PhD Completion Scholarships – Strategic Research Initiative

September 30th, 2011 by Belinda Snell No comments »

Research Services is now inviting applications from UNE PhD students, entering their fourth year of candidature (full-time equivalent), who require financial assistance to complete their PhD thesis.

The PhD Completion Scholarship is one of a number of strategic DVCR initiatives which will be announced over the next months aimed at strengthening support for UNE’s researchers and Higher Degree by Research candidates.

UNE PhD Completion Scholarships are supported by central strategic research funding to encourage timely PhD completions. Completion scholarships are not a PhD candidature extension scholarship but are linked to and support a specific outcome, the submission of the PhD thesis. Completion scholarships will only be awarded to those PhD students who can clearly demonstrate that their thesis will be submitted within the scholarship period.


  • A completion scholarship will normally be available to PhD students entering their fourth year of PhD candidature (full-time equivalent).
  • A student must be in the writing-up stage and have completed their data collection or equivalent.
  • A student must be able to complete their thesis within the nominated period. The maximum completion scholarship period is four months, but applications for shorter periods are encouraged.
  • A student must be enrolled on a full-time basis during the scholarship and must work full-time on the thesis.
  • In order to be considered for a completion scholarship, applicants must be strongly supported by their supervisor/s and their Head of School.
  • Students who have already held a previous scholarship, other than a completion scholarship, will be eligible to apply.
  • Students who have already received a scholarship extension will be ineligible to apply for a completion scholarship.
  • Students are ineligible if they are currently receiving a scholarship.

Closing dates
Applications for completion scholarships can only be submitted at specific times, normally four rounds per year. The application dates for the next application rounds are as follows:

  • 12-14 October 2011 (awards starting December/January/February)
  • 11-13 January 2012 (awards starting March/April/May)
  • 11-13 April 2012 (awards starting June/July/August)
  • 11-13 July 2012 (awards starting September/October/November)

Applications submitted outside these specific dates will not be considered.

PhD candidates who wish to apply for a Completion Scholarship must contact Research Services to obtain an application pack – email or by calling Caroline Girvin on ext 3571.

Rural focus for Armidale Medical Conference (AMCON)

August 22nd, 2011 by Belinda Snell No comments »

Thank you to Dr Maree Puxty from the School of Rural Medicine and her colleagues, including our new HOS of Medicine, Professor Peter McKeown for a great event.

Fifty doctors, nurses and students met at the University of New England on Saturday to discuss the latest developments in the treatment of people with heart failure, cancer, and mental illness.

With participants from around the New England and North West regions of NSW as well as from Newcastle, the third annual Armidale Medical Conference (AMCON) had an appropriately “rural medicine” focus.

The incoming Head of UNE’s School of Rural Medicine, Professor Peter McKeown, introduced the conference. Professor McKeown, who takes up his position at UNE in September, said during his visit to the University last week that his vision for the School of Rural Medicine was for it to be not only an educator of first-rate doctors, but also a catalyst for the development of Armidale as a “centre of clinical excellence” …..[more]

2 excellent PhD scholarships in Rural Landscape Governance

August 3rd, 2011 by Belinda Snell No comments »

Applications close 31st August 2011

The opportunity exists for 2 outstanding PhD scholars to join a small team researching reform of natural resources laws, industry codes, institutions and strategies. The “Next Generation Rural Landscape governance” research project is supported by the Australian Research Council, along with Biological Farmers Australia, the federal Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, and Cotton R&D Corporation.

The candidates will enjoy a generous stipend and support, the opportunity to work with an excellent team of research academics in Australia and overseas and doctoral scholars, and enjoy excellent collaborative links with environmental agencies and sustainability oriented farming organisations.

Case studies in two Australian regions have been established and a third is being developed. The researcher will also have the benefit of international collaboration with leading universities in the USA and Iceland.

