Palaeoscience Research Scholarship

Project information

An Australian Research Council (ARC) project (DP200102005) focused on predation as a major ecological driver of early animal evolution, administered by UNE and led by Professor John Paterson, aims to quantify the performance of predators and the evolutionary responses of prey species during the Cambrian Period, over 500 million years ago.  A major objective of this research is to quantitatively document the morphology, associated injuries, and distribution (in time and space) of select Cambrian shelly prey species to determine if predators were indeed inducing morphological responses during the earliest phase of animal evolution – a process referred to as escalation. This objective will form the basis of a doctoral thesis, though the candidate will be encouraged to develop his or her own research program.

Scholarship Information

The School of Environmental and Rural Science at the University of New England is offering an exciting PhD project in palaeontology. We are looking for a motivated individual with a passion for science to join our thriving Palaeoscience Research Centre.

The University is offering an RTP Domestic Stipend Scholarship for the successful domestic candidate. This amounts to AU$30,000 per annum, tax free for up to three years to support a full-time PhD candidate. The School will also provide an operating budget of up to $3,500 per annum (plus other funding opportunities), and additional support will be available through a recently funded Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project (see above).

Selection Criteria and Desirable Attributes

The successful candidate should have First-Class Honours or Master’s degree, preferably in palaeontology or evolutionary biology. A knowledge of statistical methods, proficiency in coding within R, and/or morphometrics is desirable. It is expected that the successful applicant will publish high quality journal articles as components of the doctoral thesis. The candidate will be based in Armidale under the supervision of Professor John Paterson, Dr Russell Bicknell and Dr Marissa Betts.

Candidates must provide:

  • A statement explaining how your academic background, experience and interests make you a suitable candidate for the project, and
  • Curriculum Vitae, including lists of any publications and technical skills (lab and/or field based)

How To Apply

Applicants must meet UNE’s admission requirements for a PhD program. Please see the entry requirements. Applicants must submit a candidature application if they wish to apply for a scholarship. For more information on submitting a candidature application please see our how to apply/enrol webpage.

To apply for the scholarship please review the relevant application guidelines and complete the application form:

Scholarship and candidature applications can be submitted through AskUNE.

About Armidale

Armidale, a vibrant university city recognised as a centre of culture, is well served with art, music, theatre, sport and public and private education. To explore our region, visit: and

General Enquiries

Enquiries may be emailed to Professor John Paterson

Closing Date30 June 2020
Scholarship Amount$30,000 p.a.
Scholarship DurationThree (3) years
Applicant StatusDomestic applicants only

Scholarship ID Code: S19/11