Up to four PhD scholarships are available to suitably qualified, high-achieving Australian domestic students to pursue research in environmental health sciences within the Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences (QAEHS) at The University of Queensland.


Applicants should contact potential advisors directly to initiate a conversation about specific projects and student-advisor match. See 'About the award' below for these specific contact details. Once you have agreement in principle with an advisor, apply online at https://graduate-school.uq.edu.au/future-students/applying-research-higher-degree. 

Please ensure that you specify in the free-text field QAEHS PhD Stipends. 

To be eligible you must:

Be studying full-time and onshore in Australia.
Be nominated by an enrolling school or institute at UQ.
Be assessed by the Graduate School as meeting all conditions for admission to the research higher degree program.
Not hold a qualification at the same or a higher level than the research higher degree program you are undertaking.
Not be receiving a living allowance award, scholarship or salary providing a benefit greater than 75% of the RTP Scholarship living allowance rate to undertake the research higher degree program.
Not be receiving a Commonwealth funded tuition fee scholarship.

About the award

Scholarships are available to suitably qualified, high-achieving Australian domestic students with a passion for research, to pursue PhD studies in environmental health sciences within the Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences (QAEHS) at the University of Queensland.

QAEHS is a new university-wide multidisciplinary Centre, funded jointly by Queensland Health and the University of Queensland, to conduct research into all aspects of interactions between the environment and human health. Scholarships may be available in the following areas:

  • Environmental toxicology
  • Environmental microbiology
  • Environmental epidemiology
  • Integrated environmental health 

Scholarship holders will be enrolled at UQ as PhD research higher degree students, and will undertake a research project relevant to one or more of the QAEHS research themes. Students will be supervised and mentored by the relevant academic research discipline experts and co-supervised/co-mentored by Queensland Health staff who hold UQ Adjunct appointments. During the course of the research project, students will acquire research skills, knowledge and experience that will equip them to undertake independent research upon the award of their PhD degree.

QAEHS PhD Supervisors and Research Areas


Professor Kevin Thomas (kevin.thomas@uq.edu.au)

Professor Thomas’ research is focused on better understanding the environmental fate, behaviour, effects and risks associated with contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) with the goal of protecting environmental and human health.

Research topics include:

Assessing community-wide health status through urban wastewater fingerprinting. 
Alternative matrices for exposure monitoring. For example explanted silicone prostheses and wristbands.
Microparticulate plastic particles as environmental contaminants.
Analytical methods for the characterization of contaminants of emerging concern (target/suspect-screening/non-target analysis).

Professor Jochen Mueller (j.mueller@uq.edu.au)

The focus of Professor Mueller’s research is identifying organic pollutants and measuring their potential effects on people and the environment.

Research topics include:

Sources, fate and human exposure to fluorinated surfactants and other firefighting-related chemicals in soil, air and groundwater
Estimating per capita use and release of chemicals by wastewater analysis
Sources and fate (sorption/facilitated transport processes) of fluorinated compounds at coastal airports
Long-term temporal trends in Australian air contamination (using Environmental Specimen Bank archived samples from 2009 to date).

Professor Jack Ng (j.ng@uq.edu.au)

Professor Ng is one of very few certified toxicologists in Australia and is research theme leader for Environmental Health Risk Assessment at QAEHS, as well as Program Leader for Risk Assessment at CRC-CARE (Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment). His major research objective is to understand source, exposure and toxicological effects of environmental pollutants for evidence-based risk assessment, and provide intervention strategies to safeguard environmental and human health. Themes include chemical speciation in environmental and biological media, bioavailability in relationship to toxicities, carcinogenicity and mechanistic studies of environmental contaminants.

Research topics include:

In vitro bioaccessibility and toxicity methods for health risk assessment of mixtures of environmental pollutants
Molecular mechanism of benzene-induced leukaemogenesis.


Dr Philip Bond (phil.bond@awmc.uq.edu.au)

Dr Philip Bond is a senior research fellow in environmental microbiology who has the expertise to determine and understand the function of microorganisms in their environment. This includes investigations of engineered environments such as in wastewater and water treatment and supply systems. The approaches focus on use of advanced molecular methods such as next generation sequencing and metagenomic, transcriptomic and proteomic analyses.

Research topics include:

Understanding and control of pathogenic bacteria (e.g. Legionella) in engineered water systems
Dissemination and transfer of antibiotic resistance genes across the entire urban water system
Assessing and mitigating aerosol emissions from wastewater treatment systems
Understanding the fate and transport of selected biomarkers in sewers.


Professor Michele Haynes (m.haynes@uq.edu.au), with

Senior Research Fellow Dr Jason Ferris (j.ferris@uq.edu.au) and

Research Fellow Dr Danilo Bolano (d.bolano@uq.edu.au)

Professor Haynes, Dr Ferris and Dr Bolano provide expert supervision in environmental epidemiology. Professor Haynes is a statistician with over twenty years’ experience in the development and application of statistical methodology for the analysis of data, particularly in the social sciences. Dr Ferris is a statistician has over ten years of social science and public health research experience, with a strong focus on alcohol and drug research, sexual health, and adolescent health. Dr Bolano is a demographer and social statistician with expertise in quantitative methods for social sciences and longitudinal data analysis.

Research topics include:

Clandestine drug labs and evaluation of remediation practices in Queensland
Waste-water analysis
Spatial analysis (e.g. alcohol outlet density, alley lighting changes) and population health harms
Social determinants of environmental and health risk exposure
Interrelationships between social processes, environmental exposure and health outcomes over the life course.

Dr Luke Knibbs (l.knibbs@uq.edu.au)

Dr Knibbs is a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Health, with special interests in air pollution, bioaerosols (airborne particles of biological origin), and novel approaches to improving exposure assessment in environmental epidemiology.

Research topics include:

Air pollution epidemiology, exposure assessment, infectious disease transmission
Geospatial methods in Environmental Health.

Associate Professor Simon Reid (simon.reid@uq.edu.au)

Associate Professor Reid is an epidemiologist with an interest in research to improve the detection and control of infectious diseases with a particular emphasis on zoonotic diseases such as leptospirosis and influenza.

Research topics include:

The epidemiology of cryptosporidiosis in rural and remote Australia
Improving the management of environmental health risks associated with swimming pools


Associate Professor Kelly Fielding (k.fielding@uq.edu.au)

Associate Professor Fielding’s research focuses broadly on understanding and communicating about environmental health risk perceptions.

Terms and conditions

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.

Students can be considered for scholarship only twice. Consideration can be prior to enrolment, or in the first round after the confirmation milestone is achieved*.

*conditions apply, see the scholarship rules for further details

In instances where the candidate is awarded a scholarship after commencement there will be no retrospective payments of this scholarship. 

How to apply

To apply for admission and this scholarship please visit the UQ Graduate School website and review instructions.

When completing the online application form ensure you indicate in the free text field in scholarships that you are applying for the Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences Stipend. 

Research area and PhD project enquiries should be directed to the relevant QAEHS academic research leader (see QAEHS web site). General enquiries should be directed to QAEHS Administration via qaehsadmin@uq.edu.au.

Opening date: 
Monday, February 27, 2017 - 10:45
Closing date: 
Sunday, April 23, 2017 - 17:00