PhD Top Up Scholarship in Social Sciences Energy Research


Enrolment status New students
Student type Domestic students
Level of study Higher Degree by Research
Study area Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
HDR funding type Top-up Scholarship
Scholarship value $6,600 per annum
Scholarship duration Three years with the possibility of two 6-month extensions in approved circumstances
Opening date 20 July 2020
Closing date 30 August 2020


We are seeking a PhD student to join our team and work on the ‘“Enhancing acceptance and a social licence to operate of future fuel infrastructure through community engagement and deliberative processes” project, funded by the Future Fuels Cooperative Research Centre.  The successful candidate will be based within the School of Chemical Engineering and will work collaboratively with a group of social scientists.   

About the Project

The project is part of the FFCRC Program 2: Social Acceptance, Public Safety & Security Of  Supply, which studies the social and policy context, including public acceptance and safety, for technology and infrastructure associated with future fuels.

In order to investigate the role of future fuels (such as hydrogen, biogas and liquid derivatives like ammonia and methanol) in the context of low-carbon energy future, this project aims to:

  • develop an understanding of various stakeholder attitudes towards future fuels, including challenges, opportunities and priority actions related to the implementation of future fuels in the future energy mix of Australia;
  • monitor changes in attitudes of those stakeholders (e.g. affected local communities, trades and associated workers and emergency service workers and the broader public) over the project course and
  • identify public and stakeholder concerns, benefits, drawbacks and trade-offs related to the implementation of future fuels in the future energy mix.

While initial responses to future fuels such as hydrogen has been positive, building social license to operate from the onset will be critical for the success of an industry that has the potential to decarbonise energy supplies across the world. This project focuses on engaging and involving relevant stakeholders and the broader public in laying the foundations for a low-carbon energy future.

About the FFCRC

Future Fuels Collaborative Research Centre is the industry focussed Research, Development & Demonstration (RD&D) partnership enabling the decarbonisation of Australia’s energy networks. It reflects the vision of Australia’s gas and pipelines sector, focusing on the pivotal role that new fuels and the existing gas infrastructure will have to play in a low carbon economy.

Further information can be found at Future Fuels CRC.


To be eligible, you must meet the entry requirements for a higher degree by research.

Applications are closed.

Before you get started

If this scholarship has rules, download and read them.

How to apply

To be considered for this scholarship, please email the following documents to Professor Peta Ashworth (

  • Cover letter
  • CV
  • Academic transcript/s

Please note the following: Submitting the above documents does not constitute a full application for admission into The University of Queensland's PhD program. If you are selected as the preferred applicant, you will then be invited to submit a full application for admission. You can familiarise yourself with the documents required for this process on the Future Student's website.

Selection criteria

In addition to the Graduate School requirements, applicants would benefit from having:

  • Keen interest to conduct high quality research in social sciences energy research that falls within the scope of the project. This includes but is not limited to social license to operate, stakeholder engagement; policy implications, attitudes towards and perceptions of future fuels;
  • Knowledge/training and/or demonstrated experience in both qualitative and quantitative research methods;
  • Ability to apply critical thinking, work systematically and willingness to obtain new skills and knowledge;
  • Ability to work independently and in collaboration with other researchers, be innovative, creative and pro-active.
Applications are closed.


Professor Peta Ashworth
+61 7 3346 8831
Applications are closed.

Terms and conditions

Read the policy on UQ Research Scholarships.

A domestic part-time student with carer’s responsibilities, a medical condition or a disability, which prevents them from studying full time may be eligible for scholarship consideration, on a case by case basis.

Applications are closed.