PhD Scholarships

WaterRA support students studying at Australian universities to undertake water related research projects. Our 120+ strong graduates have used our PhD, Masters and Honours scholarships as a stepping stone into graduate and research positions.

PhD Scholarships

PhD Scholarships are awarded to students of exceptional research potential who are currently undertaking a relevant degree. Students who excel in this focused program will build capability in the area of water research, increasing opportunities for future employment in the water industry or to progress to a postgraduate degree in a water-related field of research.

PhD Scholarship Package Inclusions

PhD scholarships cover a period of 3 years and are inclusive of:



Operating Allowance


Conference Support

$5,000 (National & International)

Professional Development &
Knowledge Transfer Activities


Professional Development


Additional inclusions and benefits
  • AWA membership and connection to the Young Water Professional Networks
  • Engagement with WaterRA member organisations including national water utilities, government departments and international Trusted Partner organisations
  • Opportunities to attend and present to industry and research members at WaterRA events
  • Opportunities to attend and present at international and national water conferences
  • Networking with fellow WaterRA PhD, Masters and Honours students
  • Access to reports and publications on water research through the WaterRA Member Portal
  • All WaterRA PhD scholarship holders are considered for the Nancy Millis Memorial Award which is awarded annually. For further information click here.

PhD Scholarships

Please check Eligibility Requirements and University scholarship enrolment dates before applying.


Applications are open to domestic and international students unless otherwise specified

Domestic Student Eligibility

  • Domestic students must secure a primary scholarship at the host university
  • Student enrolment status must be full-time

International Student Eligibility

  • International students must be enrolled at an Australian University and have secured a primary scholarship (RTS, IPRS or equivalent Australian primary scholarship) BEFORE submitting an application
  • Due to COVID travel restrictions International students must be residing in Australia with appropriate visa documentation BEFORE submitting an application
  • Student enrolment status must be full-time
  • If the project is offered directly to a student by the supervisor, the student is to complete and submit a written student application
  • If the project is advertised for candidates to apply, a written student application form is to be completed and submitted. Applications will be assessed, and shortlisted candidates will be invited to an interview
  • Prior to submitting an application, prospective candidates are advised to contact the supervisor listed for the project to discuss their interest and suitability to the project requirements
  • Prospective candidates must lodge an application for a full stipend primary scholarship at the host university for the relevant project
  • Fill out application form ensuring content includes work experience and skills/study which relate to the project requirements and demonstration of your motivation to be involved in the water industry
  • Ensure WaterRA application form and all supplementary documentation including CV and an official academic transcript is attached as ONE document, please note an official transcript may take up to one week or more to obtain – this turnaround time needs to be factored in
  • Ensure your Referees have been notified (preference for academic or employer supervisor referees) before submitting application
  • Submit your application with all requested information and documentation by the requisite due date by EMAIL to Research Capability Manager, Carolyn Bellamy
  • Successful applicants will be notified and progress through to an interview
  • Candidates will be reviewed based on the strength of their application
  • Where more than one application has been received for a project, applications will be assessed and ranked with short-listed candidates invited to interview with the assessment panel
  • Short-listed candidates must be available for an interview as advised by WaterRA.
  • Interviews are typically held via online meeting, however on occasion candidates may be invited to a face-to-face meeting
  • The interview includes a 5-7 minute power point presentation to be given by the candidate after which a series of questions will be asked by the assessment panel of the candidate
  • Interviews last approximately 45-60 minutes
  • Successful candidates will be notified either by phone or in writing
  • Unsuccessful candidates will be notified in writing
  • Successful candidates must lodge an application for a full stipend primary scholarship (RTS, IPRS or equivalent Australian primary scholarship) at the host university for the relevant project, with the commencement of the WaterRA scholarship subject to the candidate securing the primary scholarship
  • All contractual documentation is to be signed by all designated parties to WaterRA’s satisfaction before commencement of WaterRA scholarship can begin. WaterRA encourage students to seek independent legal advice if offered a scholarship. WaterRA will reimburse from the operating allowance up to AUD$300 (GST inclusive) for legal advice.
  • Upon commencement of the scholarship, the successful candidate must be available to attend WaterRA Student Orientation Day, typically held in February of each year
  • Applications will be assessed on the eligibility criteria and the evidence received, applications that do not meet the eligibility criteria or have not provided appropriate supporting documentation will not be considered
  • Some scholarships require documentary evidence related to the eligibility criteria; it is the applicants’ responsibility to ensure that all the required documentation is supplied
  • WaterRA will not follow up or contact the applicant regarding missing or incomplete information in an application
  • Once an application due date is past, the applicant cannot provide additional evidence or statements, no further correspondence will be considered
  • Some scholarships are highly competitive with more applicants than scholarships available. Meeting the eligibility criteria and supplying all required documentary evidence does not guarantee a scholarship
  • All decisions made by the assessment are final and no further correspondence regarding the outcome will be accepted
  • Applicants that are not awarded a scholarship may request reasons why their application was not successful. This must be done within 10 business days of receiving notice of the outcome of the scholarships and be done by the applicant, in writing to [email protected]
  • WaterRA reserves the right not to award any scholarships

More Information

Carolyn Bellamy | Research Capability Manager | [email protected]