including academic transcript, CV and the names of up to three referees should be sent to by November 11, 2016.

Research Training Program (RTP) scholarships (for both domestic and international students)

Both domestic and international students can apply for Research Training Scholarships to cover living expenses, and tuition fees for international students. Domestic students do not need to pay tuition. There are four scholarship rounds per year. For further details on scholarship rounds and how to apply for admission and scholarship, please visit the UNSW Graduate Research School

Scholarships available for international students

Note: There may be additional scholarships available through your home country.

Endeavour Postgraduate Award

Closing Date: June 30th

Endeavour Postgraduate Awards are merit-based scholarships available to students in the Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. The scholarships cover tuition fees, a living stipend, travel allowance and establishment costs. Applicants must apply for and be admitted to a postgraduate program before applying for the scholarship. Applications are made directly through the Endeavour Awards website.

To be eligible for an Endeavour Postgraduate Award you must be a citizen or permanent resident of a participating country. You may not be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or a New Zealand citizen.

For further information about the Endeavour Postgraduate Award, including eligible countries and details of the application process, click here.

Australia Awards

Closing Date: Differs depending on country of residence.

Australia Awards provide opportunities for students from developing countries to undertake full-time study at Australian universities. The scholarships cover tuition fees, a living stipend, travel allowance and establishment costs. Application processes and closing dates differ depending on your country of citizenship/residency. Each participating country has a list of priority areas for awarding scholarships. It is worth noting that many countries list climate change as one of their priorities.

For further information about Australia Awards, including participating countries and details of the application process, click here.