The University of Queensland (UQ) and the Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI) offer a range of scholarships and awards to assist students from many different backgrounds to assist in paying for their university fees. UQ graduate student in gown and cap

UQ offers a range of scholarships for postgraduate and Higher Degree by Research students. Information relating to these scholarships can be found on the UQ Scholarships website.

Find information relating to scholarships and awards offered exclusively by the Sustainable Minerals Institute below.

See available awards for Higher Degree by Research candidates studying at SMI to assist in paying university fees, research and tuiton.

Project –  Sustainable Minerals Institute Bursary Scheme for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students

Supervisor: Various

The aim of the bursary scheme is to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander UQ HDR scholars to engage with global issues of responsible and sustainable minerals development, such as the imperatives of sustainable development, cultural heritage protection and environmental stewardship. The bursary is awarded annually.

The Sustainable Minerals Futures HDR Scholars will be supported and encouraged to network, engage and develop critical, innovative thinking about the environmental, social and governance challenges facing the resources industry in Australia and the world today.

For further information, contact Dr Sarah Holcombe at


Project – EU Horizon Europe-funded m4mining project

Supervisor: Various

As part of the m4mining international consortium, SMI has multiple PhD opportunities in the fields of geological sciences, mineral resources, environmental monitoring, drones, and application of AI and ML to hyperspectral sensing. Europe’s key funding programme for research and innovation (Horizon Europe) will support research costs, field work around Australia and opportunities to travel to Europe.

For further information, contact Associate Professor Steven Micklethwaite (


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Centre for Water in the Minerals Industry and Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation Scholarships

Project - Developing critical design criteria for soil cover systems on minerals waste

Supervisors: Associate Professor Mansour Edraki and Dr Mandana Shaygan

The purpose of cover systems is to ensure the long-term chemical and physical stability of minerals waste storage facilities (including waste rock piles, heap leach residues, and tailings storage facilities) and to provide a suitable substrate for vegetation.
Covers are site- and material-specific and largely influenced by spatial and temporal climate variations. It means that a ‘one-size-fit-all’ approach is not suitable for cover systems. Site-specific cover designs need to be trialled and monitored for sufficient lengths of time in the context of each site. However, large-scale field trials are logistically challenging and often do not concur with mining schedules during the life of an operation.
In this project we will test a range of design criteria under controlled conditions including the depth of storage layer, the depth of vegetative layer, degree of compaction, the location and type of capillary break layer(s), cover material biochemical weathering and degradation, by subjecting the covers to a series of simulated rainfall and evaporation events. The data generated will help the industry to benchmark site specific cover designs against validated examples of typical covers before attempting field trials, rather than a means to replace field trials.

Project – Integration of Indigenous knowledge into post-mine land use planning

Supervisor: Dr Robynne Chrystal

The project will investigate effective ways for knowledge sharing between customary land owners and SMI social and environmental researchers. This will potentially lead to the co-creation of a methodology that can be used across Australia to better combine traditional knowledge and socio-environmental science, ultimately providing better cultural, environmental and social outcomes for customary land owners.

For further information, contact Dr Robynne Chrystal at or +61 7 334 64130

Project – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and hydrogeologists collaborating to better understand and manage groundwater resources

Supervisor: Dr Robynne Chrystal              

The Indigenous student will collaborate with members of a team and traditional-knowledge holders in relation to groundwater in one or more study areas in Queensland. The case study sites will be decided during the early stages of the project. Additionally, the project will seek to investigate effective ways for knowledge sharing between customary landowners and hydrogeologists.

For further information, contact Dr Robynne Chrystal at or +61 7 334 64130

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UEX PhD Scholarships

The University of Queensland and the University of Exeter are seeking exceptional students to join a world-leading, cross-continental research team tackling major challenges facing the world’s population in global sustainability and wellbeing as part of the QUEX Institute. The joint PhD scholarship program provides a fantastic opportunity for the most talented doctoral students to work closely with world class research groups and benefit from the combined expertise and facilities offered at the two institutions. For more information, visit the Graduate School website.

UQ Scholarships

The UQ Graduate School manages a limited number of merit-based scholarships for commencing or currently enrolled UQ students on a competitive basis. These scholarships provide financial support for living allowances, tuition fees and overseas health cover (OSHC) (international students only), and international travel awards.

To find out more about UQ's scholarships and deadlines for upcoming rounds, please visit the UQ Graduate School website.

Other Scholarships

Please visit the website of the UQ Scholarships Office to review other opportunities for which you may be eligible. If you are applying for an external scholarship which requires you to give evidence of your admission to a Master of Philosophy or Doctor of Philosophy, you must submit your application for admission to UQ 6 weeks before your scholarship application deadline. This will allow UQ and SMI the time required to process your application and issue you with a provisional offer of admission.