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The Lizard Island Doctoral Fellowships program has operated continuously since 1984, supporting the research of 70 PhD students to 2020. It is funded by the Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation (LIRRF) through its members and friends and with some specific donations and bequests to the program.
Up to five new fellowships are offered for 2022.
- Lizard Island Doctoral Fellowship is funded by members and friends of the LIRRF.
- Ian Potter Doctoral Fellowship at Lizard Island is funded by The Ian Potter Foundation.
- Zoltan Florian Marine Biology Fellowship is funded by a bequest from the late Zoltan Florian who was a skilled microscopist and long-term supporter of the work at Lizard Island Research Station.
- Gough Family Doctoral Fellowship is funded by family members of the late John Gough AO, OBE who was a governor of The Ian Potter Foundation and a wonderful supporter of LIRS.
- Chris Joscelyne Fellowship is funded by a bequest from the late Chris Joscelyne who was a long-term Trustee of LIRRF and supporter of the work at LIRS. This fellowship will go to the successful applicant whose project requires substantial use of IT resources, reflecting Chris' lifelong involvement in that field.
The fellowships support field-intensive research at Lizard Island Research Station (LIRS) by outstanding PhD students. While they are normally offered internationally, the 2022 fellowships are restricted to students who are based in Australia. This is due to the current circumstances that limit international travel and the low likelihood of change in the near future.
Applications are assessed by a panel of Australian Museum scientists that includes members of the LIRRF Science Committee. Full applications are reviewed externally. A single application will be considered for all available fellowships.
How to apply
Funding is provided for field expenses at LIRS over one, two or three years as required. Salary is not provided. Additional funding to present at an international conference may be awarded to fellows in the second or third year of their fellowship.
The maximum value of each 2022 fellowship is AU$9,000 plus 10% GST per year for up to three years. The value of the conference travel award is up to AU$4,000.
Fellowship funds must be spent on field work at LIRS. Allowable expenses include bench fees, travel, freight, and field/lab consumables.
Fellowship funds may not be used for salary, for living expenses (such as food while at Lizard Island), for equipment other than research consumables, or for research or travel by the fellow's PhD supervisor (or any other more senior researcher) except as outlined below. The fellow's university may not deduct a fee for administering the fellowship.
- The fellow must conduct field-intensive research at the Lizard Island Research Station (LIRS) that will form a substantial part of his or her thesis.
- The fellow must spend an average of at least 100 person days per year of funding, conducting research at LIRS. Most projects require at least one assistant so this usually means that the fellow and an assistant must both work at LIRS for an average of at least 50 days per year. Bench fees at the current applicable rate must be paid to LIRS for these visits.
- The first field trip using fellowship funds must not start before April 2022.
- If the fellow's supervisor or any other senior researcher wishes to accompany the fellow on field trips to Lizard Island, fellowship funds may not be used to cover any part of that person's travel costs. They may be used to pay bench fees for the supervisor or other senior researcher at the student assistant's rate for up to 5 days over the life of the fellow's project, providing that the senior person is actually assisting the fellow on those days rather than conducting his/her own research. Bench fees for any additional days spent at LIRS by the senior researcher must be paid at the current rate applicable to researchers and that amount may not be paid from fellowship funds.
- Fellows who have been awarded two or three years of funding may apply in their second or third year for up to $4,000 additional funding to assist them to present their research at an international conference. Conference funding is not offered to one-year fellows.
- Funding in the second and third years, if awarded, is subject to suitable progress.
- Reporting, outreach and acknowledgement conditions will be detailed in a contract with each successful applicant.
- Any funds unspent at the end of each fellowship year must be returned to LIRS unless carry-over arrangements are approved.
At the time of applying, applicants must:
- be accepted into a PhD program for a project that requires substantial field-based research at a coral reef location, and
- show that they can support themselves for the duration of the requested fellowship period by, for example, having a stipend from a scholarship or other source, and
- be based in Australia and have the right to remain in the country for the duration of the fellowship.
Applications from people who do not meet these criteria will not be considered further.
- Meets all eligibility criteria.
- Quality of the application, including spelling, grammar, meeting word restrictions, providing information in the required manner, consistency of the funding request with the remaining duration of the PhD, and similar things.
- The applicant has an excellent academic record.
- The applicant has high research output in relation to career stage.
- The project makes good use of LIRS facilities, requiring an average of at least 100 person days at LIRS per year of funding to conduct field-intensive research which may include aquarium-based research.
- Projects for which LIRS is the primary research base will be given preference.
- The applicant has relevant research and field work experience.
- The significance and innovative approach of the project.
- The project is feasible within the limitations of budget and safety regulations.
- Efficient usage of fellowship funds (e.g. travel costs are minimised).
- There is an actual or potential source of additional funding if the fellowship does not cover all planned costs, or there is a plan for amending the proposal if such additional funding doesn't become available.
Preliminary applications must be submitted online.
The form's questions are provided here to enable you to complete the form efficiently. However, applications will not be accepted in any format other than the online form.
Preliminary applications will be assessed against selection criteria 1-6 only.
Invited full applications
Highly ranked preliminary applicants will be invited to submit a full application and full applications will only be accepted from those people.
Full applications must be supported by a letter from the applicant's primary supervisor which has been endorsed by the head of the university department where the applicant is enrolled. The letter must support the research proposal including the proposed field work at Lizard Island.
Full applications will be sent for external review and assessed against all selection criteria.
Information for completing applications
To assist in preparing your application, please consult other sections of this website to learn about LIRS facilities and the number of assistants you will need to bring to comply with scuba diving and boating regulations. You are welcome to contact LIRS with any queries.
