Lizard Island Postdoctoral Fellowships

Australian Museum

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Grant amount: Up to A $15,000

Anticipated deadline: Oct 11, 2020

Applicant type: Faculty Postdoctoral Researcher

Funding uses: Fellowship

Location of project: Australia

Location of residency: Anywhere in the world

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The Lizard Island Postdoctoral Fellowships program has operated since 2008 and 38 awards have been made to date. It is funded by the Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation and its donors. There are currently three named fellowships within the program.

The Isobel Bennett Marine Biology Fellowship is named in recognition of the late Dr Isobel Bennett who was one of Australia's eminent marine biologists. The Hermon Slade Raiatea Foundation has provided funding to the Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation (LIRRF) to enable this fellowship.

The John and Laurine Proud Fellowship is named in recognition of the late Sir John Proud and his late wife, Lady Laurine Proud. Sir John was the founder of the Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation and was a long-term passionate supporter of the Research Station. Lady Proud continued her support after the death of her husband. Their estate now supports this fellowship through the LIRRF.

The LIRRF Fellowship is funded from many sources within the Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation.

We are seeking applications in two categories:

  • Biology, ecology or processes of coral reefs
  • Taxonomy of little-known marine or terrestrial fauna
  • Fellows are expected to make substantial original contributions in one of these fields. The fellowships are intended to stimulate scientific benefits in addition to the research outcomes through collaboration, research training, and contributing to larger projects.

Applications are assessed by a panel of Australian Museum scientists that includes members of the LIRRF Science Committee. A single application will be considered for all available fellowships.


Funding is provided for field expenses at LIRS for one or two years as required. Salary is not provided.

For researchers based at an Australian institution, the maximum value of each 2020 fellowship is $15,000 plus GST per year for either one or two years. For researchers based at an overseas institution, the amount includes GST.

Fellowship funds must be spent on field work at LIRS including bench fees, travel, freight, and field/lab consumables.

They may not be used for salary, for living expenses (such as food while at Lizard Island) or for equipment other than research consumables. The fellow's university may not deduct a fee for administering the fellowship.


  • Field work must take place between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2021 for the first year, and in the same period of the subsequent year if a second year is awarded. However, a blackout period applies in November and December unless there are compelling biological reasons for doing the work in those months (e.g. coral spawning, fish recruitment).
  • Funding in the second year, if awarded, is subject to suitable progress.
  • Reporting, outreach and acknowledgement conditions will be detailed in a contract with each successful applicant.
  • Any funds unspent at the end of each Fellowship year must be returned to LIRS unless carry-over arrangements are approved.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Applicants must have been awarded a PhD degree between 11 October 2014 and 11 October 2019.
    • If a researcher does not satisfy this criterion and considers that s/he has an equivalent research qualification or experience of similar duration, then s/he must determine eligibility by making a case to the Selection Committee at least two weeks before the closing date for applications.
  • Applicants must be able to show that they have the time and resources to conduct the field research and to publish the results.
    • This is usually demonstrated by being employed in a research position for the duration of the fellowship period.
    • In recognition of the reality of early postdoctoral employment, other ways of demonstrating a commitment to completing the research process are acceptable.
  • Selection Criteria
    • The person:
      • Meets both of the eligibility criteria.
      • Has an excellent academic record.
      • Has high research output in relation to career stage.
      • Has relevant research and fieldwork experience.
    • The project:
      • Will significantly advance knowledge in one of two research areas: a) the biology, ecology or processes of coral reefs, or b) the taxonomy of little-known marine or terrestrial fauna.
      • Makes good use of LIRS facilities.
      • Is feasible within the limitations of budget and safety regulations.
      • Makes efficient usage of fellowship funds.
      • Has additional funding available if the fellowship does not cover all planned costs.
      • Enables scientific leverage.
      • For taxonomic projects only, will utilise existing collections within the Australian Museum and/or will contribute to those collections.


  • Salary is not provided.