Research students | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Accessibility links

Research students

Study with us

If you have an interest in postgraduate study relevant to the Pacific Islands consider supervision by an ACPIR core researcher of an Honours, Master or Doctoral degree.

See a list of our student members and their research topics.


ACPIR has strong links with researchers, industry, community groups, government and non-government organisations related to the Pacific Islands. Our established and developing relationships, together with our sound reputation, enable us to have access to rich research environments and collaborations with a broad network of researchers, experts, professionals and communities in the Pacific Islands and the rest of the world.

ACPIR offers our students a supportive community with resources, mentorship, peer support and research project experience.

Increase research experience and employment opportunities

Much of our research is supported by the Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR), the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and other research-for-development funding bodies. Our HDR students and post-doctoral fellows have opportunities to gain valuable work experience on ACPIR research projects, publish with supervisors and enhance future career prospects in these research areas.

Achieve sustainable outcomes from your research that have a real impact on the lives of Pacific Islands people.

ACPIR Summer Research Scholarship - 2021-2022

The ACPIR Summer Research Scholarship (ACPIR SRS) program provides an opportunity for undergraduate, including honours, students to be part of a research team and participate in research. Through the program, students will have increased exposure to research as a career pathway and an opportunity to learn about the research process, be involved in a project, network with other researchers, postgraduate peers and professionals, and start to develop a research track record. Research skills are transferable, making this experience useful, even for those who may not decide to pursue research as a career option.

The program is 8 weeks in duration, run over the summer (2021/2022) starting 6 Dec and recommencing after the Christmas holiday break. There is flexibility in the days/times that the student can work, negotiated at the start of the program.

Undergraduate students in the program are paid a stipend of $3,000 for the 8-week program. The scholarship will be paid in instalments over the SRS period.

Scholarship recipients and project teams for 2021-2022:

  • Developing a tool to assess school food environments in the Pacific Islands 

Monica Smith and Claudia Pettersen, mentored by Bridget Horsey (HDR candidate) and Dr Sarah Burkhart (ACPIR Project Leader)

  • Construction of a dataset documenting pearl exports from Papua New Guinea

Edward Hay, co-mentored by postgraduates Dr Thane Militz and Nittya Simard (HDR candidate) and Prof Paul Southgate (ACPIR Project Leader)

  • Evaluation of the PAC24: an innovative online dietary assessment tool designed for Pacific Island countries

Amy Mills and Briana Fahey, mentored by Courtney Anderson (HDR candidate) and Dr Libby Swanepoel (ACPIR supervisor Project Leader)

ACPIR support to attend the 2021 Crawford Fund Conference: Food & Nutrition Security – The Biosecurity, Health, Trade Nexus

Funding support recipients for 2021 Crawford Fund Conference are Claudia Pettersen and Abbey Sullivan

Nittya Simard
Contact a potential supervisor for your honours or postgraduate studies.

We suggest browsing the profiles of ACPIR members to look for alignment of their expertise with your research interests. Contact them directly and include your CV outlining your work experience and the areas you are interested in studying. If you are unsure which academic to approach, email for advice on who may be able to support you in your research.

Research at USC

To explore options and pathways into Higher Degree by Research programs at USC visit Research students.


ACPIR Summer Research Scholarship

The Summer Research Scholarship program provides an opportunity for undergraduate students to undertake research activities on a specific research project and receive a stipend of $3,000. They will be mentored by an academic supervisor from ACPIR and also a postgraduate peer throughout the ACPIR-SRS program to help develop research skills, personal skills, and career planning, and are encouraged to work with the project team in contributing to a publication/other output as a named author.

ACPIR postgraduate mentors will receive a stipend of $2,000.

ACPIR HDR Support Grant Top-up Initiative

ACPIR recognises the strategic importance and high cost nature of undertaking research in the Pacific Islands. As some USC HDR students are not eligible to access the level of funding allocated to high-cost fields of education (according to RTP legislation), ACPIR offers a support initiative to bridge the funding gap between high and low cost fields and enable our students to conduct valuable research.

Contact for further information

Look into USC scholarships available for postgraduate research and the ACPIR Summer Research Scholarships for undergraduate students.