Peter Cullen Postgraduate Scholarship: Managing Water Resources in Australia

nswThe NSW Government has developed a postgraduate scholarship in honour of the late Professor Peter Cullen AO FTSE. Professor Cullen contributed significantly to a new way of thinking about managing water resources in Australia, and NSW.

“The scholarship will honour the work and achievements of Professor Cullen, supporting those who have been inspired by his leadership and vision for water.”    –Premier of NSW, Nathan Rees

Funds available

A three year scholarship of up to $20,000 p.a. will be awarded each year in February. Funds totalling $60,000 will be available to the successful student over the three year period, but with prior written request the allocated funds could be extended to a fourth year. The scholarship may form part of a stipend and/or support student research. The scholarship can be used to pay for such things as equipment, field expenses and sample processing. These conditions will be further defined in the scholarship agreement between the NSW Government and the University/Research Organisation.

Selection criteria
There are a number of criteria upon which students will be assessed. They must show they:

  • are a first year PhD research student enrolled at an Australian university
  • are an Australian citizen or have permanent residency
  • can demonstrate expertise in one of the following disciplines: bio-physical sciences, mathematics, statistics, information sciences, spatial analysis and modelling. Students with expertise in law, resource management, social sciences, and resource economics are also eligible
  • can demonstrate academic excellence in their chosen field (a copy of their full academic transcript
    must be supplied)
  • can provide written proof of their supervisor’s support, indicating how a scholar may benefit from
    participation in the Peter Cullen Scholarship.

The Proposed Project

The student’s proposed project will be assessed on how well they:

  • Demonstrate how the project will lead to an improvement in our understanding of how rivers, groundwater, wetlands and estuaries function
  • Demonstrate the relevance of the research to water management in NSW
  • Demonstrate how the project improves the linkages between water science and water management in NSW
  • Demonstrate how the project is innovative.

Peter Cullen Postgraduate Scholarship

The following additional conditions apply:

  • Supervisor endorsement will be necessary
  • Employer endorsement will be required
  • Preference will be given to full-time students
  • The top up of existing scholarships may be considered.

Assessment of applications

A selection panel will be convened by the Department with industry partners. The selection panel will undertake an initial assessment of applications and generate a short list of eligible applicants. The short listed applicants will be required to attend an interview and/or make a formal presentation of the proposed research to the selection panel. The selection panel will make a recommendation to the Minister.


The successful applicants will be required to submit an annual progress report to remain eligible for the scholarship. The progress report will include a financial report on expenditure, a list of project activity, and a report of project outcomes.

All communication for the project will be required to acknowledge the scholarship.

Additionally, the successful applicant will be required to give an annual presentation to funding partners and NSW Government scientists.

Important dates
Applications for the 2010 scholarship will open 01 August 2009, and close 28 August 2009.


All application forms and documents should be sent to:
Peter Cullen Scholarships
C/- Human Resources, Department of Water and Energy
PO Box 3720, Parramatta NSW 2124
By email


Simon Williams
Scholarship Convenor
Department of Water and Energy
Telephone 02 4224 9687 or 0413 601 500