The research outcomes that are sought are:

  • An effective system that integrates industry standards, consumer credentials and codes with regulation. The goal is to strengthen farming sustainability, improve consumer information and to create more cost-effective laws and policies.
  • Streamlining and strengthening rural environmental law and related institutions. Our goals are to advance sustainable primary production, and to reduce the confusion, overlap and administrative burden of these arrangements.

The scholarship details and general topics are:

Call for Essays: Human Rights Education Praxis – Closes 15 October 2011

June 24th, 2011 by Belinda Snell No comments »

Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice is an international journal distributed in more than 50 nations. We seek essays on the above theme for a special issue.

Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice (Routledge) is dedicating issue 24.1, “Human Rights Education Praxis,” to exploring the role of Human Rights Education (HRE) in promoting both a more mainstream understanding of human rights as put forth by the UDHR and international instruments, and new emerging meanings of human rights specific to the unique conditions of communities around the world, in efforts towards justice and equity.

Definitions of HRE are still emerging based on diverse contexts, perspectives and intended goals. A few that we will use to frame this special issue are:

Human rights education and teaching must aim at: (i) Fostering the attitudes of tolerance, respect and solidarity inherent in human rights; (ii) Providing knowledge about human rights, in both their national and international dimensions, and the institutions established for their implementation; (iii) Developing the individual awareness of the ways and means by which human rights can be translated into social and political reality at both the national and international levels (Torney-Purta, 1984, pgs 59-60).

Human Rights Education efforts are seen as both a political and pedagogical strategy to facilitate democratization and active citizenship (Magdenzo as cited in Bajaj, 2011, 484).

This issue seeks to provide insights into both the contemporary global significance of HRE, as well as tangible examples of its effectiveness in addressing educational inequities. It focuses on the current state of HRE, exploring the creation of an “epistemic community of human rights educators and the theorization of human rights education within the community” by highlighting HRE praxis in diverse contexts (Suárez, 2007, p.49; Strang & Meyer, 1993).

It is our hope that this issue will add to the growing scholarship on HRE by examining several critical questions: How are communities around the world using HRE to address educational inequities? How is HRE defined and operationalized in each specific context? Is the adoption of HRE curriculum a response to articulated agendas and needs? How are these similar or different in various global contexts and how can we begin to understand the promises and challenges held by a growing interest in HRE to meet contemporary educational inequities?

Essays are welcome on any aspect of this issue’s theme, broadly conceived.

Submissions that address global issues and perspectives are especially encouraged.

Interested writers should submit essays (2,500-3,500 words) and 2-3 line bios to Peace Review no later than October 15, 2011.

See Submission Guidelines at:

Peace Review is a quarterly, multidisciplinary transnational journal of research and analysis focusing on the current issues and controversies that underlie the promotion of a more peaceful world. We publish essays on ideas and research in peace studies, broadly defined. Essays are relatively short (2,500-3,500 words), contain no footnotes or exhaustive bibliography, and are intended for a wide readership. The journal is most interested in the cultural and political issues surrounding conflicts occurring between nations and peoples. For more information on the journal and issues of style and formatting, see

Send essays to:
Robert Elias (Editor) or Kerry Donoghue (Managing Editor)
Peace Review
University of San Francisco
2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117-1080

or by email:

UNEs Collaborative Research Network program on mental health has been successful

June 1st, 2011 by Belinda Snell No comments »

This CRN will be led by University of New England working with five partners, Newcastle, Sydney, La Trobe and NSW universities and Hunter New England Area Heath Service. It will expand the emerging Rural Health research strength at UNE, feeding into education of 1,400 health professionals annually. Partner institutions will extend their reach into and knowledge of rural regions. CRN activities will build links with rural communities and health providers in Northern Inland NSW and Victoria, with focus on investigating mental heath and well-being including health workforce sustainability, self-care, suicide, disabilities, sexuality, inclusion, and biomedical science supporting rural mental health.

