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The information below relates to the closed 2020 round of fellowships. It will be updated in September 2020 for the 2021 fellowships.

The Lizard Island Postdoctoral Fellowships program has operated since 2008 and 38 awards have been made to date. It is funded by the Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation and its donors. There are currently three named fellowships within the program.

The Isobel Bennett Marine Biology Fellowship is named in recognition of the late Dr Isobel Bennett who was one of Australia's eminent marine biologists. The Hermon Slade Raiatea Foundation has provided funding to the Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation (LIRRF) to enable this fellowship.

The John and Laurine Proud Fellowship is named in recognition of the late Sir John Proud and his late wife, Lady Laurine Proud. Sir John was the founder of the Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation and was a long-term passionate supporter of the Research Station. Lady Proud continued her support after the death of her husband. Their estate now supports this fellowship through the LIRRF.

The LIRRF Fellowship is funded from many sources within the Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation.

We are seeking applications in two categories:

  • Biology, ecology or processes of coral reefs
  • Taxonomy of little-known marine or terrestrial fauna or algae

Fellows are expected to make substantial original contributions in one of these fields. The fellowships are intended to stimulate scientific benefits in addition to the research outcomes through collaboration, research training, and contributing to larger projects.

Applications are assessed by a panel of Australian Museum scientists that includes members of the LIRRF Science Committee. A single application will be considered for all available fellowships.


How to apply

Funding is provided for field expenses at LIRS for one or two years as required. Salary is not provided.

For researchers based at an Australian institution, the maximum value of each 2020 fellowship is $15,000 plus GST per year for either one or two years. For researchers based at an overseas institution, the amount includes GST.

Fellowship funds must be spent on field work at LIRS including bench fees, travel, freight, and field/lab consumables.

They may not be used for salary, for living expenses (such as food while at Lizard Island) or for equipment other than research consumables. The fellow's university may not deduct a fee for administering the fellowship.


  • Field work must take place between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2021 for the first year, and in the same period of the subsequent year if a second year is awarded. However, a blackout period applies in November and December unless there are compelling biological reasons for doing the work in those months (e.g. coral spawning, fish recruitment).
  • Funding in the second year, if awarded, is subject to suitable progress.
  • Reporting, outreach and acknowledgement conditions will be detailed in a contract with each successful applicant.
  • Any funds unspent at the end of each Fellowship year must be returned to LIRS unless carry-over arrangements are approved.

  1. Applicants must have been awarded a PhD degree between 11 October 2014 and 11 October 2019. If a researcher does not satisfy this criterion and considers that s/he has an equivalent research qualification or experience of similar duration, then s/he must determine eligibility by making a case to the Selection Committee at least two weeks before the closing date for applications.
  2. Applicants must be able to show that they have the time and resources to conduct the field research and to publish the results. This is usually demonstrated by being employed in a research position for the duration of the fellowship period. In recognition of the reality of early postdoctoral employment, other ways of demonstrating a commitment to completing the research process are acceptable.

Applications that do not meet these eligibility criteria will not be considered further.


The person:

  1. Meets both of the eligibility criteria.
  2. Has an excellent academic record.
  3. Has high research output in relation to career stage.
  4. Has relevant research and fieldwork experience.

The project:

  1. Will significantly advance knowledge in one of two research areas: a) the biology, ecology or processes of coral reefs, or b) the taxonomy of little-known marine or terrestrial fauna or algae.
  2. Makes good use of LIRS facilities.
  3. Is feasible within the limitations of budget and safety regulations.
  4. Makes efficient usage of fellowship funds.
  5. Has additional funding available if the fellowship does not cover all planned costs.
  6. Enables scientific leverage.
  7. For taxonomic projects only, will utilise existing collections within the Australian Museum and/or will contribute to those collections.

Applications must be submitted to Lizard Island Research Station using the form provided.

A curriculum vitae is to be appended to the application form.

