Water Resource Modelling Supplementary Scholarship

This financial support is currently not available.


Development of management strategies to enable, support and improve resilience of social-ecological systems (aka human-environment or socio-environmental systems) to changing conditions is now a key concern globally. In Australia, recent severe droughts on top of longer-term trends of decreased rainfall have been exacerbated by a lack of resilient strategies for drought and water management. Many of Australia's other natural resources are also severely stressed. Resilience has appropriately become a central concern for socio-environmental research and policy.

While aspects of 'resilience thinking' such as adaptive management have been implemented successfully, application of resilience in research and policy has however been hampered by definitions of resilience that are difficult to apply. Pathway diversity provides the potential for a paradigm shift in how resilience is applied in research and practice, leading to deeper understanding of the factors that contribute to resilience and to the development of policies for more resilient use of natural resources.

We are offering a top up scholarship to a successful PhD candidate able to contribute to the project. This scholarship is funded by a Future Fellowship awarded to Dr Steven Lade by the Australian Research Council with co-funding from the Fenner School of Environment & Society.

In this opportunity, we are seeking a PhD candidate to advance the theoretical and practical foundations of pathway diversity. The expected work will be based largely on developing and analysing resilience metrics in mathematical models of social-ecological systems, however the student will be encouraged to apply the methods developed to qualitative or semi-quantitative empirical case studies. The student will work closely with researchers from across ANU at the Institute for Water Futures as well as a global network of resilience researchers.

Field of study

While this is project within environmental science and water resources, we will consider any candidates with a mathematical modelling background, including but not limited to physics, ecology, hydrology, mathematics, economics.


This scholarship is available to potential or current students who:

  • Are domestic students;
  • Have a bachelor's degree with first-class honours or a research Master's degree from a recognised university is a prerequisite;
  • Have successfully obtained an offer of admission to a PhD program;
  • The successful candidate must be awarded, and continue to hold, an approved ANU HDR Base Stipend Scholarship, at the minimum RTP rate;
  • The candidate should have strong experience in mathematical modelling, such as dynamical systems modelling, including a demonstrated capability to develop innovative modelling approaches and new computational algorithms.


Fortnightly payments for 3 years.

How to apply

Interested individuals are invited to discuss the project with Dr Steven Lade (steven.lade@anu.edu.au) and must submit a CV and a one page statement of possible research directions to him by 1 October 2021.

Preference will be given to candidates with:

  • Enthusiasm for working with researchers across disciplines;
  • Evidence of strong written and oral English skills;
  • Peer-reviewed publications and previous knowledge of social-ecological systems or resilience theory.

Further information