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Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods


PhD Project: Women in the Seafood Industry of the Northern Territory: Participation, Contribution and Workforce Retention

Principal Supervisor: A/Professor Natasha Stacey, RIEL/CEITE
Industry Advisors and Partners: Northern Territory Seafood Council (NTSC); Women in Seafood Australasia (WISA)
Course: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD
Study Mode: Full time
Location: Darwin, with potential field work in other NT locations
Expected Commencement Date: 27 March or 31 July 2023
Candidates: Open to Domestic and International applicants

About the Project

Participation in the seafood industry in Australia and more specifically the Northern Territory (NT) , has almost exclusively focussed on male participation. This is despite approximately 25% of women who participate as fishers, boat owners, skippers and in other land -based supply chain and administrative roles often in family run businesses. There is increasing recognition of the role and contribution women play in the seafood industry, but their participation is declining due to a range of barriers. This PhD study will investigate the participation, contribution, and retention of women in commercial seafood industries in the NT.

The project will explore:

  1. the participation of women, including those from culturally diverse and Indigenous backgrounds, in the seafood industry since colonization to the current period;
  2. the capabilities and wellbeing benefits delivered; and
  3. factors contributing to retention and recognition of women.

The study will apply a qualitative research design. The project will be supported by industry partners and peak bodies (including – the Northern Territory Seafood Council and Women in Seafood Australasia). Opportunities for an internship will also be available.

The PhD Scholarship

The PhD scholarship is $30,000 stipend per year (adjusted yearly) for three years including tuition fee waivers, with an additional one-off $5,000 grant allocated to support medical insurance and relocation (for international candidates only). College funding of approximately $10,800 over 3 years is also available to support research activities. The PhD project is linked to a national project led by Women in Seafood Australasia (WISA) and additional support may be available for engagement and outreach activities. Further research funding and support may also be available through other industry partners.

How to Apply

Interested applicants should contact A/Prof Natasha Stacey by email on for more information about the PhD opportunity, and to submit an expression of interest.
To submit an expression of interest, email the following information to

  • Curriculum vitae, including details of past research experience, any peer-reviewed publications, conference presentations and relevant technical research reports and 2 academic referees
  • A brief cover letter outlining a) your research interests, and why you are interested in this research project/topic
  • A copy of your academic qualifications and academic transcripts
  • Evidence of English language proficiency (e.g., IELTS) if your degree(s) were not completed in English (international students only)

The closing date for expressions of interest is 16 January 2023.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to participate in an informal online interview. The preferred applicant will then be asked to submit a full application for admission into CDU PhD program.

PhD eligibility

Information on eligibility for domestic or international PhD candidates at CDU can be found at
The selection of applicants for admission into CDU’s PhD program involves consideration of your academic merit and research background. The following essential selection criteria apply:

  • A first- or second-class honours or a master’s degree containing a substantial research component in a related area
  • Demonstrated applied or conceptual understandings of aquaculture, fisheries or other agricultural industries, gender approaches in natural resource management, and/or livelihood studies
  • Demonstrated experience and skills in conducting literature reviews and research methods
  • Contribution to international peer-reviewed journal publications or research reports
  • Demonstrated English language proficiency required for postgraduate courses in CDU (for international candidates only) (


Contact A/Professor Natasha Stacey on or 0437320980
Communities, Livelihoods and Natural Resources Group, Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods, College of Engineering, IT and Environment

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