Home > Education > WaterRA Scholarships > PhD & Masters Scholarships

PhD & Masters Scholarships

As at August 2018, 50 PhD students have commenced their studies with WaterRA.  90+% of WaterRA students commence their careers in the water sector...


Today's student could be tomorrow's game changer...

To be eligible for a scholarship you MUST: 

Be registered with an Australian University or

Be a resident of Australia or

Be an Australian Citizen

Building future expertise across the water industry is the key focus of the WaterRA Education Program. The Program aims to build capacity and capability in high quality research to support the Australian water community and facilitate knowledge transfer and uptake of research.

Bringing together universities, students and water utilities, WaterRA supports the training of young industry professionals to help build long term operational excellence.  The program enables graduates to carry out research through student projects with the aim of encouraging participants to:

  • Select the water industry as a career path
  • Enhance skills
  • Improve decision-making skills
  • Improve knowledge
  • Hands-on experience - labs, the field etc
  • Evolving from the CRC for Water Quality and Treatment Education and Training Program (CRCWQT) the initiative has delivered 90 per cent of its graduates into employment across the water industry.

PhD Scholarships are awarded to students with exceptional research potential undertaking a higher degree by research. The student is to demonstrate initiative and have an interest in the water sector. This opportunity will provide students the opportunity to enhance their research skills and offers professional development in a wide range of water industry related areas.

Masters Scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate initiative and an interest in the water sector. Masters by Research projects train students in the analysis of relevant literature and materials, the application of research methodology/ techniques and subsequent evaluation.  This initiative is intended to support students who, on completion of their Masters Degree, would be prepared to enter the water industry or progress to a post graduate degree in a water-related field of research.

Information on Masters by Coursework can be found here.

Student applications are to be emailed to Research Capability Manager

  PhD Masters by Research
Stipend $5,000 pa $5,000 pa
Project Support $15,000 $10,000
Professional Development Activities $5,000 $5,000
Period 3 years 2 years
Conference support National and international National                   
Support Mentor Mentor



Must be registered with an Australian University and be resident in Australia (international students must apply for and secure an RTS, IPRS or equivalent Australian primary scholarship).

Networking Opportunities

  • Introduction to YWP Networks
  • Attendance at Professional Development events (international and national conferences)
  • Engagement with members within the water industry
  • Networking with fellow WaterRA students
  • Access to reports and publications on water research being undertaken nationally by members
  • Opportunity to present to WaterRA members
  • International links

Additional Benefits

  • Networking and exposure at WaterRA Members meetings etc
  • AWA membership
  • Research projects which address knowledge gaps in the water industry
  • Access to ‘big picture’ perspectives and discussions

Nancy Millis Memorial PhD Scholarship

The Nancy Millis PhD Memorial Scholarship is offered annually in honour of microbiologist Emeritus Professor Nancy Millis AC MBE for her pioneering work in agriculture, environmental protection, medicine and engineering. This scholarship is awarded to a student with demonstrated research excellence. This scholarship is additional to the WaterRA scholarship. Invitation to an Interview is a two phase process.

Step 1.  All PhD applications received will be considered for the Memorial Scholarship.  If shortlisted, the candidate is invited to submit a 3 minute video of what they bring to the project.  Further details will be provided.

Step 2.  Successful candidates will be invited to an Interview for consideration of the Nancy Millis Memorial PhD Scholarship. Further details will be provided.


Important information for supervisors:

Relevant Information

  • Applications are open to domestic and international students (conditions apply)
  • Domestic students must secure a primary scholarship at the host university
  • International students must secure an International and/or Australian primary scholarship at the host university before submitting an application ie: must be enrolled
  • International students must be living in Australia when applying for a WaterRA scholarship and available for the interview in December.
  • Student enrolment status must be full time
  • Short-listed PhD students must be available for an interview in December tba. The interviews will be held in Melbourne or Adelaide, WaterRA will arrange travel and accommodation if required
  • The PhD interview includes a 7 minute power point presentation by the student.  The student will then answer a series of questions by the interview panel.  Allow approx 45 minutes for the interview.
  • Student must be available for orientation day (details tba)
  • Students are expected to submit applications for AWA Awards as appropriate
  • WaterRA will provide travel and accomodation for students to attend events ie: student orientation day
  • WaterRA encourage students to seek legal advice on the Student Agreement if offered a scholarship.  WaterRA will reimburse from the operating allowance up to $300 (GST inclusive) for legal advice.

Student Application Information

  • PhD and Masters candidates must lodge an application for a full stipend primary scholarship at the host university for the relevant project (ie: International, national or university scholarship etc)
  • Each successful candidate is awarded the WaterRA scholarship subject to the student securing the primary scholarship in ensuing months
  • Prospective candidates are advised to contact the supervisor listed for the project to discuss their interest and suitability to the project requirements prior to submitting an application.
  • WaterRA student application form, CV and an official academic record are to be attached in one document. Please note, an official transcript may take up to one week or more to obtain - this turnaround time needs to be factored in
  • Preference is for referees to be an academic or employer supervisor
  • The Student Agreement is to be signed by WaterRA, the university, the sponsor (if applicable) and the student before commencement of WaterRA scholarship
  • WaterRA reserves the right not to award all scholarships

Essential Criteria for Student Applications must:

  • Ensure academic transcript and CV is attached as one document
  • Referees have been notified.  Preference is for academic or employer supervisor referees
  • Have contacted project supervisor to ensure your suitability to the project requirements
  • Ensure content of application includes work experience and skills/study which relate to the project requirements
  • Demonstrate your motivation to be involved in the water industry
  • Your application will receive a score based on

       a) academic record
       b) quality of written application
       c) skills/study match to the project requirements
       d) interview (if applicable)

All PhD applicants shortlisted for an interview will be in consideration for the Nancy Millis Memorial PhD Scholarship.  This is in addition to the PhD Scholarship Package.


Download the Student Application Form

Download the Student Project Initiation Form

Email completed application to Research Capability Manager


WaterRA Contact for
Education Initiatives

Carolyn Bellamy

Research Capability Manger
 08 7424 2443

Key Dates for Scholarships commencing 2019

Project Proposals are available all year round, with the primary call for submissions placed in September.

If Sponsors require assistance in connecting with universities and/or students to contact Carolyn by
30 September.


Closing Date for project proposal & student application 31 October


PhD Interview: 
Early December