Natural Hazards Research Australia (the Centre) is Australia’s new national centre for natural hazard resilience and disaster risk reduction. The Centre brings together a large group of partners from government, private and not-for-profit sectors across Australia and New Zealand to conduct critical natural hazard research.

The Centre’s activities focus on resilience and risk reduction to support the needs of a variety of critical stakeholders in preparing for, responding to and recovering from natural hazards.

We are committed to supporting and promoting a strong intellectual cohort of researchers who can deliver usable outputs to partners and the wider community by supporting:

  • the development of a critical mass of highly skilled and globally recognised researchers across a core of research providers with strong research capabilities that will be actively assessed in applications for research funding
  • the sustainability of relevant fields of research, and researchers who are highly skilled in collaborating with end-users to deliver applied research knowledge and products
  • career development and succession planning in research teams, with a specific focus on PhD students and early career researchers
  • work placements, international and domestic research exchange opportunities, and participation in conferences and workshops

The Postgraduate Research and Associate Student scholarships are now open.

The Early Career Researcher Fellowship round closed on 24 December 2021. Applicants will be notified of the outcome in the second week of February 2022. Applications for the 2022 round of Fellowships will open on 1 September 2022. 

The Postgraduate Research Scholarship program supports eligible students undertaking full time study in a research area that aligns with the Centre’s research themes.


The Associate Student program provides opportunities for students undertaking postgraduate research in a relevant field to become part of the natural hazards research community in Australia and New Zealand.


The Early Career Researcher Development and Industry Fellowships support the career development of late-stage PhD students, early career researchers and researchers employed in industry. The 2022 round will open on 1 September 2022


Read these Frequently Asked Questions or contact us directly on for more information


Q) Would you be able to advise me of an approximate timeframe for assessment of application?

A) As of now, there is no concrete timeframe regarding decisions on the scholarship outcome. We would expect to have a decision for you approximately in the next eight weeks.

Q) Are there any limitations on the amount of paid work I can undertake during my PhD candidature?

A) The amount of paid work would be linked to university policies for PhD students. If the top-up is for full-time research, you would need to comply with the relevant university policies. There would also need to be a demonstration that the paid research work was not likely to have an adverse impact on your PhD research.

Q) What are the leave arrangements provided by the Centre?

A) Leave arrangements will be in accordance with the university policies of the institution students are enrolled at.

Q) What is the maternity leave policy for PhD candidates?

A) We are guided by the relevant university policy for maternity leave. Based on the university policies, we would have a qualifying period of:

  • having completed at least 12 months of full-time study (or part-time equivalent) at the time of taking the parental leave, AND
  • where the scholarship is awarded after the student commences their study, having completed at least 9 months of full-time study (or part-time equivalent) since receiving a Centre scholarship before the student would be eligible for any parental leave payments.

Q) What is required from my PhD supervisor when it asks for 'your selection as a research student' in the supervisor statement?

A) In the research supervisor’s statement of support, the information regarding ‘your selection as a research student’ should detail why the supervisor chose the applicant as one of their PhD students.

Q) I have completed a draft of my application but would appreciate some feedback on it.  Is this something you could help me with?

A) We cannot provide a review of your application draft. We believe that the feedback process at this stage would skew the impartiality of the assessment process.

Q) I am an international student who is undertaking a full time PhD program in Australia and am planning to apply for a top-up scholarship. The application form requires details of my current scholarship and evidence confirming enrolment. Is my Confirmation of Enrolment document sufficient for both queries?

A) Your Confirmation of Enrolment is sufficient as evidence of your enrollment. However, we would need more clarity regarding your scholarship status. Are you currently the recipient of a scholarship/tuition waiver? If yes, do you have any documentation that can show us this information? If you are not, we would need documentation that shows that you have the ability to provide your tuition for the duration of your candidature.

ECR Fellowship FAQs:

Q) Will it cause you any administrative issues if my independent referees submit their reports before I have submitted my application?

A) No, your referees are welcome to send in their statements of support prior to your submission.

Q) Could you please advise whether a PhD student whose thesis is currently “under examination” is considered a PhD student for the purpose of applying for an Early Career Researcher Development Fellowship?

A) If a PhD student is undertaking research relevant to the Centre’s published research themes and research priorities and has satisfactorily completed at least two full-time years (or equivalent) towards their PhD, then they would be eligible to apply for the Early Career Researcher Development Fellowship. Therefore, if the student’s thesis is currently under examination, they would qualify.

Q) Would a PhD-qualified person who holds an unpaid adjunct appointment with the university be considered as “employed in a research position”?

A) Unfortunately not. The criteria state that the applicant must be currently employed and be actively involved in research or research translation. An unpaid adjunct appointment does not guarantee that the applicant is undertaking this research/research translation as an adjunct not employed by a university to undertake research.

Q) Are applicants required to seek any formal approval from their university to submit, or do they submit directly to the Centre?

A) Applicants are required to obtain a written endorsement of the fellowship from a university, research organisation or industry employer.

Q) What type of university endorsement document is needed for this application?

A) University endorsement should come from Head of Department, Dean or Associate Dean Research (or equivalent).

Q) Who can I have as independent referees? If they are my collaborators, can they still be my referees?

A) The independent referees cannot be from within your current research team. They could, for example, be collaborators from another university.

Q) If funding was awarded, would the funds go directly to the Fellow or is it intended to go through the University?

A) We generally provide the funds to the university in question, after which the distribution of funding is up to the university’s discretion.

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