The application should be sent as a single email attachment in Word or rich text format (not as a pdf file). Applications will be assessed against the selection criteria.

Application form for 2020 postdoctoral fellowships

To assist in preparing your application, please consult other sections of this website to learn about LIRS facilities and the number of assistants you will need to bring to comply with the Station's scuba diving and boating regulations. You are welcome to contact LIRS with any queries.

Use the indicative costs for bench fees and travel between Cairns and Lizard Island as provided in the application form.

Before applying, proponents of taxonomic projects for fauna are strongly advised to contact the relevant collection manager at the Australian Museum to determine how the proposed work fits within the collection strategy. This should be referred to in the project outline.



Contact

Dr Lyle Vail and Dr Anne Hoggett, Directors
Lizard Island Research Station
PMB 37 CAIRNS QLD 4892
AUSTRALIA
Phone: + 61 7 4060-3977


Postdoctoral fellows honour roll
Year Name University Fellowship
2019 Bridie Allan University of Otago, New Zealand John & Laurine Proud
2019 Darko Cotoras California Academy of Sciences, USA LIRRF
2019 Rohan Brokker Deakin University Isobel Bennett
2018 Tyler Cyronak University of California San Diego, USA Yulgilbar
2018 Kristen Anderson King ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, Australian Institute of Marine Science Isobel Bennett
2018 Daniela Pica Universita Polytechnica della Marche, Italy John & Laurine Proud
2018 Chiara Pisapia and Steve Doo California State University Northridge, USA LIRRF
2017 Thomas DiCarlo University of Western Australian John & Laurine Proud
2017 Zoe Richards Curtin University LIRRF
2017 Daniela Ceccarelli Independent researcher Isobel Bennett
2017 Gergely Torda ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and James Cook University Yulgilbar
2016 Sandra Binning and Dominique Roche University of Neuchatel, Switzerland Yulgilbar
2016 Michael Bok Lund University, Sweden John & Laurine Proud
2016 Rebecca Fox and Jennifer Donelson University of Technology Sydney Isobel Bennett
2015 Daniela Ceccarellia and Zoe Richards Independent researcher John & Laurine Proud
2015 Zoe Richards University of Western Australia Isobel Bennett
2015 Jodie Rummer ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and James Cook University LIRRF
2015 Sue-Ann Watson ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and James Cook University Yulgilbar
2014 Celia Churchill University of California Santa Barbara, USA Coral Reef and Marine Science
2014 Jairo Rivera Posada ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and James Cook University John & Laurine Proud
2014 Paul York and Peter Macreadie James Cook University and University of Technology Sydney, respectively Isobel Bennett
2013 Danielle Dixson Georgia Institute of Technology, USA Yulgilbar
2013 Andrew Hoey ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and James Cook University Isobel Bennett
2013 Jairo Rivera Posada ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and James Cook University John & Laurine Proud
2012 Ashley Frisch ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and James Cook University John & Laurine Proud
2012 Vanessa Messmer ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and James Cook University Isobel Bennett
2012 Shelby Temple University of Bristol, UK Yulgilbar
2011 Stefan Walker James Cook University Isobel Bennett
2011 Chris Fulton Australian National University Yulgilbar
2011 Tracey Ainsworth University of Queensland John & Laurine Proud (not taken up)
2011 Jessica Stella (PhD student) James Cook University Yulgilbar
2010 Nicola Raihani Zoological Society of London, UK John & Laurine Proud
2010 Maud Ferrari University of Saskatchewan, Canada Isobel Bennett
2009 Michael Berumen James Cook University John & Laurine Proud
2009 Guillermo Diaz-Pulido Griffith University Yulgilbar
2009 Megan Porter University of Marlyland Baltimore County, USA Isobel Bennett
2008 Line Bay Australian Institute of Marine Science Isobel Bennett
2008 Morgan Pratchett ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and James Cook University John & Laurine Proud