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WaterRA has one PhD project requiring a student, please continue to check this page as it is updated regularly as projects become available.


Sponsored Project proposals are open all year round.  WaterRA invites students with the preferred skills or experience to submit applications for the projects below.  Scroll down or click on the links below to view all the projects seeking students...



Scholarship for PhD project open


Project No  4549


Project Title
The Living Moorabool: Evaluating the effects of Human-driven change on River Health

Barwon Water Regional Corporation(Barwon Water) and Corangamite Catchment Management Authority (CCMA)

Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, Australia

Academic:  Dr Ty Matthews [Deakin University]   ty.matthews@deakin.edu.au

Industry:     Jemma Harper [CCMA]   jemma.harper@ccma.vic.gov.au


Preferred Start Date
Semester 1, 8 March 2021
(Alternate start dates will be considered, up until June 2021)


Eligibility Criteria
Candidates must meet the Deakin University enrolment criteria to be eligible for this project.  Please check the Deakin University website to ensure you meet the criteria.

The successful candidate will be invited to commence the enrolment process at Deakin University following an interview. Candidates do not need to submit any Deakin Univeristy forms before an interview.

The candidate must relocate to Geelong, Victoria for Semester 1, 2021 commencement


Open to

  • Domestic and Permanent Resident Students
  • International Students currently residing in Australia with suitable visas
  • Interested 2020 Honours Students are encouraged to apply (consideration for COVID disruptions will be made, including any delays to results/graduation)
  • Well suited to mid-career NRM or water professionals looking for a stimulating change, or to provide a competitive career edge.


$115,000 Scholarship Package over 3 years

$90,000 ($30K per annum)

  • Stipend

$25,000 (over 3 years)

  • Operating allowance for project expenses can include Sampling & analysis costs | Field trip expenses | Subscriptions etc
  • Conference support - OzWater Conference | YWP Conference | WaterRA events
  • Professional Development Activities - Orientation Day | Mentorship | Engagement and Connection to the Water Sector


Project Scope

The Moorabool River is one of Victoria’s most important regional rivers. As well as providing drinking water for the expanding cities of Geelong and Ballarat, the river serves as a critical biodiversity corridor, a popular waterway for recreational purposes, and holds significance to its Traditional Owners. It is, however, also a highly stressed river where the construction of farm dams, weirs, diversions, land-use change, and water extraction for both urban and rural use have all impacted the health of the Moorabool River. In 2017 the Victorian Government initiated the “Living Moorabool” project to deliver a healthy culture, environment, and community.

Based out of Deakin’s award-winning Geelong campus, this PhD-level research is sponsored by Corangamite Catchment Authority (CCMA), Barwon Water, and Deakin University’s ‘Centre for Regional and Rural Futures’ as part of the “Living Moorabool” project.


We are seeking a suitably qualified environmental scientist with knowledge and interest in ecological and land-use change assessment, as well as community and social licence factors (such as cultural connection, stewardship), to undertake research on how interventions (such as the land-use change, river diversions, extraction, restoration activities) and social factors have impacted on the health of the Moorabool River. The candidate will utilise existing field monitoring systems and a variety of historical proxy data-sets and indicators to construct a vivid depiction of the river’s health; quantifying and pinpointing the relative impacts of interventions. Field-based surveys of local land-holders to evaluate the efficacy of various land management practices will compliment and strengthen the methodology.


The outcomes from this research will provide an empirical baseline from which the river’s key stakeholders can use to shape future management practices in the Moorabool catchment.


Primarily Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria including regular engagement with Barwon Water and CCMA

Applications Close 
Midnight Sunday, 14 February 2021


PhD Interview via zoom
25 February 2021


Students are encouraged to contact the Academic supervisor, Ty Matthews before submitting a WaterRA  application form to ensure you have the right skill set and/or experience to undertake the project.


Student Application

Download the Student Appliction here.

Refer to Student Information for further details regarding the application process and WaterRA benefits.

Student Applications are to be emailed to Carolyn Bellamy

Download Poster here

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Scholarship Honours project open for Semester 1, 2019 commencement

Project No XXXX-XX

Project Title





Project Scope

Student Applications

Project Proposal
Full project proposal can be found here

Refer to Student Information for further details regarding the application process
Applications are to be emailed to Carolyn Bellamy by

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