One Basin PhD Research Programs

The One Basin Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) offers attractive PhD packages across multiple universities in Australia (Australian National University, Charles Sturt University, Flinders University, The University of Adelaide, The University of Melbourne, The University of Sydney).


  • Candidates are required to specify their preferred project topics as listed in
  • Candidates require a Masters or Bachelor's degree with first class honours or equivalent, and will need to meet requirements for admission to a Doctor of Philosophy degree at the Australian National University.
  • The PhD program seeks to achieve gender balance and attract candidates from all walks of life, with Australians of Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander heritage particularly encouraged to apply.
  • Each candidate will be based in one of the following research hubs: Loxton (South Australia), Mildura (Victoria), Griffith (NSW) and Goondiwindi (Queensland) with associated node in Narrabri (NSW).

Further information

Two PhD scholarships will support PhD candidates enrolled at ANU:

"What value could cross-scale integration of sensor networks and automation provide?"

This project is intended to investigate the value provided by on-farm irrigation technologies (both sensors and automation) from a cross-scale perspective. This involves going beyond the immediate value to the farmer to also consider the value for other stakeholders and the indirect value to the farmer by combining local information with other sources and using local information to contribute to decisions elsewhere in the water system.  An interdisciplinary approach will be encouraged, working closely with stakeholders. Further information about the context is available through a podcast:

"Designing effective foresight processes to anticipate and prepare for climate change in the Murray-Darling Basin"

This project will undertake case studies of participatory processes undertaken in the Basin, with a focus on those within One Basin's Foresight Program. The research will critically examine processes, methods, and outcomes of using participatory foresight to foster conversations with communities and industries to prepare for water futures under climate change. Through in-depth qualitative research, the PhD will consider all stages in the design and execution of foresight processes to further understanding of how these processes can be facilitate deliberation over desirable futures for a region, and proactive steps that can be taken to move towards these futures. It will be grounded within the social sciences, however it will require an interdisciplinary focus to engage with climate, hydrological, and ecological projections of future change in the areas of focus. A strong emphasis will be placed on collaboration with stakeholders across scales both in development and execution of the PhD project plan.


Visit the ANU Scholarships Portal for more information.


IWF Indigenous Honours Scholarship

The IWF Indigenous Honours Scholarship supports Indigenous students to pursue an Honours year focusing on water related research. The IWF recognises the value of water from environmental, cultural, emotional and economic perspectives. We also believe that lasting solutions to water related challenges require interdisciplinary action. For these reasons, we will consider applications from any field provided there is a clear connection to water. Through the scholarship, we hope to amplify Indigenous voices in water policy, planning, management and justice.

The Award includes a stipend of $10,000 plus additional benefits such as provision for field work travel and the ability to apply to a cultural consideration fund.

For more information, including the Conditions of Award, please visit the ANU Scholarships portal. 

Hmalan Hunter-Xenie, an ANU Honours graduate, together with her family: Marita Hunter, Anita Hunter, Hmalan Hunter-Xénié, Widro Xénié and Rosie Baird. Photo by ANU.

How to apply

To apply, visit the ANU Scholarships portal. 

Please note, to be eligible for the IWF Indigenous Honours Scholarship, you must already be enrolled in an Honours program at ANU.  Please refer to your chosen program for admission deadlines. 


Students may nominate any water-related topic that they would like to pursue. The following projects are available to interested students.

ANU First Nations Portfolio Water Initiatives 

The successful Honours scholarship recipient is welcome to participate in, and observe, the proceedings of the First Nations Water Roundtable in March 2023 and subsequent Murru waaruu Seminar scheduled for April 2023. These events follow on from the Marramarra murru (creating pathways) First Nations Economic Development Symposium in June 2022. These dialogues will provide the student with direct exposure to critically important issues and priorities from a First Nations perspective and give some definition to potential research topics, establish possible links to communities and organisations, and inform the structure of their planned research activity.

CSIRO Research Project

Waterbird ecology in the Murray-Darling Basin: Information for environmental water and wetland management. Supervised by Dr Heather McGinness

The successful applicant will work with a small team of CSIRO scientists who are discovering new and exciting information about how waterbirds move across Australia, what waterbirds need to survive and maintain their populations, and the implications for management and policy. A range of potential tasks are available, that will be discussed and selected from based on the scholar’s interests.

CSIRO Research Project

Exploring shifts in basin scale hydrological connectivity in the Murray-Darling Basin. Supervised by Dr Ashmita Sengupta and Dr Danial Stratford

Basin-wide hydrological connectivity is integral to a healthy ecosystem. There are two essential components that define hydrological connectivity, temporal and spatial flow variability in the river channel and associated floodplain/wetland system and how the system has changed due to constraints, such as weirs and dams. The successful applicant will engage with a team of hydrologists and ecologists to explore shifts in connectivity patterns in the basin over three decades. While there are a range of tasks that the applicant can take on, inclination to learn basic GIS skills/ or prior knowledge will be ideal for this project.

If you would like to discuss these opportunities please contact the Indigenous Scholars Program Coordinator, Hayley Primrose.


Snowy Mountains Water Futures Award

In 2024, the ANU Institute for Water Futures is offering two $5,000 award for ANU Masters student

One Basin PhD Research Programs

The One Basin Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) offers attractive PhD packages across multiple un

Acknowledgement of Country

The Australian National University acknowledges, celebrates and pays our respects to the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people of the Canberra region and to all First Nations Australians on whose traditional lands we meet and work, and whose cultures are among the oldest continuing cultures in human history.