Global Change Scholars Program

The Global Change Scholars Program is an initiative designed to produce future research leaders. Graduates of the program will possess deep understanding of global trends, the challenges and opportunities they present, and an awareness of how to drive the changes necessary for us to build sustainable futures.

The planet is under enormous pressure

The impacts of a growing population, urbanisation and resource exploitation, combined with the impacts of climate change, shifting geopolitical realities and the digital revolution, create enormous challenges and opportunities in the coming decades. Embracing change – and ensuring that communities prosper in a way that is fair, sustainable and peaceful – will require research leaders who understand global trends and who can create positive social, cultural, economic and environmental transformations.

The Global Change Scholars Program will provide a unique cohort experience for up to 30 PhD students from across the University's faculties and institutes. Through intensive, seminar-style lectures, a four-day retreat at Lady Elliot Island and an internship undertaken alongside students' PhD studies, Global Change Scholars will have the opportunity to explore the broader relevance of their own research in the context of global change.

Learning side-by-side with students from other disciplines, Global Change Scholars will be exposed to the latest thinking on global change from internationally renowned academics as welll as captains of industry, and political and societal leaders. Scholars will regularly engage with well-recognised leaders in their fields who are passionate about global change issues. In addition, scholars will profile their research through public engagement, networking opportunities and through the media, including a dedicated workshop with ABC Radio National's Science Show host Robyn Williams.

Program snapshot
  • Duration: 18 months.
  • Program runs May to November of the following year.
  • $5000 completion award.
  • Time commitment: 2 - 3 hours a week.
  • Expressions of interest will open in March each year.
  • Open to UQ PhD students only.
  • Part-time students are able to participate.
  • Students who were highly ranked in selection for scholarship will be invited to apply.
Program benefits
  • Gain an insight into global change issues.
  • Develop your leadership skills.
  • Network with global change leaders.
  • Build an enhanced research profile.
  • Engage in cross-discipline collaboration.
  • Collaborate with industry.
  • Participate in a retreat at Lady Elliot Island.


View the program brochure

Joining the program

Participation in the Global Change Scholars Program is by invitation only.

Students participating in the program are supported by a $5,000 completion award. This award is for activities related to PhD studies such as conference travel, professional development activities and publication costs.

Invitations to express interest in the 2019 program have now closed.