Marine Autonomous Vehicles and Deep Seabed Mining

Description of project

Program Code: 1321 (International and Political Studies PhD)

The Maritime Security Research Group in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Canberra campus is seeking applicants for the PhD program to work on international law and technological change in relation to the use of Marine Autonomous Vehicles in the deep seabed mining regime being developed at the International Seabed Authority.

The PhD research will form part of the Australian Research Council funded project “Improving International Law Regulation of Maritime Autonomous Vessels” (DP200102091).

Prospective applicants with high academic standing and an interest in international law and emerging technologies and/or the law of the sea are encouraged to apply.

The successful applicant will be supervised by Associate Professor Douglas Guilfoyle and Professor Rob McLaughlin and benefit from a rich interdisciplinary environment at UNSW Canberra School of Humanities and Social Sciences. They will also benefit from engagement with the other project investigators: Professor Natalie Klein (UNSW Sydney, Faculty of Law) and Associate Professor Saiful Karim (QUT).

UNSW Canberra campus is located on the grounds of the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) in Canberra, Australia’s national capital. With all the amenities of a modern capital city, the Canberra region has many nature reserves and offers plenty of opportunity for bush walking, viewing Australian wildlife, cycling, hiking, camping, wine tours, museums, and winter sports. More information on Canberra is available:

Applicants with high academic standing are eligible to apply for a UNSW International or Domestic competitive scholarship to undertake study towards a Doctor of Philosophy (program code.  1321). Scholarships* include a tuition waiver and a $35,000 AUD annual stipend for a period of 3.5 years. International candidates must meet the UNSW English Language requirements. UNSW Canberra does not support requests for English waivers. 

*Scholarships are for on-campus study and successful applicants must be prepared to relocate to Canberra, ACT, Australia. 

Prior to submitting an application, prospective candidates should first contact Associate Professor Douglas Guilfoyle ( to discuss potential research projects and confirm application submission deadline date (18 September 2020; see below for Key Dates) for commencement of study in 2021.

All applications must be submitted through the UNSW online portal.

All supporting documentation (including scholarship application materials) must be uploaded by the closing date; incomplete applications will be deemed ineligible.

Visit the Key Dates page for up-to-date information. 


Please refer to links below for scholarship application and program details: 

*UNSW English Language Requirement Policy 

*UNSW International Scholarships:

*UNSW Domestic Scholarships (Australia and New Zealand):

*UNSW Canberra Maritime Security Research Group:

*Application process - proceed to Step 3 (meeting the entry requirements):

Application Deadline: 

Friday, September 18, 2020



Contact: Associate Professor Douglas Guilfoyle (