The funding will see the recruitment of a significant number of PhD scholarship students and Postdocs working on three research themes.

A huge congratulations to a range of colleagues who worked to get this project off the ground, including Victor Minichiello, Rafat Hussain, Myf Maple, Pierre Meons, Gail Hawkes, John Scott, and many other folks. And of course our partners in the other universities.

This funding and partnership with key research intensive universities will significantly boost our research activity on a topic of national and international importance.

More information on the program can be found at:

Improvements for ERA 2012

May 31st, 2011 by Belinda Snell No comments »

In developing these arrangements, the ARC has taken care to ensure consistency and allow for comparability of ERA outcomes between the 2010 and 2012 rounds.

There are five areas where the methodology has been refined:

  • Refined journal and conference quality indicator – the prescriptive A*/A/B/C ranks used in ERA 2010 will no longer be used in ERA 2012; instead RECs will be presented with a profile of journals and conferences for each unit of evaluation (UoE) ordered by descending frequency of publication. This approach will allow RECs to identify the depth and spread of publishing behaviours and make informed expert judgement regarding the quality and relevance of the journals and conferences to each UoE.

  • Improved capacity to accommodate interdisciplinary research – in an extension to the arrangement successfully trialled in 2010 for the mathematical sciences, the ERA 2012 methodology will allow institutions to code journal articles with significant content (66% or greater) not represented by a journal’s FoR(s) to apportion the article to another appropriate FoR code of its choice.

  • The low volume threshold – the low volume threshold for all peer review disciplines in ERA 2012 will be 50 apportioned weighted outputs (the threshold for citation analysis will remain 50 apportioned indexed articles).

  • Attribution of applied measures – the attribution rules for patents, plant breeder’s rights and registered designs will be extended to allow those granted to eligible researchers (not only eligible institutions) to be submitted.

  • Eligibility of staff – the eligibility criteria for fractional staff will be raised to a 0.4 FTE appointment at the census date. To be eligible for submission, research outputs authored by staff not meeting this threshold will require a by-line.

The ARC will continue to maintain the list of eligible journals and the list of conferences and their relevant FoR codes in order to preserve the integrity of the citation benchmarks.

The reference periods for income, esteem and applied measures will remain at three years.

It should be noted that the ERA 2010 journal and conference lists relate only to the ERA 2010 reference period of 1 January 2003 to 31 December 2008, and that journals and conferences may change in quality over time or may cease publication.

More information can be found at

PhD graduate receives international fellowship

April 4th, 2011 by Belinda Snell No comments »

Dr Mark Shepheard has recently won a short research grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation. Congratulations Mark!

He will use this to spend 2 months (mid June to mid August) at the Department of Public and Rural Law, University of Lucern working with Professor Roland Norer on water stewardship obligations and lake contracts for farmers. Policy reform is underway in Switzerland to enable sustainable watershed management as an efficient and coordinated approach to managing water resources. The process seeks to balance the requirements of different interests, overcome conflict and achieve cooperation. Water use and water resource protection are assumed as competing targets for resolution. The approach simultaneously supports independent action by watershed stakeholders while pursuing personal responsibility for sustainable development relative to water management.

The process of watershed management raises several issues for effective natural resource management. These are: Who is involved in the process as a relevant stakeholder and what are the avenues for appeal of decisions?
How is the catchment wide strategic planning and management learning cycle turned into legally binding and practical obligations for water access and use? What is the role of the elected legislature (Federal and/or Cantonal)? What is the dispute resolution process in the likely event that competing interests about water cannot be balanced? Is enforcement by judicial and/or administrative means?

