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Scholarship details

2023 RTP round - Gendered impact of climate change and policy responses

Status: Closed

Applications open: 8/07/2022
Applications close: 18/08/2022

View printable version [.pdf]

About this scholarship

The 2019-20 Australian bushfire has been a poignant reminder of the repercussions of climate change risks to our health and wellbeing, livelihoods, and economic performances. Scientists have warned that the risk of bushfire driven by climate change in Australia will increase and the frequency and intensity will continue to become more severe without substantial efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.  It is argued that women are more vulnerable than their male counterparts to adverse effects of climate change. This disparity in vulnerability to the adverse effects of climate change may reinforce the pre-existing and well-founded gender inequalities as it may cause a disproportionate hardship for women. It is crucial to understand the nature of such threats to health and wellbeing of the vulnerable groups to formulate informed policy options and enforce appropriate preventive measures.

The proposed PhD research topic explores the gendered impact of natural disasters aggravated by climate change shocks and the effectiveness of policy responses in improving the resilience to climate shock vulnerability. They key research questions include: (i) is there a gender health and wellbeing gap in shock experiences to natural disasters such as bushfires in Australia? (ii) how affective are policy responses to climate change and disaster that need to be strengthened as part of disaster preparedness and prevention? (ii) what is the cross-country evidence on gendered laws and resilience to natural disasters? Answers to these questions have important policy implications to the growing threat of natural disasters from climate change and its impacts on mental-health and wellbeing. These questions will be explored with a particular focus on the impact of natural disasters in Australia, aiming at developing a framework to guide the design of policies that promote environmental stainability and resilience to climates shock. Particularly, the purpose of the proposed research includes:

1. Conceptualising, identifying, and documenting the existing evidence related to gender and climate change.
2. Empirically examine the gender gap in health and wellbeing attributed to climate shocks and natural disasters.
3. Evaluate the effectiveness of national policy responses and provide evidence on the role of gendered laws.
4. Examine and provide international evidence on the role of gendered laws in promoting community resilience to climate shocks and disasters.   

Up on successful completion of the project, the knowledge generated through this proposed research will contribute to emerging literature on the gendered impact of climate change to advance our understanding of the heterogenous effects of climate change shocks and natural disasters. Specifically, it will contribute to the understanding of environmental drivers of the gender gap in mental health and wellbeing in Australia. Further, the study will provide policy options as coping mechanisms and resilience to climate shocks and natural disasters particularly targeting the vulnerable groups. 

An Internship opportunity may be available with this project.

  • Future Students
  • Faculty of Business and Law
  • Higher Degree by Research
  • Australian Citizen
  • Australian Permanent Resident
  • New Zealand Citizen
  • Permanent Humanitarian Visa
  • Merit Based

The annual scholarship package (stipend and tuition fees) is approx. $60,000 - $70,000 p.a.


Successful HDR applicants for admission will receive a 100% fee offset for up to 4 years, stipend scholarships, valued at $28,854 p.a. for up to a maximum of 3.5 years, are determined via a competitive selection process. Applicants will be notified of the scholarship outcome in November 2022. 


For detailed information, visit: Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarships | Curtin University, Perth, Australia.

Scholarship Details


All applicable HDR courses

Applicants should have a Bachelor degree with First Class Honours or Masters degree with strong academic results in a relevant fields such as economics, econometrics, development and environmental studies. Candidates should demonstrate strong background and skills in quantitative research methods and meet the language requirement set for entry to Curtin’s PhD program in Economics. 

Application process

If this project excites you, and your research skills and experience are a good fit for this specific project, you should contact the Project Lead (listed below in the enquires section) via the Expression of Interest (EOI) form.

Enrolment Requirements

Eligible to enrol in a Higher Degree by Research Course at Curtin University by March 2023


To enquire about this project opportunity that includes a scholarship application, contact the Project lead, Dr Abebe Hailemariam via the EOI form above.

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