Reframing Bush-Fire Communication for Sustainability - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Reframing Bush-Fire Communication for Sustainability

Expressions of Interest for this scholarship are no longer being accepted. Only applications nominated by the Chief Investigators will be considered.

Mistra Environmental Communication – Reframing Communication for Sustainability is a 4-year international research program (2020-2023) funded by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research (Mistra). The program aims to mainstream an advanced and inclusive understanding of environmental communication in research, policy and practice in order to effectively support sustainability transformations. It draws on a transdisciplinary approach that involves researchers from diverse disciplines at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala University, Lund University, Borås University, University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), Charles University Prague, and University of Texas as well as a wide range of societal actors to harness existing thinking, co-develop new insights and approaches and translate these into communication practice.

The Sustainability Research Centre at USC is leading the work under a theme entitled Science and knowledge co-production within the Mistra program. This work package aims to examine the capability of environmental communication embodied in knowledge co-production to support development, adaptation and implementation of actions in complex and urgent situations and to enable transition towards sustainable futures. With the support of Mistra, the Science and Knowledge Co-production Theme is offering a 3-year vacancy for a PhD candidate at the Sustainability Research Centre, USC. This position will be full-time research students on a fixed term scholarship. The research tasks will involve the implementation of transdisciplinary methodologies and extensive field work in Sweden.

The relationship in the public sphere between recent forest fires in Sweden (2014, 2017), bushfires in Australia (2019-2020) has given new fuel to climate change and land use/forest debates. In these debates we can trace a sense of urgency, and action, advocacy of new land use practices (such as forest management models), ideas of fake news and climate change denial, calls for “traditional” knowledges, and the promotion of these as a response to “others” knowing “better”, and the power relations that support dominant ways of knowing. The urgency, and panic as a result of the fires in Australia and Sweden opens a unique opportunity to study and understand the interaction of different climate change discourses in society with different land use sectors, and also how emergent voices, perspectives and land management practices potentially gain validation.

To be successful, the applicant must be self-managing, a team player, and able to meet fixed deadlines within a complex environment. The candidate must also be prepared to be based in Uppsala, Sweden for extensive periods and have strong verbal and written skills in both Swedish and English.

Prior to completing an official application and for specific information about the research project, please contact Dr Marcus Bussey.

For more information:

Reference Project Document

Contact Dr Marcus Bussey. Email: 

  • Be accepted into a Higher Degrees by Research program at the University of the Sunshine Coast
  • Not have an equivalent qualification to the one for which they are currently applying
  • Have a First-Class Bachelor Honours Degree, or show equivalent level of achievement with other academic qualifications or professional research experience
  • Applications are welcome from both Domestic and International students
Selection criteria
  • Undergraduate degree.
  • Masters degree in sustainability or equivalent interdisciplinary subject area.
  • Research publications.
  • Professional research experience.
  • Background in sustainability, environmental governance, natural resources, rural development, geography or the equivalent.
  • Experience with, and understanding of transdisciplinarity and participatory methodologies.
  • Sound verbal and written communication skills in Swedish and English.
  • A background in qualitative research methods in discourse analysis.
Eligible programs
Number available

Research Training Program equivalent stipend ($28,092 pa in 2020) plus USC tuition fees for the duration of the program.

Prior to completing an official application and for specific information about the research project, please contact Dr Marcus Bussey,


1. Apply for program admission:
  • If you are not a current USC HDR student, complete an application for program admission following the directions on the HDR Applicants page
2. Apply for the scholarship: