PhD Position: Sustainable pathways to supply metals for the global clean energy transition

Sustainable pathways to supply metals for the global clean energy transition

Project opportunity

This Earmarked Scholarship project is aligned with a recently awarded Category 1 research grant. It offers you the opportunity to work with leading researchers and contribute to large projects of national significance.

Low-carbon energy technologies are widely promoted as the solution to the climate crisis. These technologies and their associated generation, storage and transport infrastructure require an enormous quantity and diversity of metals. Current strategies to constrain climate change to 2-degrees will impose an unprecedented global demand for metallic minerals that could increase by 40 times by 2050 for key metals like lithium. The low-carbon energy transition will therefore go hand-in-hand with an intensification of extractive activities.

Mining activities cause below and above-ground disturbances including environmental degradation and population displacement. The project will analyse local risk dynamics in extractive locations around the world. The aim is to identify pathways for building government and industry capacity in order to achieve a ‘just’ energy transition. The project will connect local and global scales and generate evidence-based knowledge to ensure that the energy solutions we seek are just and can be managed responsibly.

This PhD offers a unique opportunity for the candidate to develop their skills in applied, industry-facing, inter-disciplinary mixed-methods research. The PhD candidate will benefit from the applied research environment at UQ’s Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM), at the SMI. 

Scholarship value


As a scholarship recipient, you'll receive: 

  • living stipend of $28,854 per annum tax free (2022 rate), indexed annually
  • tuition fees covered
  • single Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)



Dr Eleonore Lebre

Sustainable Minerals Institute


Preferred educational background

Your application will be assessed on a competitive basis.

We take into account your

  • previous academic record
  • publication record
  • honours and awards
  • employment history.

A working knowledge of statistics, data science, data visualisation and spatial analysis would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of corporate social responsibility, environmental management, human geography, industrial ecology, ecological economics and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of the resources industries, supply risk, and responsible sourcing is highly desirable.

Latest commencement date

If you are the successful candidate, you must commence by Research Quarter 1, 2023. You should apply at least 3 months prior to the research quarter commencement date.

If you are an international applicant, you may need to apply much earlier for visa requirements.

How to apply

You apply for this project as part of your PhD program application.

Read more / apply
  • The University of Queensland
  • Sustainable Minerals Institute
  • PhD and Postdoc Positions
Read more / apply Back to list
On the job market

Some industrial ecology candidates that are on the job market...

All candidates