Grants now open for university students studying the Great Barrier Reef

Post-graduate students passionate about the Great Barrier Reef are encouraged to apply for the Reef Guardian Research grants now open through the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

Successful recipients through the grant program (previously called the Science for Management Awards) will contribute to the Authority’s research to address risks faced by the Great Barrier Reef, particularly in the context of a changing climate.

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Assistant Director Dr Fergus Molloy said the grants were open to Doctorate and Master’s students throughout Australia studying the Reef in the bio-physical and social sciences.

“These grants provide important support to reef science research students and acknowledge valuable investigations being conducted by a new generation of scientists,” Dr Molloy said.

“They’re also a way of getting early career scientists to consider their research in the context of management for better environmental outcomes.”

While the Great Barrier Reef is one of the best managed reef ecosystems in the world, it is facing challenges that impact on its health. Key emerging science will help authorities to manage it more effectively.

Dr Molloy said the Reef Guardian Research grants provided an avenue for future leading marine and social scientists to contribute directly to management of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Molly Scott — a successful 2017 grant recipient who is focusing her research on ocean temperature and its impacts on the biology of commercially important reef fish — says being part of the program gave her great grounding for her reef science career.

“Through the grant, I have not only received some financial support for my research studies, which is extremely helpful, but I also have been able to make fantastic connections with scientists in the Authority.”

Project proposals may focus on any aspect of the physical, biological, social, cultural and economic aspects of the Great Barrier Reef, and could range from observing social attitudes towards Reef management to examining the biological characteristics of a particular reef species.

Projects addressing the management, conservation and sustainable use of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the World Heritage Area in a changing climate are particularly encouraged.

Applications close on 14 February 2018, and successful candidates will be notified in April 2018.

For more information on the grants, email or go to Grant Connect or