Three fully funded PhD Scholarships available in Earth Sciences, Australia

We are seeking candidates for THREE fully-funded PhD student scholarships: TWO at the Department of Earth Sciences, School of Physical Sciences, The University of Adelaide and ONE at the School of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Curtin University (Perth). The scholarships will be funded to conduct research as part of a prestigious Australian Research Council Discovery project that aims to develop the mineral apatite as a probe of crustal evolution through deep time.

Project description: Current models for the development of continental crust rely on the mineral zircon. However, zircon crystals only record the history of evolved (relatively felsic) rocks. To address this bias and provide a more holistic description for how our planet developed we will use apatite, that is also prevalent in less evolved (more mafic) rocks.

Applications are invited from potential candidates interested in the following topics:

  1. Apatite geochronology (U-Pb) systematics and geochemical characterization from new and legacy samples spanning Earth history.
  2. Crustal evolution tracked using Nd-Sr isotopic signatures of dated samples from new and legacy sample material, including case studies in Australia, Greenland, Norway, Ireland and the UK.
  3. Evaluation of the durability of apatite (isotope) chemistry and its potential use as a fertility tool for mineral exploration.

The students will take advantage of the combined expertise of the project investigators: Dr. Stijn Glorie (Adelaide, principal supervisor for projects 1 and 3), Prof. Chris Kirkland (Curtin, principal supervisor for project 2), assisted by domestic investigators Prof. Alan Collins, Em/Prof. John Foden (Adelaide), Prof. Pete Kinny (Curtin) and international investigators A/Prof. David Chew (Dublin, Ireland) and Em/Prof. Chris Hawkesworth (Bristol, UK). All students will receive full training in relevant analytical techniques, using state-of-the-art instrumentation.

Both departments in Adelaide and Curtin are research-intensive with excellent national and international reputations in the field of Earth Sciences (both achieved the maximum ranking of 5 for Earth Science and sub-disciplines Geology and Geochemistry in the most recent Excellence in Research for Australia assessment). The successful candidates will be self-reliant, have excellent communication skills, have a demonstrated background in geochemistry, laboratory and field-based work, and proven ability in dissemination of scientific results.

Requests for further details and/or any other questions can be directed via email to Stijn Glorie ( with the subject line: "Apatite PhD".

To apply, please send a CV and brief letter explaining your research interests and preferred choice of project(s) (including some rationale for that choice) and contact details of three referees in a SINGLE PDF (maximum 6 pages of A4) to Stijn Glorie ( titled with your surname and "Apatite PhD application". The closing date is Sunday 16 February, 2020. The shortlisted candidates will be interviewed, and the preferred candidates identified, in February, if possible.

Eligibility requirements (please address in your letter):

posted: 06 January 2020     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.