Scholarship on Silviculture and Carbon Accumulation in Reforestation Systems | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Scholarship on Silviculture and Carbon Accumulation in Reforestation Systems

Applications open until March 31 2024

This PhD position will provide the student the opportunity to be part of a large research for development project that has direct impacts on communities and biodiversity. Findings from the PhD research will have direct real-life application and impacts. The student will also have the opportunity to participate in project activities related to their PhD topic and benefit from scientific and industry networks of the project.

The student will work as part of Project Tarsier. Project Tarsier is a large research for development project aimed at improving our understanding on how to implement large-scale rehabilitation of deforested and degraded forest landscapes and improve the socioeconomic status of communities through providing sustainable livelihoods and voluntary trading of carbon credits generated through Nature-based Solutions (NbS).

Despite the large global commitments on ecosystem restoration and carbon emission reductions, there are still significant knowledge gaps on how to implement forest restoration projects for the generation of carbon credits to optimise community, climate, and biodiversity benefits. Using an action research approach, and drawing on over 20 years of previous research undertaken by the team in the Philippines, we work with communities to restore up to 10,000 ha of degraded forest landscapes. We use this activity as a living laboratory that provides an unique opportunity to undertake research on a ‘real-life’ project which provides invaluable insights into how reforestation projects elsewhere in the Philippines and in other tropical countries can be better implemented. Research activities in the project are targeted at addressing critical gaps in knowledge in both STEM and humanities and are informed by lessons learned and experience gained from previous research.

Research activities are organised under the following key research themes:

1) Improving Reforestation Project Design and Funding;

2) Improving Stakeholder Engagement;

3) Afforestation, Reforestation, and Revegetation Systems;

4) Livelihood Projects;

5) Socioeconomic Aspects;

6) Use of Remote Sensing in Carbon Projects;

7) Carbon Stocks and Accumulation; and

8) Policy and Governance.

Project Tarsier addresses key knowledge gaps from the site level up to the global policy arena to advance efforts towards the Sustainable Development Goals related to equity, poverty reduction, climate change mitigation and adaptation, wellbeing, food security, and biodiversity conservation. The project is likely to have a substantial impact on the practice of reforestation and guide national and international policy initiatives. The PhD project will be part of one or a subset of the key themes listed above. The student will be part of a cohort of up to fifteen PhD students and of a research group comprising senior Australian, Filipino, and other international researchers. This scholarship provides great opportunities for collaboration, networking, and learning.

  • Be accepted into the Doctor of Philosophy program at the University of the Sunshine Coast
  • Be based in Australia or willing to relocate to Australia
  • Be based in Australia during the PhD program and be able to travel overseas to carry out research work
  • Ability to work in remote locations for up to two months at a time
  • Ability to work in multicultural environments and be flexible to adapt to local circumstances while working overseas
Selection criteria
  • Criterion 1: Academic Achievement
  • Criterion 2: Research Capability

Project Specific Criteria

  • Criterion 3: Experience in working in community forestry contexts
  • Criterion 4: Experience in working in interdisciplinary environments
  • Background in Forestry or related areas
Eligible programs
Doctor of Philosophy
Number available

1 - Stipend value of $34,449.95 p/a paid in fortnightly instalments. Payment is is for 3 years to align with thesis submission (possible extension in line with relevant policies and procedures)    


2 - Tuition offset scholarship for 3 years to cover cost of tuition fees, also aligned with thesis submission (possible extension in line with relevant policies and procedures) - approximate value of $87,000  


3 -  $2,000 Allowance (Standard with a RTPS for relocation) 


4- Overseas Student Health Cover for single person (international applicants) 


This will be a two-stage application process:

Stage 1 - Expression of Interest: Reference/Scholarship code UniSC_RS_2318_HERBOHN

Contact Person - Liz Ota - 

  • Download and complete the USC Research Scholarship (USCRS) application form.
  • Email your Expression of Interest (EOI) to the contact person and attach:
    • USCRS application form
    • Cover letter
    • Current CV
  • The scholarship panel will review the EOI. If shortlisted, you will be invited for interview.
  • The preferred applicant will be invited to formally apply for HDR program and Scholarship.

Stage 2 - Formal application (only if you have been invited to apply)

  • Read the important information on How to Apply for a HDR Program at UniSC.
  • Submit your USCRS application form as a supporting document when submitting your HDR Program application.

*scholarship offer is subject to applicant meeting the eligibility requirements for entry into a higher degree by research program at UniSC.