The aim of the WH Bryan Scholarship is to advance the understanding of Queensland Earth Sciences by addressing a globally significant problem leading to impactful outcomes, with the supported project to be led by an outstanding PhD candidate.

The Scholarship commemorates the legacy of Professor WH Bryan MC, who made many fundamental, impactful and diverse contributions to the geology of Queensland, tertiary education, and societal wellbeing.

The Scholarship is aligned with the educational focus of The Bryan Foundation and endeavours to support and empower people through education.

The topics of investigation are expected to be wide-ranging and consistent with the diverse areas of research and impacts achieved by Professor WH Bryan MC during his lengthy career that spanned over 50 years.


The successful candidate must be hosted at one of the three tertiary institutions in Queensland that teach/research in Earth Sciences, being The University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology and James Cook University.

The Scholarship is available to domestic or international students meeting the entry requirements for the PhD programs at one of the eligible institutions, with the aim of supporting developing researchers in obtaining a highly valued research experience in Queensland.

The WH Bryan Scholarship is to support a new student and project. Students that have already received or accepted a PhD scholarship offer, and/or who have already enrolled in, or commenced a PhD program, will not be eligible.

Full details on applicant eligibility are provided in the application guidelines.

Selection Criteria

Applications will be assessed on four criteria:

  • Quality of Applicant;
  • Quality of Project including significance of the proposed research project;
  • Viability of Project – this includes the quality of research team, the likelihood of success based on the research environment and budget request; and
  • Alignment with Objectives of WH Bryan PhD Scholarship.

Funding Rules

The Scholarship:

  • will be awarded before 30 June 2023 and the successful student must commence their studies at the host university by December 2023. The host university will administer scholarship funds;
  • will provide $32,000 per year stipend, and $18,000 per year towards project research costs over three years ($150,000 total);
  • will provide up to $20,000 to cover start-up costs for the project. Eligible start-up costs include: airfares, moving expenses, and overseas student health cover for international students; 
  • will provide flexibility to the supervisory team in terms of managing research support;
  • is to support some international activities by the scholar such as international conference presentations, field workshops and laboratory work etc.; and
  • has some funding exclusions, including tuition fees (required for international students), salaries of supervisory staff and capital works.

Full details on funding exclusions are provided in the application guidelines below.


The timeline for the 2023 WH Bryan PhD Scholarship is:

  • Applications Close:
    5:00pm AEST*, Wednesday 1 March 2023
  • Review Period:
    March 2023
  • Award Notification:
    End-March 2023 
  • Funds Made Available:
    April 2023

* Australian Eastern Standard Time.

Applications for the next WH Bryan PhD Scholarship in Queensland Earth Sciences will open in 2025.  

Application Guidelines

Each application must be submitted by the principal supervisor at the eligible host institution.

Applications submitted directly by PhD candidates WILL NOT be accepted.

Each application is to include information on:

1)  Candidate
2)  Project description
3)  Supervisory team
4)  Research environment
5)  Budget

Applications will be assessed by an independent panel of experts comprising Adjunct Professors David Gust and Rodney Holcombe, and Honorary Professor John Jell AM who was a former student of WH Bryan. 

Please see the application guidelines below for full details.

<i>Lepidodendron</i> sp. stem impressions, Early Carboniferous Campwyn Volcanics, central Queensland.

Lepidodendron sp. stem impressions, Early Carboniferous Campwyn Volcanics, central Queensland.


Application Guidelines

Full application guidelines can be downloaded here.



Letter of support

Participating institutions can download the letter of support template here.