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WH Bryan Earth Sciences PhD Scholarship

Future student scholarship
$150,000 to support an outstanding PhD candidate who is passionate about making a global impact through earth sciences research in Queensland.

Scholarship details

Study levels


Student type

Future students

Study area

Science and mathematics

Eligibility criteria

Academic performance


Australian or New Zealand and International

Application dates

Applications close
30 April 2018

What you'll receive

You’ll receive:

  • a living allowance of $32,000 each year (tax free) for three years
  • a research project funding allowance of $18,000 each year (tax free) for three years.

International students will also receive a research degree tuition fee sponsorship.


You must:

  • be applying for a PhD in the area of earth sciences and not yet received or accepted a PhD scholarship offer or be enrolled and commenced a PhD. The WH Bryan Earth Sciences PhD Scholarship is to support a new student and project.

Applications are open to future PhD candidates hosted by Queensland universities that teach in the earth sciences:

  • QUT
  • University of Queensland
  • James Cook University.

How to apply

As the successful applicant your area of investigation will advance the understanding of Queensland earth sciences by addressing a globally significant problem leading to impactful outcomes. Your research project will ideally be consistent with the diverse areas of research and impacts achieved by Professor WH Bryan MC over his career.

Step 1

Make contact with a potential supervisor by emailing our earth sciences discipline at

We recommend that your proposed project is developed with or led by the principal supervisor to ensure it is Queensland focused.

Find out more about our earth sciences discipline, including potential supervisors

Step 2

Express your interest in writing to with the subject line 'WH Bryan scholarship application'.

We suggest you contact us by Sunday 8 April to allow enough time for your application to be considered for the shortlist.

To be considered, you must include:

  • a cover letter
  • an up-to-date curriculum vitae (CV)
  • full academic transcript
  • a brief statement outlining the reasons you are applying for the scholarship, and how it fits into your future career project description, including research significance
  • statement of support for your research from your proposed principal QUT PhD supervisor.

Read the full application guidelines on the WH Bryan Foundation website.

What happens next?

Following a review of expressions of interest, shortlisted applicants will be contacted to prepare a formal application for submission to the Bryan Foundation (due 30 April 2018).

Applications from eligible universities will be reviewed in May 2018 by an independent panel of experts, selected by the Bryan Foundation.

The scholarship is expected to be awarded in June 2018.

For more information about the application process, contact the Science and Engineering Faculty Research Scholarships Office.

About the scholarship

Valued at $150,000, this scholarship will be awarded for the first time in June 2018, and will be offered every four years.

Funded by the Bryan Foundation, the scholarship aligns with the foundation’s vision to support and empower people through education. It aims to advance the understanding of Queensland Earth sciences by addressing globally significant problems leading to high-impact outcomes.

About Emeritus Professor W.H Bryan

This scholarship commemorates the legacy of Walter Heywood (W.H.) Bryan MC (1891-1966), an Australian geologist, educator and decorated World War I military veteran who served at Gallipoli, in Egypt, and in France on the Western Front. He was awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous heroism under fire, and in 1919 pursued postgraduate study at Cambridge University.

Emeritus Professor W.H. Bryan established the University of Queensland Seismology Station under the building that is now home to QUT Chancellery and in 1926 he became the first student at the University of Queensland to receive a Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) degree. Later in his career he became the second Professor of the Department of Geology at the University of Queensland in 1948.

The contribution made by Emeritus Professor Bryan to the understanding of Queensland’s geology, tertiary education and the wellbeing of society was fundamental, impactful and diverse.

His public lectures covered topics including the origins of the earth, coral reefs and prehistoric man. His geological interests were strongest in the origin of, and the relationship between, continents and oceans, and his doctoral thesis explored earth movements in Queensland.

Throughout his career Emeritus Professor Bryan held many prominent leadership positions including:

  • President of the Royal Society of Queensland in 1925 and 1945
  • Founder and Officer in Charge of the UQ Seismology Station for many years
  • A pioneer of research into seismic activity in Queensland who inspired benefactors to donate seismographs to the University of Queensland to enable greater study of seismic activity within the State and overseas. This is the second longest running UQ experiment to date.
  • President of the Queensland Naturalists Club in 1937
  • W.B. Clarke Memorial Lecturer of the Royal Society of New South Wales in 1944
  • President of the Geological section of ANZAAS in 1946
  • A foundation member and first Chairman of the Queensland division of the Geological Society of Australia
  • Vice Chairman of University of Queensland's War Memorial Committee following WW1, and a representative of the UQ Senate on the Soldiers' Children Education Board following WW2
  • Deputy Chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Committee for many years
  • Royal Society of Queensland journal editor
  • Patron of the Gemological Association of Queensland.

Emeritus Professor Bryan published almost 60 papers during his career. He retired from the University of Queensland in 1959 and become an Emeritus Professor in his retirement. He was still writing papers on spherulites, and reviewing the work of others, just prior to his death in 1966.

The UQ Seismology Station that he started continues at Mount Nebo in Brisbane to this day. In 1991, the University of Queensland W.H. Bryan Mining and Geology Research Centre was established and named in his honour.

Contact us

Science and Engineering Faculty - Research Scholarships

3138 7693
Int. phone
+61 7 3138 7693
Postal address
QUT Science and Engineering Faculty
GPO Box 2434
Brisbane QLD 4001

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