PhD applicants wanted - The Carnivore Conservancy (TCC)

Opportunity Type: 
Closing Date: 
Monday, April 9, 2018

The Carnivore Conservancy (TCC) is seeking applicants for up to three 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 the successful applicant’s background and interests.

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
    •   Duration: 1 month
    •   Duties: 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.) Your work during this internship will be evaluated to determine whether you are invited to undertake an advanced internship and to apply for  Ph.D. candidacy at one of our research partner universities.
    •   Cost: Basic interns must provide their own transportation to and from north-western Tasmania and contribute A$20 per day toward the cost of their room and board during the internship. This contribution covers twin share accommodation in a large and comfortable house with all the modern conveniences, including unlimited high-speed internet access; all meals (vegetarian), snacks and non-alcoholic beverages are included as well.

Advanced internship
    •   Duration: 3 months (preferably consecutive, but can be done in multiple instalments)
    •   Duties: In addition to the performing the duties of a basic intern, you will receive extensive hands-on training in handling devils and quolls to the point where you will be qualified to
    independently lead field surveys.
    • Cost: In most cases, the advanced internship has no associated cost. TCC waives the daily room and board contribution for advanced interns and provides a subsidy of up to A$400 transportation to and from north-western Tasmania (must be supported by receipts for actual travel expenses). Advancedinterns from domestic locations other than Tasmania or mainland population centres such as Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane may find that the travel subsidy does not cover the entire cost of their travel. (Anyone travelling from overseas will certainly find this to be the case.)


    In addition to receiving an invitation from TCC, successful
    applicants must also be accepted as a Ph.D. candidate at the
    university of one of the following primary academic supervisors,
    each of whom serves on TCC’s research committee:

    •   Professor Chris Dickman, School of Life and Environmental
    Sciences, University of Sydney
    •   Dr. Neil Jordan, School of Biological, Earth and
    Environmental Sciences, UNSW
    •   Associate Professor Euan Ritchie, School of Life and
    Environmental Sciences, Deakin University
    •   Professor Tracey Rogers, School of Biological, Earth and
    Environmental Sciences, UNSW


    TCC does not underwrite students’ university fees or provide a
    living stipend during their Ph.D. candidacy; to cover those
    expenses, successful applicants are expected to qualify for a
    Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship through the
    supervisor’s university.

    Exact requirements to qualify for an RTP scholarship can vary
    from university to university, and from year to year, but the
    following guidelines generally apply:

    •   Domestic applicants: To qualify for an RTP scholarship, you
    must have received First Class Honours, earned equivalently high
    marks in a coursework-based M.Sc. with a minimum research
    component of 25%, or completed a fully research-based M.Sc.
    •   International applicants: In addition to the requirements
    expected of domestic applicants, you must have published (as
    primary author) at least one (and probably two) papers in
    peer-reviewed scientific journals.


    Successful applicants can begin their university study in either
    Semester 1 or Semester 2 of 2019, but preference will be given to
    those who can start in Semester 1.

    For Semester 1 enrolment, the following timetable applies:

    •   Closing date for application to TCC: 31 March 2018.
    •   Basic internship (1 month) must be completed no later than 30
    June 2018.
    •   Closing date for application to supervisor’s university
    (which covers both university admission and RTP scholarship)
    varies by university but is typically in October.
    •   Advanced internship (3 months) must be completed no later
    than mid-February 2019.
    •   Initial university enrolment date varies by university but is
    typically in late February 2019.

    Once enrolled, Ph.D. candidates will spend a total of
    approximately 12 months doing fieldwork during their candidacy: 4
    months during their first year, 6 months during their second year
    and 2 months during their third year.


    For more information or to request an application form, please
    contact TCC executive director Channing Hughes