The Blue Economy CRC places heavy emphasis on Education & Training, with an unprecedented scale of research opportunities on offer, including fully funded Higher Degree by Research (HDR) PhD scholarships across its five research programs.

PhDs will be linked to industry-driven research topics and part of their candidacy will be embedded with industry and government partners. This will help ensure candidates are work-ready and are connected to potential employers.

Successful candidates will be enrolled with one of our University partners and will be supervised conjointly with research organisations, industry and government participants in the CRC.

HDRs are expected to present at a national and international conference, co-funded by the CRC and their host institution. The CRC will hold showcase events to communicate CRC research outcomes and provide training opportunities for students, ECRs and professionals.

All potential applicants should read the Blue Economy CRC PhD Conditions of Award.

There are a number of avenues through which potential PhDs can (after passing the selection process) obtain scholarships with the Blue Economy CRC.

They may apply to undertake a stand-alone PhD project, on a research topic nominated by the Blue Economy CRC related to one of the 5 Research Programs. Alternatively, applicants can seek to undertake their PhD scholarship while working as part of a research team undertaking an existing Blue Economy CRC project. These projects will have been designed to include a PhD Scholarship.

See link below for the current list of nominated research topics, and existing research projects.

Finally, potential PhDs can lodge an expression of interest (EoI) with the Blue Economy CRC, in which they put forward their own research topic and/or proposal which closely aligns with at least one of our Research Programs. The EoI will be shared with the relevant Program’s leadership team, and, on the basis of the student’s knowledge, experience and interests, they may be assigned to a new or existing research project.

Current PhD Opportunities
Current PhD Scholars



A PhD Scholarship with the Blue Economy CRC places you in a unique cross-disciplinary research environment, enabling you to develop solutions that will help revolutionise the aquaculture and ocean-based renewable energy sectors.

Scholars will undertake (either individually, or as part of a wider team) industry-focused research projects, and have an opportunity to engage with industry directly in solving exciting research problems. Scholarships are offered that will sit primarily within the Blue Economy CRC’s Participant universities, and relate to projects that  will encompass a wide range of disciplines.

All students within the BE CRC education and training program will benefit from:

  • professional development opportunities, through conferences workshops and other networking events
  • access to industry training and mentoring programs
  • generous internship opportunities with industry and end-user partners, to enable both academic and industry-based research experience.

If you are a high-achieving university graduate that wants to deliver impactful and important research, and advance their career through helping a unique organisation achieve genuinely innovative outcomes; you should seriously consider applying for a Blue Economy CRC PhD Scholarship.

  • The BE CRC-Co will provide scholarship award rates at the value of $30,000 per annum (for full-time scholarships) until December 31st, 2024. Thereafter, an annual value of $35,000 per annum will apply for full-time scholarships. These values have been set so that they should exceed the projected corresponding values for the Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) rate, which are indexed annually. Prospective students must have sufficient funding to pay university (international student) tuition fees or have a scholarship from their home country or the university to cover these.
  • Scholarship stipend payments will be administered through the university where the student is enrolled under the relevant project agreement.
  • There will be three types of scholarship offered by the BE CRC-Co: (i) full scholarship, (ii) partial scholarship (50% or 25% where co-funding is provided by a Blue Economy CRC Participant university and/or research organisation or Third-Party) and (iii) a ‘top-up’ scholarship.
  • A ‘top up’ scholarship shall provide funds to supplement a scholarship, the ‘top up’ will provide up to a total stipend of up to $10,000 per annum above the APA scholarship rate, and considered outstanding candidates.
  • Top-ups and stipends cannot be used to fund tuition fees.

To be eligible for a Blue Economy CRC Postgraduate Scholarship, applicants are required to:

  • Be assessed by one of our partner Universities to have met all conditions for admission to the HDR program including English language requirements for international students.
  • Have research subject areas aligned with the objectives of the Blue Economy CRC’s five Research Programs.
  • Have for each PhD project the support of a Blue Economy CRC industry and/or government participant for the project.
  • All applicants must meet the eligibility requirements of the host University, and essential skills, experience or other requirements. Applications are invited from high-calibre, recent, or soon-to-be 1st class or high 2nd class honours or Masters graduates or the equivalent, in related fields.
  • Early career industry professionals interested in returning to higher degree studies (full-time or part-time) are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Not hold the degree of Doctor of Philosophy or have submitted work to the university or any other institution in fulfilment of the requirements for a degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
  • Upon commencement, all students will be required to sign a legally-binding agreement with the Blue Economy CRC and their host university. Once this occurs, they will then formally join the Blue Economy CRC Scholars Program, and have access to the same opportunities as other students in the Blue Economy CRC.
  • For more information, see the Blue Economy CRC PhD Conditions of Award.

Locations to undertake a PhD in the Blue Economy CRC

The Blue Economy CRC’s PhD students will primarily be enrolled in a PhD with one of the following Universities, unless otherwise approved by the Blue Economy CRC:

  • Griffith University
  • Macquarie University
  • University of Tasmania
  • University of Queensland
  • University of Western Australia
  • Auckland University of Technology

Conjoint arrangements with international partner Universities and/or research organisations can be considered.

For more information, see the PhD Conditions of Award


 Before preparing your Application, please read the following advice on the application process, and related information.

  • Review the PhD Conditions of Award stipulated by the Blue Economy CRC-Co. (BE CRC).
  • Contact the primary supervisor for this Project, to introduce yourself as a potential applicant and discuss the BE CRC listed Project.
  • If you wish to proceed with applying, complete the PhD Application Form as fully as possible, including all attachments required.
  • Complete the Checklist, sign and date the Form, then submit it for Blue Economy CRC-Co approval.
  • The BE CRC will then send your Application to your Primary Supervisor (as nominated in your Application), for them to provide a written assessment of your suitability as a candidate suitable for selection.
  • Those applicants that have not been selected for further consideration will be advised. Any applicants that have not discussed the project with the Primary Supervisor will be omitted.
  • The BE CRC will make a final selection of the Scholarship applicants, and notify the student and primary supervisor that the designated Project will proceed to a formal funding application.
  • Your Primary Supervisor will work with you to complete your enrolment at the university.
  • Note that any projects that cannot be assigned a suitable PhD applicant in this round of scholarships, will continue to be advertised for the receipt of applications at a later date.


Please provide the name and contact details of at least two academic referees who are familiar with your work.

Please request a referee report from each referee.  Direct them to the Referee Report Form

Rather than applying against an advertised project, you may register an expression of interest to undertake a PhD with the Blue Economy CRC, proposing your own research topic.  This should be done by completing the form here.

Following a comprehensive assessment of your EoI, you may be assigned to a new or existing research project.

Current PhD Opportunities