Call for Applications: 2016 SEI Honours Research Fellowship Applications Now Open

We chat to Honours Fellow Elisabeth Wale about how the 2015 Fellowship has been helpful for her research.

Are you interested in researching food, climate change, animal studies, maricultures, cities, environmental humanities, or sustainable business? Are you planning on doing Honours in 2016? And do you have a major in Humanities or Social Sciences?

A Sydney Environment Institute sponsored Honours Research Fellowship may be the thing for you.

Applications for Honours Research Fellowships are now open for 2016. These fellowships are awarded to eligible outstanding undergraduates intending to undertake an Honours year in 2016. Successful applicants will be offered supervision towards an Honours degree in the appropriate discipline. They will each receive a bursary of $3,000 towards research costs, and the opportunity to take up a research internship with the supervising program. In appropriate cases, they might also be mentored towards publication of at least one article from the thesis.

For Fellowships sponsored by the Sydney Environment Institute, a major in Humanities or Social Sciences relevant to the topic is required.

– Research topics in the areas of food, climate change, animal studies, maricultures, cities, environmental humanities, or sustainable business.

For further inquiries please contact Prof. David Schlosberg,

The deadline is 16 November 2015. For more general information – click here.

One of the Sydney Environment Institute’s Honours Fellows this year was Elisabeth Wale. She recently handed in her thesis on climate induced migration. We chat to her about how the fellowship has been helpful for her year in Honours.

Elisabeth Wale

How would you describe your year doing Honours with a Research Fellowship?

Being given a fellowship for my honours year contributed quite significantly to it being smoother and more enjoyable than it otherwise could have been. The fellowship acted as an aid throughout the honours course, providing me with funding for books, data programmes, travel and other research-related items. It provided me with a desk at the Charles Perkins Centre, meaning I didn’t have to cart my 101 books to and from university everyday. More than anything, it gave me discipline. The office space, surrounded by other dedicated and passionate researches, gave me the opportunity to treat my honours year like a 9 to 5 job, keeping my weeknights after 5pm to myself, but being productive during each 8 hour day.

Did the fellowship allow you to do something that other Honours students may not have been able to do?

Yes. If you’re thinking about pursuing further study or an academic career after your honours it is the perfect fellowship to take. Being supported by the Sydney Environment Institute gave me a platform from which I could publish blog posts, opinion pieces and begin to establish myself in the academic community. It has also helped me network and shown me a few avenues for pursuing further study.

Would you suggest other people to apply?

Absolutely. That’s all I can say!

What do you suggest to people who might not think they’ll get the fellowship?

Give it a go! The application process isn’t too onerous and the fellowship is more than worth the time and effort spent on it. Also, if not for the fellowship, I found my application letter surprisingly helpful throughout my honours year. Writing it had forced me to really clearly specify my area of research, my motivations for choosing the topic and my hypothesis. As a result, it became my little piece of clarity that I would read to get my head around my thesis each time it became overwhelming or confusing.

Describe the atmosphere of being able to study and use the resources at the SEI.

By far the best part of having the SEI fellowship was the support I had from the people around me. To quote straight from the acknowledgement in my thesis, “I owe a great deal to the Sydney Environment Institute for its support in the form of a Research Fellowship and the wonderful staff and impressive researchers with whom I spent my nine-to-five’s”. The people are really what make your year and having other researchers and academics, including Prof. David Schlosberg, working next to you gives you the opportunity to ask all of those random but important questions (from “do you indent quotes?” to “can you suggest an established academic in climate literature?” – if it wasn’t David himself that is!).

Beyond the research, those at the institute made my time there a lot of fun with (very) regular group lunches, lots of laughs and a stuffed fox named Mr Clooney.

Anything else you want to add.

Free printing!!!! It sounds funny but given how much you’ll be printing and how often the Fisher printers break, it’s a no brainer!


For more questions you can contact Elisabeth via email: