Adelaide-CSIRO iPhD: Exploring the Cambrian Depositional Systems with Novel Isotope Techniques

Payment per year
4 years
Adelaide-CSIRO iPhD Program
Postgraduate Research
Australian Citizens
Australian Permanent Residents
New Zealand Citizens
Permanent Humanitarian Visa Holders
Type of Scholarship
Financial Need
Supplementary Scholarships
Available In
All Faculties
Available To

The University of Adelaide and CSIRO are excited to offer a specialised Industry PhD (iPhD) program and scholarship.

Our 4 year Industry PhD Program includes a minimum six month industry placement offering you an enhanced opportunity to work in an industry-defined research area with support and supervision through a partnership between the University of Adelaide, CSIRO, and an Industry Partner.

In addition, you will have the opportunity, along with your supervisory team, to engage in training and professional development activities. By building your abilities, skills, understanding, and encouraging professional growth, the iPhD will prepare you to hit the ground running after completion.

Within this unique program, the University and CSIRO will:

  • administer and support the program
  • provide a $40,000 per annum scholarship
  • provide project research support funds of $10,000 per annum.

Please visit the Adelaide-CSIRO iPhD website for more research projects as well as general information on the program and scholarship.

The exciting project with Santos Limited is described below.

Project Name

Exploring the Cambrian Dispositional Systems with Novel Isotope Techniques

Project description

One of the largest, but poorly explored, depositional systems in Australia comprises the Cambrian (from 541 to 485 million years ago) carbonate systems of the Amadeus and Warburton Basins, located in central and South Australia, respectively.

Sedimentary archives of these presumably inter-connected marine basins thus provides (i) a unique record of the Cambrian geological and biological evolution, but also (ii) potentially economic carbonate-hosted hydrocarbon and metal resources.

The aim of this project is to develop and apply novel isotope techniques (in-situ RbSr dating of illite/glauconite, and clumped isotope thermometry of carbonates) to better constrain (i) the absolute ages of sedimentation and organic carbon deposition, and also (ii) thermal and burial histories in these basins that in turn controlled local hydrocarbon generation. These novel isotope techniques will be complemented by more established exploration tools available at CSIRO (Ar-Ar dating of illite) and/or SANTOS (biostratigraphy, geophysics).

Ideal candidate

An ideal candidate will:

  • Have a BSc/Hons/MSc degree in geology, geochemistry or basin exploration, and a solid knowledge of earth sciences, mineralogy, sedimentology, isotope geochemistry/geochronology and basic analytical techniques.
  • Be able to perform fieldwork and sampling in remote areas of central Australia, and also spend considerable time (up to 6 months) at project partners facilities, including Ar-Ar laboratory at CSIRO (Perth, WA) and biostratigraphy/micropalaentology facilities at SANTOS (Adelaide, SA).
  • Have good communication, writing and inter-personal skills, to work efficiently and productively in a complex research environment involving partners for academia, industry and government.


Adelaide (University of Adelaide and SANTOS), and Perth (CSIRO). Related travel and accommodation expenses will also be paid for or subsidised by the project.


Partners 2

Application instructions

Please read all instructions carefully.

Calls for EOIs are now open

To be considered for the Industry PhD program the following first steps must be completed by 9:00am on 18 October 2019:

  • Complete an EOI form for each Adelaide-CSIRO iPhD project that you wish to apply for.
  • Email completed EOI forms (as a PDF document) to No late forms will be accepted.

Once the EOI forms have been received by the HDR Industry office you will be sent detailed instructions on how to complete and submit your Online Application, which will include providing your academic transcripts and CV.

Following the detailed instructions provided to you, you can begin your application, taking special note of the specific application information you are requested to provide, including indicating the CSIRO Project Title and Supervisor in the correct field and selecting the specific “Study Preferences” and “Research Interests”.

Online applications will be accepted up to 31 October 2019.

General Information about applying

  • Adelaide-CSIRO iPhD program applicants must submit an Admission Only application to be considered.
  • Please refer to our guide on submitting an online application.
  • Once submitted, your application will be reviewed to determine your eligibility to be admitted to the PhD Program.
  • Applicants due to complete their honours programs in Semester 1 are eligible to apply, however, any offer would be conditional on successful completion of the degree.
  • Your eligibility to be considered for the Industry PhD program of your choice will be reviewed.
  • If you meet the eligibility requirements, you will be contacted for a formal interview by CSIRO and the University in November 2019.
  • You will be notified of the outcome of your application following the interview.
  • If your application is unsuccessful, your online application for Admission will be closed.
  • Should you wish to apply for a PhD program unrelated to the CSIRO Industry PhD program, you will need to submit a separate new application for Admission and Scholarship during one of the 2 rounds held each year. The Major Round opens 1 September and closes 31 October, while the Mid-Year Round opens early April and closes 30 May.

Application Checklist

  • Emailed PDF versions of your completed EOI(s) to
  • Completed your “Admission Only” online application form.
  • Included CSIRO Project Title/s and Proposed Supervisor/s in the Research Interests field of your application.
  • Uploaded all other required documentation and submitted your online application.