Call for PhD applicants

Opportunity Type:

Closing Date: 
Friday, March 31, 2017

The Carnivore Conservancy (TCC) is seeking applicants for up to four Ph.D. candidates to join our field-based research team, working with the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) and the spotted-tailed quoll (Dasyurus maculatus). Research may be undertaken in these species’ ecology, behaviour, diet, reproduction, genetics or health, depending on each successful applicant’s background and interests.

Primary academic supervision of successful applicants will be provided by one of the following members of TCC’s research committee:

    •   Professor Chris Dickman, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Sydney

    •   Dr. Carolyn Hogg, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney

    •   Dr. Neil Jordan, Taronga Zoo and School of Biological, Earth  and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales

    •   Dr. Marissa Parrott, Zoos Victoria and University of Melbourne

    •   Associate Professor Tracey Rogers, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales

Successful applicants must also be accepted as a Ph.D. candidate at the supervisor’s university.

TCC does not cover students’ university fees or provide a living stipend; successful applicants must either qualify for a scholarship that covers these items (Australian Postgraduate Award or equivalent) or self-fund these expenses.

International applicants are welcome, but should be aware that scholarships for international Ph.D. students are extremely competitive. It is highly likely that successful international applicants will need to pay their own university fees and living expenses.

Applicants must hold a B.Sc. with Honours or a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in a relevant subject and must also complete two internships with TCC prior to commencing their Ph.D.:

    •   Basic internship (minimum 1 month): You will work as a field assistant with the TCC team, mastering basic fieldwork skills and procedures. (Note: The basic internship does not involve animal handling.) You must provide your own transportation to and from north-western Tasmania and contribute A$20 per day toward the cost of your room and board during the internship. (This contribution covers dormitory style accommodation, vegetarian meals and non-alcoholic beverages.) Your work during the basic internship will be evaluated to determine whether you are granted an advanced internship and invited to apply for Ph.D. candidacy.

    •   Advanced internship (minimum 3 months): In addition to the performing the duties of a basic intern, you will receive hands-on training in handling devils and quolls to the point where you will be qualified to independently lead field surveys. Advanced interns receive a subsidy of up to A$400 for transportation to and from north-western Tasmania (must be supported by receipts for actual travel expenses), and the daily room and board payment is waived.

Ph.D. candidacy can commence immediately upon successful completion of the advanced internship. Depending on their research focus, Ph.D. candidates will spend anywhere from 1 to 6 months per year doing fieldwork during the first 2 years of their candidacy.

For more information or to request an application form, please contact TCC executive director Channing Hughes ( by 31 March 2017.

Download the flyer for more information