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Scholarships with WaterRA

Student projects are an effective means of undertaking research and provide excellent research training for future water professionals.


As at August 2018, 50 PhD students have commenced with WaterRA, with 21 completions. WaterRA currently has an exceptional retention rate of students employed in the water sector..

EMMA PLANT - 2014 PhD graduate

Emma completed her PhD in Adelaide in 2014 and now lives in Perth, working for the Water Corporation of Western Australia. Her role as Source Protection Consultant is focussed on drinking water catchment management around WA. Her recent work includes leading a three-year R&D project into understanding and effectively monitoring pesticide risks to drinking water sources, and providing advice for the management of a recently burnt catchment area.

She has seized a number of opportunities to act in senior roles, recently leading a team that monitors and maintains water quality through metropolitan Perth’s distribution network. She is now studying her Masters part-time through the International Water Centre.



Please note there are no WaterRA funded scholarships available at this time for 2019 commencement. 

WaterRA are offering scholarship packages via the sponsored project process.  Please click here for relevant information.



Research Member Student Project Applications


  • 1 x PhD scholarship package
  • 1 x Honours scholarship package

Successful applicants will be considered for the:

Benefits to Research Members

  • Work on an industry driven project with a path to research impact
  • Provides engagement and opportunity to build reputation within the industry
  • WaterRA mentor and professional development program
  • Operating and travel allowance budget
  • Exposure for the research outcomes via conference and network support
  • Scholarship package provides leverage for supervisors to attract the best students
  • Student projects categorised as Category A funding and do not incur overhead fees


Application Information

  • Applications will be promoted to members and colleagues to seek sponsorship as well as being considered for the WaterRA Scholarships.
  • Researchers are limited to one application each
  • A student must be nominated on the form (Part 3)
  • The student may have enrolled in 2017 or be enrolling to commence in 2018
  • Project must align with a WaterRA focus group as listed below
  • Supervisors are to refer to example RASP Agreement
  • Student must be eligible refer to PhD Student or Honours student requirements
  • Clearly define objectives, methodology, outcomes and technology transfer mechanisms of project
  • Clearly identify resources in the project to support the student and the project to ensure a timely completion
  • Demonstrate the benefits of the research to industry
  • Clearly define milestones and project plan


The Process

Step 1 Submit Student Project Proposal form
Part 1                      

This form identifies the project topic - Due COB 31 October 2017

Earlier submissions will allow time to seek member sponsorship - Due COB
29 September 2017

Step 2

Submit Research
Member form
Part 3

This form is to be submitted together with Part 1 - Due dates as above

This form identifies the research organisation details

Step 3 Seek sponsorship

WaterRA promote projects to members and colleagues via WaterRA website, AWA, WSAA, WIOA and ICEWarm newsletters

If successful, Sponsor to complete Part 2 followed by a Letter of Commitment executed between WaterRA and the sponsor.

Step 4 Student to submit application form
Part 4

This form provides the student details and background experience. Can be submitted with Parts 1 & 3 or by COB 31 October 2017

Student must apply for primary scholarship via university process

Step 5         Education Committee (EdCom) To ensure governance and due diligence, the application is assessed and shortlisted by the EdCom.  This practice is to ensure the project is robust, with background resources to support the student and that the student has the right experience/skill set and/or degree to undertake the project.
Step 6 Outcomes announced

Honours student will be merit selected and awarded the WaterRA scholarship

The Michael R Moore Memorial Honours scholarship will be merit selected and awarded

Shortlisted PhD students will be invited for an interview in December for consideration of the WaterRA Scholarship

All sponsored students approved by the EdCom will be awarded relevant scholarship

All students shortlisted for the Nancy Millis Memorial PhD Scholarship will be invited to an interview in December 

Step 7 Student Agreement (RASP)

Enter into negotiation of the Research Agreement for Student Project (RASP) with all parties.  This Agreement is signed by WaterRA, the University, the Student and the Sponsor (if applicable).

A final RASP is executed between all parties.


WaterRA focus groups:

Economic, Regulation, Framework & Productivity    Climate Change
Customers & Community Engagement & Perceptions      Sustainable Management of Environmental Impacts 
Managing Contamination in Water    Resource Recovery & Reuse
Managing Source Water    IT Capability & Data Analysis
Operational (service)    IWM & WSUD



Form icon


Part 1. Student Project Proposal Form
Part 3. Research Member Form
Part 4. Student Application
 Form icon Part 2 form to be submitted by
the sponsoring organisation
once identified.
Part 2. Sponsor Organisation


Please contact Carolyn Bellamy 08 7424 2443 for further information on the application process



For further information on the Education Program, please read...