Indicative costs for bench fees, travel between Cairns and Lizard Island, and barge freight are provided below for planning purposes. Please use these rates when preparing your budget estimates.
|Bench fee (per person per night)|
|Barge freight, per piece||$20.00||$20.50||$21.00|
|3 September 2021||Closing date for preliminary applications|
|4 October 2021||Invitations made to submit full applications|
|22 October 2021||Closing date for full applications|
|31 January 2022||Offer made to successful applicants|
|1 April 2022||Funds available|
Past doctoral fellows
|2021||No fellowships awarded due to COVID-19 pandemic|
|2020||Sterling Tebbett||James Cook University||IanPotter|
|2020||Makeely Blandford||James Cook University||Lizard Island|
|2019||Jessica Bellworthy||Bar Ilan University, Israel||Raymond E. Purves Foundation|
|2019||Catheline Froelich||University of Wollongong||Zoltan Florian|
|2019||Tim Gordon||University of Exeter, UK||Ian Potter|
|2019||Kelly Hannan||James Cook University||Lizard Island|
|2018||Viviana Brambilla||St Andrews University, UK||Ian Potter|
|2018||Claudio Brandao||University of Aveiro, Portugal||Lizard Island|
|2018||Jose Paula||University of Lisbon, Portugal||Lizard Island|
|2018||Robert Striet||James Cook University||Lizard Island|
|2018||Zegni Triki||University of Neuchatel, Switzerland||Lizard Island|
|2017||Alexia Graba-Landry||James Cook University||Lizard Island|
|2017||Renato Morais Araujo||James Cook University||Lizard Island|
|2017||Damaris Torres-Pulliza||Macquarie University||Ian Potter|
|2016||Zoe Loffler||James Cook University||Ian Potter|
|2016||Jamie McWilliam||Curtin University||Lizard Island|
|2015||Steve Doo||University of Sydney||Ian Potter|
|2015||Maria Palacios||James Cook University||Ian Potter|
|2014||Lauren Nadler||James Cook University||Lizard Island|
|2014||Davina Poulos||James Cook University||Ian Potter|
|2013||Fabio Cortesi||University of Basel, Switzerland||Lizard Island|
|2013||Martina Prazeres||University of Queensland||Ian Potter|
|2013||Hanne Thoen||University of Queensland||Lizard island|
|2012||Oona Lonnstedt||James Cook University||Ian Potter|
|2012||Dominique Roche||Australian National University||Lizard Island|
|2012||Justin Welsh||James Cook University||Lizard Island|
|2012||Sharon Wismer||University of neuchatel, Switzerland||Lizard Island|
|2011||Sandra Binning||Australian National University||Ian Potter|
|2011||Jessica Stella||James Cook University||Yulgilbar|
|2010||Darren Coker||James Cook University||Ian Potter|
|2010||Chris Goatley||James Cook University||Lizard Island|
|2009||Rebecca Fox||James Cook University||Lizard island|
|2009||Alicia Crawley||University of Queensland||Ian Potter|
|2008||Roberta Bonaldo||James Cook University||Lizard Island|
|2008||Jacob Johansenn||James Cook University||Lizard Island|
|2008||Vanessa Messmer||James Cook University||Ian Potter|
|2007||Adel Heenan||University of Edinburgh, UK||Lizard Island|
|2007||Michael Holcomb||Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA||Lizard island|
|2007||Andrew Hoey||James Cook University||Ian Potter|
|2007||Tom Holmes||James Cook University||Lizard Island|
|2006||Lynda Curtis||University of Queensland||Ian Potter|
|2006||Nicole Patten||Southern Cross University||Lizard Island|
|2005||Stefan Walker||James Cook University||Lizard Island|
|2005||Marian Wong||James Cook University||Lizard Island|
|2004||Cathie Page||James Cook University||Lizard Island|
|2003||Line Bay||James Cook University||Lizard island|
|2003||Chris Fulton||James Cook University||Lizard Island|
|2002||Justin Becker||University of Queensland||Lizard Island|
|2001||Rebecca Fisher||James Cook University||Lizard Island|
|2001||Heather Petterson||James Cook University||Lizard Island|
|2000||Ulricke Siebeck||University of Queensland||Lizard Island|
|1999||Jackie Wolstenholme||James Cook University||Lizard Island|
|1998||Nick Gust||James Cook University||Lizard Island|
|1997||Andrew Baker||University of Miami, USA||Lizard Island|
|1997||Philip Munday||James Cook University||Lizard Island|
|1996||Bryce Stewart||James Cook University||Lizard Island|
|1995||Ilona Stobutzki||James Cook University||Lizard Island|
|1994||Vicki Hall||James Cook University||Lizard Island|
|1993||Alexandra Grutter||James Cook University||Lizard Island|
|1993||Dirk Zeller||James Cook University||Lizard Island|
|1992||Vicki Nelson||James Cook University||Lizard Island|
|1991||Alison Green||James Cook University||Lizard Island|
|1990||Campbell Davies||James Cook University||Lizard Island|
|1989||Mark McCormick||James Cook University||Lizard Island|
|1988||Julian Cayley||James Cook University||Lizard island|
|1987||Kendall Clements||James Cook University||Lizard Island|
|1986||Maria Milicich||Griffith University||Lizard Island|
|1985||Geoffrey Smith||Griffith University||Lizard Island|
|1984||John Chisholm||James Cook University||Lizard Island|
|1984||Roland Pitcher||Griffith University||Lizard Island|