CSIRO PhD Top-Up Scholarship - Carp in Contemporary Food Webs of the Murray-Darling Basin

Date: 1 Sep 2023

Location: Negotiable, AU

Company: CSIRO

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The Opportunity

  • Are you passionate about a career in research?
  • Want to access CSIRO's world-class facilities and staff?
  • Apply for a CSIRO PhD Top-Up Scholarship now!


CSIRO PhD Top-Up Scholarships provide enhanced opportunities in science and engineering for outstanding graduates enrolling in a PhD at Australian tertiary institutions. Collaborating with us to complete your PhD degree will give your research the edge. We offer you access to our leading scientists, engineers and mentors, the opportunity to take your research to the next level in our first-class facilities and first-hand experience in an environment where our innovative research really is changing the world for the better.

A CSIRO PhD Top-Up Scholarship is a supplementary award, which adds to the student’s support from a principal scholarship awarded by another body, e.g. RTP scholarship.  In all respects recipients of awards will be regarded as students of the University at which they are registered, and all rules relating to degree candidature and the primary award will apply. In particular, recipients will undertake research at CSIRO as a student of the university concerned and will not be employees of CSIRO.

CSIRO Environment is conducting research that is dedicated to addressing the challenges and opportunities of the environmental sector, now and into the future. From oceans to coasts to land to atmosphere to climate, we aim to deliver solutions that support the resilient and sustainable management of our natural resources fundamental to Australia's development and prosperity. For more information, please see our website at Environment

Project Title:  How important are carp in contemporary foodwebs of the Murray-Darling Basin?

Project Details: Carp are a highly abundant, invasive fish species in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) and are known to cause significant negative impacts on native fish and the broader aquatic ecosystem. The Australian government is currently poised and considering whether to support the release of a virus to assist in the species’ control. However, little is known about the importance of carp in contemporary food webs of the MDB. This project will determine the importance of carp in food webs, across different habitat types and environmental conditions in the MDB. The project will also examine the potential impact of carp removal on food webs and assess likely winners and losers in the native ecosystem.

There is a broad scope for the project to include a combination of field, experimental, and/or modelling approaches depending on the skills and interest of the candidate. For instance, field work could include the sampling of carp populations in rivers and wetlands with collection of tissues to assess carp diet and contribution of carp to the energy requirements of predators such as large-bodied fish and waterbirds. Quantitative approaches could include building of dynamic food-web models to simulate scenarios of carp removal from the community.

Contact:  For more information on the research project please contact Alison King at alison.king@csiro.au


Location: Negotiable

Scholarship: Top-Up Scholarship of $10,000 per annum, plus a learning and development budget of $5,000 over the term of the studentship

Tenure: 3 years

Reference: 94311



To be eligible to apply you must have (or expect to gain):


  • first or upper second-class honours or equivalent in a relevant research area;
  • admission to an Australian University as a PhD student;
  • hold an appropriate visa to study in Australia (if international)*
  • be no further than one year (FTE) into a PhD on commencing at CSIRO
  • hold a primary scholarship; for example, a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or other primary scholarship of similar value
  • not be in receipt of any other Top-Up Scholarship
  • a university supervisor who is willing and able to supervise you; and
  • be available to commence with CSIRO no later than 30 June 2024.


* International applicants must be residing in Australia and have the appropriate immigration approvals to allow them to take up the scholarship


Applications will be assessed on:

  1. Quality and relevance of student project:  The primary assessment criterion for a CSIRO PhD Top-Up Scholarship is the quality and relevance of the project being proposed.  The research must be aligned with the advertised priority research area.
  2. Academic calibre of the student:  The quality of the student is also critical to the assessment of a scholarship and candidates must hold (or expect to gain) a relevant first or upper second class honours (or equivalent) degree from a recognised university.
  3. Availability of appropriate university supervision:  The relevance of the university supervisor’s research background and their willingness to supervise the student in collaboration with the CSIRO supervisor should also be made clear. 


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How to apply:

You will be required to:

  1. submit a Resume/CV and Cover Letter (as one document) in the ‘Resume/CV field which includes:
    • the names and contact details of two previous supervisors or academic/professional referees; and
    • a one-page proposal stating how your research interests align with the project aims.
  2. upload your academic results in the ‘Cover Letter’ field.


If you experience difficulties applying online call 1300 984 220 and someone will be able to assist you. Outside business hours please email: careers.online@csiro.au.


Applications Close

1 November 2023, 11:00pm AEDT