WaterRA seeks external funding to support student projects that address priority water industry research topics. Collaboration and industry relevance in project design ensures that students gain direct exposure to water and environmental issues.

Benefits to participant sponsors are practical and provide the opportunity to contribute to the industry and research sector’s research skills base.

Student packages provide a top-up stipend and additional support for resources and professional development.

With 20 years’ experience in providing student support, we are proud of our track record in producing well-rounded young postgraduates to fill the many stimulating career opportunities in the water industry.

WaterRA takes a holistic approach to student development and support through additional benefits. Students are encouraged to advance their skills and knowledge and engage with industry professionals through the Young Water Professionals and AWA networks. The students receive support to attend relevant workshops and deliver presentations at conferences, providing opportunities for further skills development and networking.

WaterRA generates engaged, industry-conscious students who, through exposure and opportunity, are able to see and understand where their research fits in the big picture.

What is required for a student project?

The four primary elements of a student project are:

  • a great project;
  • an excellent student;
  • an appropriate supervisor, and
  • Sponsorship!

Projects can be submitted for consideration at any time. This is how it works...

  • If the project is ready to go, that is, has a supervisor, student and sponsorship all arranged, it can be assessed by the EdCom immediately.
  • If a project is submitted by a funder (ie, has sponsorship attached) it will be assessed by the EdCom and publicised to locate a suitable research supervisor and student.
  • If a project is submitted by a research organisation with a student attached, but no sponsorship, the project will be assessed by the EdCom and then publicised to Members and the wider industry for support. The due date for project proposals and student applications is 31 October each year

Funders can support student projects either through the Philanthropic Fund or by sponsoring a specific project directly.

All projects seeking sponsors or students will be posted on the WaterRA website, so it is important to check periodically.

Students interested in a postgraduate degree in the water industry should talk to their supervisor and keep an eye on our website for opportunities:

For more information contact Carolyn Bellamy.

Part 1
Student Project Proposal For


SIMON PERRATON - 2014 PhD graduate

Simon undertook a PhD at the University of Tasmania’s Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies. Simon’s research, which identified legal barriers to wastewater reuse in Australia, was published in the Australasian Journal of Environmental Management and presented at the Australia and New Zealand Society for Ecological Economics conference in 2012 and the Asia Pacific Water Recycling Conference in 2013. Since completing his PhD he has used his research skills in the office of a Federal Senator and worked as an environmental lawyer for the Environmental Defenders Office. Simon now researches wastewater disposal as part of a Commonwealth-funded research project under the National Environmental Science Program’s Marine Biodiversity Hub.

Being based in Tasmania and outside of Australia’s capital cities, Simon found that one of the biggest advantages of the WaterRA PhD program was being able to travel interstate and meet a range of people from the water industry and research institutes.

MICHAEL WEBBER - 2014 Honours graduate

Michael is currrently part of a small team of Technical Support Officers at SA Water who manage all aspects of drinking water quality in South Australia outside of metro Adelaide.

"I completed a Biotechnology (Honours) degree at Flinders University and my heart was set on plant biotechnology", but then the opportunity arose to take a WaterRA summer scholarship at the SA Water AWQC, working with live Cryptosporidium, and everything changed".

Following the industry-sponsored summer scholarship Michael went on to a WaterRA Honours Scholarship before joining SA Water’s graduate program. Since then he has worked with SA Water’s research and operations groups, Allwater and GWMWater before landing his current role. He was finalist for two undergraduate research awards, won the Michael Flynn Award for best paper at OzWater in 2014, and was the AWA SA Young Water Professional of the year in 2015.

With the networks he has developed as a student with WaterRA Michael can see himself returning for further study, perhaps a master’s degree in Engineering or returning to microbiology research to complete a PhD "but for now I love this role, there is an enormous amount more to learn, always something interesting and eventful and a great balance of office and field based work and so many opportunities to make a difference".



WaterRA Contact for Education Initiatives

Carolyn Bellamy

Research Capbaility Manager
08 7424 2443

Key Dates for scholarships commencing 2019

Project Proposals are open all year round with the primary call for submissions placed in September 

Closing Date for project proposal & student applications:
31 October