PhD Tectonics Research Project at Curtin University

Department of Applied Geology - The Institute of Geoscience Research

We are seeking two highly motivated individuals for doctoral projects focussing on the geologic mapping and tectono-magmatic history of Malawi in East Africa. The research projects aim to constrain the timing and nature of magmatism, sedimentation, and/or metamorphism within Malawi and in its wider context within East Africa. Primary tools of inquiry include geologic mapping, U-Pb geochronology, geochemistry, and paleogeographic reconstruction. Students will undertake research projects under the direction of Dr. Christopher Spencer (Curtin), Prof. Bill Collins (Curtin), and Dr. Bob Thomas (Council for Geoscience).

Applications are invited from potential candidates interested in the crustal evolution, geodynamic setting, and architecture of the East African and Kibaran Orogens in Malawi and within the broader context of supercontinent tectonics. Applicants should indicate their interest in magmatism, sedimentation, or metamorphism, or all of the above. Interested students must submit an expression of interest (see below) by 1 September 2017. Shortlisted students will be encouraged to apply for stipend scholarships. Students are expected to start in February 2018.

Australian and international students are eligible to apply. Candidates should have research experience in the form of a written thesis at BSc (Honours) or MSc level. Acceptance to the PhD program will be contingent upon the receipt of a Research Training Program Stipend Scholarship or Curtin Strategic Stipend Scholarship. Applications for these scholarships are due 21 September 2017.

Stipend: Curtin University will administer to each Recipient an annual stipend equivalent to the base full-time stipend rate published by the Department of Education and Training for the relevant year of award. The 2018 annual stipend amount for a full-time student is currently set at $27,082.00, tax-free; this stipend rate is indexed annually.

Tuition Fee Offset Scholarship: International applicants awarded an Stipend Scholarship will be provided a Curtin-funded tuition fee offset scholarship to assist with tuition fee liability.

Period of Support: Recipients are entitled to three years full-time equivalent study if undertaking an eligible Research Doctorate.

The successful candidates will have access to the state-of-the-art analytical facilities in the John De Laeter Centre for Mass Spectrometry. Curtin University is a dynamic, research-intensive university that has achieved national and international stature. Earth Sciences, and the sub-disciplines of Geology and Geochemistry, were awarded the maximum ranking of 5 in the recent Excellence in Research for Australia assessment. These factors will ensure that students are hosted within a vibrant research environment and will receive exceptional training. Candidates can also expect to work in close association with staff of the Council for Geoscience (South Africa).

How to express your interest:

Please contact Dr. Christopher Spencer ( if you are interested. Deadline for expression of interest is 1 September 2017. Please include the following:

  • A curriculum vitae and a list of publications (if applicable).
  • Details of BSc (Hons.) and MSc including: copies of transcripts showing lists of courses with grades and the abstract of your thesis (if applicable).
  • A brief statement about your research interests, motivation and skills.
  • Names, addresses and emails of two references that may be contacted for a recommendation letter.

posted: 26 July 2017     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.