Doctoral Scholarship Opportunities 

Discover PhD scholarships that align with your own study interests and expertise. 

If you are interested in finding a PhD project opportunity that suits you, click here. 

Current opportunities:

Food Transitions 2050

PhD scholarships to research a sustainable food future, within the Food Transitions 2050 Joint Postgraduate School, New Zealand. More info and apply here.

You could be doing research to support the transition of our regional, national and international food systems to a future, more sustainable, state.

Food Transitions 2050 is a strategic partnership initiative between five research organisations located in the Canterbury region of New Zealand: AgResearch, Lincoln University, Manaaki Whenua, Plant & Food Research and the University of Canterbury.

We are offering 10 scholarships across a range of disciplines (social sciences, biophysical sciences and engineering). All students undertake a 3-year PhD thesis, and the scholarship pays study fees and a $28,000 NZD p.a. stipend for this period.

Each of our students will be based at either University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha or Lincoln University | Te Whare Wānaka o Aoraki, and will have a supervisory team containing researchers from at least one university and at least one Crown Research Institute, to provide exposure to university and non-university research environments.

We’ve deliberately taken an inter- and trans- disciplinary, multi-scale approach, both because the problem of sustainable food necessitates it, and because we want to build capacity of researchers who have a broader view of the issues and who can communicate across disciplines. A pathway to achieving this broader perspective is by having students from different disciplines interacting regularly as a cohort.

To ensure that our graduates are ready for work in academia, research, industry or public service, we provide regular training in transferable skills, and offer our students an opportunity for work-integrated learning (i.e. an external collaboration or internship) in a relevant area alongside their study.

Apply through our webpage at


Civil and Natural Resources Engineering

Tsunami Evacuation

When tsunami strikes, it is imperative that people are able to swiftly evacuate the affected area. The commonly communicated advice is to head inland or to higher ground, but there are areas in New Zealand where distances to safe locations may be too long for some to evacuate safely on foot and the capacity of the road network is limited. In these cases, it is imperative to evaluate evacuation conditions for multimodal evacuation, i.e., evacuation involving different means of transportation (e.g. by foot and/or vehicle). This evaluation requires multimodal evacuation models for tsunami evacuation. Most existing evacuation models typically focus on one mode for evacuation, i.e., either on foot or using a vehicle. The PhD research aims to explore the use of multimodal models for tsunami evacuation, which may involve building on existing models or the development of a new model. Once a multimodal approach has been selected, the approach will be used in a case study. The case study will involve simulations of tsunami evacuation for a tsunami prone area in New Zealand (location to be determined). Finally, the research will involve visualisation of simulation results, which may involve the use of Virtual Reality.

The PhD research will require programming skills (e.g. Python, Matlab, Java, C++). Past experience of evacuation modelling, choice modelling, human behaviour modelling, traffic modelling and/or Virtual Reality visualisation is a merit.

The scholarship is part of the Smart Ideas grant: "Agent models of tsunami evacuation behaviour to improve planning and preparedness.”

Value: NZD 32,000 per annum plus tuition fees, for three years.

Closing date for applications: As soon as a candidate is found.

To apply, or to make enquiries, contact:
   Daniel Nilsson
   Professor (Docent, PhD, FSE, ETP)
   Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering University of Canterbury, New Zealand
   Phone: +64(0)33690329


Energy Transitions

We are looking to fill 2 PhD positions on energy transitions, based in New Zealand at the Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering (ranked top 11 worldwide, ShanghaiRanking), University of Canterbury:

  • PhD1. Planning the energy transition for Pacific Islands.
  • PhD2. Planning the transition for sustainable transportation.

What we offer:

  • To actively contribute to the energy transition
  • A rich network within top research institutions in New Zealand, close links to industry and the New Zealand government, and the German Aerospace Center
  • Fully funded positions with NZD$30.000/year (tax-free) for three years
  • Fully funded tuition fees and student levies for three years
  • Funding for local conferences in New Zealand and Australia, and, for outstanding work, also for international conferences and an international research stay

What we look for and expect:

  • The highest motivation to aid the energy transition
  • A background compatible with the PhD positions as described below
  • One journal publication per year, and several conference presentations
  • Assistance with teaching

To apply, please send your CV, academic records, language certificate, and a motivation letter, including contact details of two referees, to the emails indicated below. Māori and Pasifika students, as well as internationals, are particularly encouraged to apply.

  1. Timing. We will start reviewing the applications on December 11th until the positions are filled, hold the interviews via Zoom, and start the projects as soon as possible. Remote start until the visa is processed is an option.

Desired skills.

PhD1 requires knowledge on system analysis and energy technologies, and desires basic programming skills (ideally Python and GAMS) and linear optimization. Common backgrounds include but are not limited to: energy/renewable/electric/industrial/environmental/processes engineering, applied math/physics, and others. Apply to

PhD2 requires a solid background in mathematics, transportation systems, network optimisation, interests in working with multi-modal big data and excellent coding skills (e.g. Python/GAMS/Matlab/C++). The candidate should have good communication skills (speaking and writing) and should be able to work in a team. Apply to