Australian Research Council (ARC) :The Deep History of Sea Country: Climate, Sea-Level and Culture Project

Opening Date: 19-12-2016   Closing Date: 24-01-2017  


Flinders University’s Department of Archaeology is offering a three-year PhD scholarship for full-time research on an Australian Research Council (ARC) funded research project entitled "The Deep History of Sea Country: Climate, Sea-Level and Culture".

This exciting project is a partnership between Flinders University, University of Western Australia, James Cook University, Curtin University, Aarhus University (Denmark) and the University of York (United Kingdom). 

This project aims to investigate the records of the now-submerged Pilbara coast (50,000 to 7,000 years ago). The project integrates cultural and environmental studies and material analysis, and adapts a method from confirmed submarine middens in the SW Baltic Sea. Therefore a component of the project will also evaluate the process of submerged at known submerged deposits. The project will use marine, aerial and diver-based survey and recording techniques to investigate physical and cultural submerged landscapes. This project expects to influence heritage and environmental management and the marine heritage sector in addition to expanding the discipline of maritime archaeology in Australia to include submerged pre-contact archaeology.

The successful applicant will have relevant experience in Australian Archaeology and/or Baltic Archaeology and will be prepared to work on a project aimed at deep time and human-environment interaction. The successful applicant will have an interest in coastal hunter-gatherers and early maritime communities and will be able to work independently and as part of a larger team. The successful applicant will undertake their research within the Department of Archaeology’s Maritime Archaeology Program.

The PhD candidate will receive Principal supervision by Dr Jonathan Benjamin, with support of the project team and other internal experts at Flinders.



The scholarship includes:

  • a stipend  valued at $26,682* per annum tax free (*increased annually by consumer price index)
  • a Research Training Program Fee Offset Scholarship to cover tuition fees.


The scholarship will be awarded for a maximum of three years. Recipients may be eligible for one six month extension subject to application and consideration by the Scholarships Committee.

The project will be resourced through the field budget, providing a unique and well funded program of underwater archaeological, geoarchaeological and geophysical activities and mentorship.



To be eligible for the award of this scholarship a student must:

  • be an Australian citizen; or a New Zealand citizen or an Australian permanent resident at the closing date for applications, or an international student who meet the postgraduate entry requirements and English Language requirements; and
  • be enrolled or be able to commence  a research higher degree at Flinders University in semester 1, 2017; and
  • have completed a Bachelor degree with Second Class (Division A) Honours or above, or an equivalent level of academic attainment.
  • Other general conditions of the award will be as per current conditions of award for Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarships.


A wide variety of archaeological specialties will be considered and candidates with great initiative and the appropriate transferrable skills are encouraged to apply. Preference may be given to applicants with a proven track record in:


  • Marine resource exploitation and coastal archaeology including but not limited to fish traps and shell midden deposits; or
  • Submerged and Intertidal archaeological field methods; or
  • Marine geophysical field methods; or
  • Marine Geoarchaeology.


Consideration may also be given to applicants with suitable diving qualifications per the Flinders University Diving Policy and Manual.

All applicants are advised to contact the project Lead Investigator, Dr Jonathan Benjamin, via email:

IMPORTANT:  Those wishing to apply should in the first instance complete a candidature and scholarships application form available below, and include information on research experience, and an indicative research proposal.  All international applications will be directed to the international office.

The successful candidate will ideally begin by March 1st  2017, subject to negotiation (and not later than May 1st 2017).

Scholarship Type: research, commencing,