Scholarship Open to Support Climate Game Changers - application deadline extended to Sunday 27 November

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10 October 2022

Are you looking to make an impact on climate change through your PhD studies? Would financial support and networking opportunities help you transition into the world of climate research?

The ANU Institute for Climate, Energy and Disaster Solutions (ICEDS) is pleased to announce that applications are now open for the 2023 Game Change Scholarship. The scholarship aims to support the emerging generation of PhD scholars, particularly those from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds, to contribute to game-changing climate change research.

“The Game Change scholarship is here to support the innovative research that we need to address the global climate crisis,” said Prof Mark Howden, ICEDS Director.

Supported by generous donations to the Game Change Fund, the scholarship offers $10,000 per annum to the successful applicant. Candidates who have been awarded another stipend scholarship can still apply for the Game Change supplementary award.

"Not having to worry about money means you can concentrate on your studies," says inaugural Game Change Scholarship recipient, Rebecca Blackburn, who is exploring behavioural changes to reduce consumption and its associated impacts.

In addition to providing financial support, the scholarship also connects recipients to the ICEDS member network, which includes academics and students with a range of expertise and experience.

“I now have a network of experts and professionals who have worked on climate change issues for the past 20 years,” says Vehia Wheeler, who is the 2021 recipient of the scholarship and is considering how Indigenous knowledges can help communities build resilience. “This network gives me access to a variety of information concerning this topic, from policy to sciences,” she says.

Application deadline for the Game Change Scholarship has been extended to Sunday 27 November, 2022 at 11:59pm AEDT.

Please see below for how to apply:


The award will be available each year to a prospective or continuing PhD student who meets the following Eligibility Criteria:

  1. a domestic and/or international student; and
  2. recently enrolled or about to enrol full-time (or part-time, with approval) in a program of study for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Australian National University (students who have commenced their PhD within the last 12 months are eligible to apply); and
  3. undertaking a PhD project related to climate change, supported by a developed project brief; and
  4. is a student from a traditionally underrepresented background, meeting one or more of the following considerations: identifies as Aboriginal Australian or Torres Strait Islander; is from a rural or remote area; is from a Pacific Island Nation; or is from a disadvantaged background or has experienced financial hardship.

Applications that don't meet these criteria will not be considered. Priority may be given to applicants under 35 years of age.


The award covers the following costs:

  • An award up to $10,000 per annum to support discretionary costs (e.g. of research or daily living) to be paid in fortnightly instalments unless otherwise stated in the letter of offer.

Leave Entitlements:

  • Paid maternity and parental leave is not applicable to this award.
  • Unpaid leave of absence on personal grounds, which does not exceed a total period of twelve months during the tenure of the Award, may be granted after which the student may resume the Award.

The recipient will develop a close working relationship with the ANU Institute for Climate, Energy & Disaster Solutions. This relationship will provide support for communicating research outcomes beyond traditional scientific publications (e.g. through science communication channels and the news media) and for engaging with end users of the research (e.g. decision-makers and other stakeholders).

How to apply

Candidates apply for their Doctor of Philosophy program in the appropriate Research School, and apply for this award through the Institute for Climate, Energy & Disaster Solutions.

Selection will be made on the basis of the following Selection Criteria:

  1. Relevance and applicability of the project to solve challenges presented by climate change. Applications must show that climate change responses (adaptation or mitigation or their interaction) are a core component of the proposed research; and
  2. The potential for the prospective PhD Scholar to actively engage with decision-makers with regards to their research project; and
  3. Academic merit, potential and performance based on their academic records, referee reports and other supporting documents; and
  4. The applicant’s background and reasons for seeking the scholarship including the applicant’s demonstration of how the scholarship could be a game-changer for their own development.

Applicants should submit the following application documents together in one email:

  1. A completed application form. Applications that do not meet the Eligibility Criteria will not be considered. 
  2. Applicant’s CV.
  3. Supporting documents relating to the Selection Criteria, including:
    • 1-2 written reference letters from supervisors and/or other relevant sources; and
    • Academic transcript(s); and
    • Any other relevant documents.

These documents are to be emailed to ICEDS at by Sunday 27 November, 2022 at 11:59pm AEDT.


Advice from previous applicants about applying

A “game changing” project might seem like a big statement but don’t let that stop you from applying! The Game Change scholarship exists to support emerging scholars who want to make an impact in the fight against climate change. If this sounds like you and you have questions around applying, then please get in touch.  

“Be sincere and visionary, continue to work for your passions in climate change and be as specific as possible when applying. Have a goal, find your niche and work hard towards it. When you communicate that through your writing, you will find people and ways to be supported.” - Vehia Wheeler

 “It's not difficult or time consuming to apply, just do it!"  - Rebecca Blackburn