The CLEX node at University of Melbourne is offering several PhD scholarships on a competitive basis. Details of how to apply are at the bottom of this page. Immediately below are some example projects offered by our researchers:

Dr Linden Ashcroft
School of Earth Sciences.

  • Historical atmospheric circulation in the Southern Hemisphere
  • 19th century extreme rainfall and temperature events
  • Climate variability and change in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere, including synoptic variability
  • Climate data rescue and climate change communication


Prof Craig H Bishop
Room 449 McCoy Building.

  • Data Assimilation (DA) –  process of using observations and models to estimate a distribution of possible environmental model states and/or model parameters that are consistent with the observational information. Fundamental to improving weather and climate forecasts.
  • Ensemble forecasting – predicting the distribution of future possible states from a collection or ensemble of environmental model forecasts using information about the errors in model initial conditions and the model evolution. Essential to long range and probabilistic prediction.
  • Dynamics – understanding why the atmosphere appears and evolves as it does. Helps guides strategies to improve data assimilation, numerical model development and observational network design.
  • Predictability refers to our ability to use an estimate of the current state of a system to predict its future state. Research in this area requires a good understanding of data assimilation, ensemble forecasting and dynamics. Central questions in predictability research include “How much more predictability could be gained by improving the observational network and/or the data assimilation system and/or our models?”
Further details on these positions may be found here.

Dr Josephine Brown 

  • Palaeoclimate modelling of the Australian region and comparison with proxy records
  • Drivers of tropical rainfall variability in past and future climates
  • The evolution of the Australian monsoon over the Holocene
  • Using palaeoclimate simulations of past warm climates to understand future projections

Dr Yi Huang 

  • Clouds, Precipitation, and Boundary Layer Characteristics in Subantarctic Mesoscale Cyclones
  • Coupling Cold Air Outbreaks (CAOs) and Extreme Weather in the Australian Region (with A/Prof Todd Lane)
  • Informing Cloud Data Assimilation using High-resolution Cloud Observations (with Prof Craig Bishop)
  • Cloud-aerosol Interactions over the Great Barrier Reef
Dr Andrew King Email:
  • Seasonal prediction of climate extremes in Australia.
  • Understanding global and regional patterns of climate change and climate extremes.
  • The meteorological drivers of climate extremes and their changes under climate change and climate variability.

Dr Peter Rayner 

  • Mapping Australia’s methane emissions using new satellite observations
  • Improved modelling of the planetary boundary layer using measurements of Radon (partner with ANSTO)
  • The interplay of the El Niño Southern Oscillation, atmospheric dynamics and the growth rate of atmospheric CO2 (partner with CSIRO)
  • Green and grey cities, patterns and trends of fossil fuel emissions
    in the world’s cities
Assoc Prof Todd Lane  Email:
  • Understanding turbulence in thunderstorms
  • Mesoscale aspects of fire weather 
  • Analysis of aviation turbulence events and their prediction

Dr Robyn Schofield  Email:
  • Investigating how well climate models simulate urban air quality composition and change? (potential partners: CSIRO)
  • Investigating the ability of fully coupled chemistry climate models to simulate Southern Hemispheric ozone changes and climate responses. (CSIRO)
  • Investigating how weather and climate prediction models simulate aerosol at the complex air/sea/land interface (CSIRO, BoM)
Dr Claire Vincent   Email:
  • The role of surface and radiative fluxes in the timing of convection in the tropics and mid-latitudes: observations and models
  • The MJO, mesoscale variability and extreme rainfall in Queensland
  • Model representations of deep convection during the Years of the Maritime Continent Field campaign
  • Hydrological impacts of spatio-temporal changes to extreme rainfall (with Dr Ben Henley

A graduate research scholarship may provide a full fee offset for up to 2 years for students undertaking a Masters by research degree, and up to 4 years for students undertaking a Doctoral degree, plus a living allowance and relocation grant.

In addition, being part of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes provides a supportive environment for students, with a focus on increasing collaborative research through attendance at Centre and external events, and travel support for PhD students to visit our international partners and Centre meetings.  Most projects involve other universities, the CSIRO, the Bureau of Meteorology, or one of our international partners.

To meet the University’s internal deadline, we suggest that expression of interest be submitted by Monday, August 31st, 2020.  The full application must be submitted by October 31, 2020 for domestic students (Australians or NZ citizens or Australian permanent residents) and September 30, 2020, for international students.

If you are interested in applying, please contact one of the potential supervisors, and along with your research interest area, provide a brief CV and copies of your academic results.