Archaeology PhD Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage Scholarship (CABAH)


A PhD Scholarship is offered by the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, which is to conduct archaeological research in Australia and/or the Wallacean islands to the north of Australia. The scholarship is funded through the Australian National University node of the Centre of Excellence of Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CABAH). The successful applicant will work as part of a multidisciplinary team with ANU academics in the CABAH team to investigate specific questions of interest to the aims of the CABAH 'People theme' (for details see

Our goal is to tell the epic story of Australia's rich and distinctive natural and human history by revolutionising our knowledge of the events and processes that have shaped this nation and combining that knowledge with cutting-edge modelling techniques to manage and protect our natural and cultural resources into the future.

To achieve this ambitious goal, we are seeking enthusiastic and talented PhD students to join our team. The successful applicant will have a background in one or more of the following areas of study including archaeology, zooarchaeology, archaeobotany or geoarchaeology.

The candidate will have the opportunity to work on one of the key archaeological sites located within Australia, New Guinea and Timor-Leste as part of a broader goal to investigate the diversity that is the signature of the peopling and subsequent settlement of Wallacea and Sahul (Australia and New Guinea). Sites in both regions have rich archaeological assemblages beginning as early as 65,000 years ago but few have continuous occupation sequences. Working with counterparts in the CABAH Climate, Landscapes, Wildlife, Time and Modelling themes, the CABAH People team will investigate sites in key regions to better understand these threshold changes.

Significant funding has been committed to CABAH's Irinjili Research Training Program, designed to build future research capacity within STEM disciplines and at their interface with the humanities. Through this program, you will participate in regular Masterclasses, Short Courses and Thematic Workshops, with a transdisciplinary emphasis, to improve your technical, professional and communication skills. Cross-node projects, mentoring arrangements, and researcher exchange fellowship opportunities will be integral to your CABAH research training experience. The successful applicant will have the opportunity to be part of these exciting new developments.

Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders will have access to additional support through dedicated Indigenous Australian initiatives such as mentoring, bursaries and top up grants. Women will be supported through a range of initiatives, including internships and travel grants. For further details on the nature and scope of the project, contact Professor Sue O'Connor who leads the 'People theme'

Field of study

Students with a background in archaeology, zooarchaeology, archaeobotany or geoarchaeology or a related specialism will be considered.


Must hold a bachelor's degree with at least upper second-class honours (first class honours is preferred) or equivalent, or a Graduate Diploma or Master's degree with a significant research thesis component and/or relevant experience


This scholarship includes paid medical and leave entitlements, travel reimbursement, and thesis reimbursement.

A fee waiver may be offered for outstanding international students.

The ANU College of Asia and the Pacific provides an additional top-up fund to support fieldwork, travel and conference attendance of $7500 plus $800 for copy editing for the period of the scholarship.

Other benefits - Funding for fieldwork, specialist analyses and radiocarbon dates necessary to complete the PhD will be available through CABAH.

How to apply

Applicants should express their interest by writing to Professor Sue O'Connor  with the following documents:

•             Academic transcript

•             CV

•             A one-page document outlining your interest in this research topic and why you are applying for this PhD program as well as evidence of meeting the eligibility criteria for PhD candidature at the Australian National University

Applicants will then be required to apply for admission through ANU.


Further information

Applicants who are unable to begin in mid-2018 may be considered for entry in Feb. 2019.

Please contact Professor Sue O'Connor for further information and to discuss specific projects that you may be interested in developing.