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ARC 'Rivers of Gold' PhD Research Scholarship

The ARC (Australian Research Council) Rivers of Gold project is a 4 year study directed towards understanding the human and environmental legacy of gold mining activities in Victoria in the 1800s

The 'River of Gold' project is a collaboration between two departments at La Trobe University (Archaeology; Ecology, Environment and Evolution), the Department of Resource Management and Geography at University of Melbourne, and the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at the University of Aberystwyth (UK). The overall aim of the project is to understand the effects of gold mining practices in Victoria in the 1800s on the geomorphology of the affected river valleys, and the distribution of contaminants (e.g. mercury and arsenic) arising from these activities.

This scholarship is focused on the geochemical aspects of the Rivers of Gold project, particularly the distribution and chemical form of metals and metalloids mobilised by mining activities. The study will utilise classical chemical methods, combined with microprobe and synchrotron-based microscopic techniques. The work is supported by operating and travel budgets to support field work and access to specialised equipment. The funding also allows for attendance at one international conference.


The scholarship associated with this project includes:

  • A La Trobe Post-graduate Research Scholarship for three years, with a value of $26,288 per annum, to support your living costs
  • A fee relief scholarship (LTUFFRS) for four years to undertake a PhD at La Trobe University (only relevant to international applicants)
  • The possibility of an additional $10,000 per-annum 'top-up' scholarship and a further $5000 per annum operating funds through the Murray-Darling Basin Authority

How to apply

If you wish to apply for this scholarship you:

  • Must have a first-class Honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant scientific discipline (e.g. chemistry, geochemistry, mineralogy)
  • Are advised to contact the La Trobe University staff member responsible (listed below) to verify that you have the appropriate background and qualifications
  • Should include in your application your current CV, academic transcript and a brief (< 300 words) reason why this project is of interest to you.

The University will carefully review your application and you will be advised of an outcome in July 2016.

Closing date

Applications close 1 July 2016.

Contact us

For further information, please contact: Associate Professor Ewen Silvester, Department of Ecology, Environment and Evolution (School of Life Sciences).

Supplementary information

This position will be based at the Murray-Darling Freshwater Research Centre (MDFRC) at the Albury-Wodonga campus of La Trobe University. This laboratory specialises in the study of biogeochemical and ecological processes relevant to the health of the Murray-Darling basin. See:

published: 03 April 2013     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.