Rural-Remote issues – access to papers

March 14th, 2011 by Belinda Snell No comments »

For those interested in remote community issues, the following papers maybe of interest

Special Issue: Desert Settlement Sustainability

Guest Editor: Dr Kurt Seemann

Introduction Desert Knowledge CRC Special Edition
Kurt Seemann

Desert Settlements: Towards Understanding the Mutuality of Influence and Scale-free Network Concepts
Kurt Seemann and Dora Marinova

Sustainability of Remote Communities: Population Size and Youth Dynamics
Bernard Guerin and Pauline Guerin

The Impact of Local Government on Desert Settlement Sustainability
Will Sanders and Sarah Holcombe

The Economic Core? The Aboriginal Contribution to the Alice Springs/Central Australian Economy
Rolf Gerritsen, Owen Stanley, and Natalie Stoeckl

Community Conversations for Sustainability in the Desert: Leonora, Western Australia.
Dora Marinova, Silvia Lozeva, and Kurt Seemann

Negotiating Gender: Experience from Western Australian Mining Industry
Silvia Lozeva and Dora Marinova

Towards Social Sustainability: the case of the Family Wellbeing community empowerment education program
Janya McCalman, Alexandra McEwan, Komla Tsey, Eunice Blackmore, and Roxanne Bainbridge

Achieving Full Employment in Remote Settlements: subsidiarity and path dependence
Ann Ingamells, Jeremy Buultjens, and Grant Cairncross

UNE researcher quoted in Australian Financial Review

March 14th, 2011 by Belinda Snell No comments »

The silent sex revolution

Dr Rosie King said that there is now an expectation that an active sex life will continue into old age. Viagra has two competitors, Levitra and Cialis, in a market that is now $3 billion worldwide. PhRMA, an American lobby group for the pharmaceutical industry, predicts the sex-problem market will reach $6.6 billion in 2012. Australian company Acrux has recently received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for its underarm testosterone spray. Chief executive Richard Treagus said awareness of testosterone deficiency was increasing. Professor Victor Minichiello of the University of New England published a study in the Current Infectious Disease Reports that indicated that the rate of sexually transmitted diseases was increasing in older people as condoms were only used intermittently. Family Planning NSW confirms that older woman dating were less likely to insist on condoms when with new partners. Dr Chris G. McMahon of the Australian Centre for Sexual Health said it was important to emphasise that dysfunction applied to couples rather than individuals. The British Medical Journal contained an article that stated good health at age 55 extended the length of active sex lives for both men and woman compared to people with fair to poor health. Queen’s University Belfast reported that the men with the most orgasms had a lower death rate. Professor David Le Conteur, president of the Australasian Society for Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Toxicology, warned that using drugs to extend sexual functioning may lead to a shorter life.

Download full article here

“Water Law: Through the Lens of Conflict” – congratulations on a successful colloquium!

January 10th, 2011 by Belinda Snell No comments »

The “Water Law” colloquium, on Wednesday the 5th and Thursday the 6th of January, was hosted by the UNE School of Law’s Australian Centre for Agriculture and Law (AgLaw Centre). It brought experts in water law from Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, Iceland, South Africa and the United States together with their Australian counterparts to discuss the role of law in addressing conflicts over water.

Speakers at the colloquium examined water law and its social implications in relation to subjects such as climate change, the environment, agricultural water use, trans-boundary water flows, property rights, international waters, and energy and mining. Among the presenters were Professor Du Qun, Deputy Director of the Research Institute of Environmental Law at Wuhan University, China, speaking on “Trans-boundary water flows, conflict and the rule of law in China”, Kristín Haraldsdóttir from the Institute on Natural Resources Law at Reykjavik University, Iceland (”Property rights to water and social conflict – an example from Iceland”), and Janice Gray from the Faculty of Law at the University of NSW (”Groundwater and property: a site of contestation”).

UNE’s Professor Paul Martin, the Director of the AgLaw Centre and the convener of the colloquium, said that the discussions during the meeting would form the basis of “significant inputs” to a large international conference in South Africa in August. Papers from the colloquium will be published in the first issue of the new International Journal of Rural Law and Policy to be published mid-year by UNE’s School of Law.