Student Research Funding now available!

Skyrail News: April 2014

The Skyrail Rainforest Foundation is offering funding to support student research that enhances the protection of tropical rainforests through better understanding and sustainable practices.

Research students will be able to access up to $5,000 for PhD and Research Masters projects and up to $2,000 for Honours projects, Graduate Diploma in Research Methods projects and other Masters Course work where there is a strong research component.

The funding will favour projects with a specific focus on the resilience of tropical rainforest ecosystems and livelihoods, within the foundation objectives of supporting;

  • Pure research aimed at understanding rainforest flora and fauna, ecosystems, processes and biological interactions
  • Applied research aimed at improved management and use of rainforest environments around the world
  • Education and communication to improve global understanding and appreciation of tropical rainforest environments, contributing to greater awareness and improved management and protection.

Max Shepherd, a director of the Skyrail Rainforest Foundation, said the foundation was pleased to make this funding available. "The foundation can see great value in the research the students undertake and is pleased to assist them in research efforts which enhances our understanding and leads to sustainable coexistence with our rainforest assets," Mr. Shepherd said

Funding provided by the Skyrail Rainforest Foundation allowed funding recipient, Daniel Natusch to purchase transmitters and radio-telemetry equipment in order to track Australia's largest snake - the Scrub Python (Morelia kinghorni).  Mr Natusch gained some remarkable insights into the habits of this giant constrictor and unearthed information to assist our understanding of the population dynamics and role of apex predators, and how we might best conserve this species. By using the telemetry equipment Daniel learned about the movements and habitat use of this snakes and where, how often and what it eats - including a predation attempt on a human being by a four metre snake! Although the research program has several more years until completion, the results will be published within high impact international journals as well as popular magazines.

Since inception, the foundation has provided $302,000 to research projects.

Organisations or individuals are invited to submit applications to be considered for this funding opportunity. The closing date for submissions is Friday 16th May 2014. 

To assist with the preparation of submissions, a Skyrail Rainforest Foundation (SRF) 'Guidelines: Applications for Funding Students' document is available upon application. To receive a copy, please contact the Skyrail Rainforest Foundation on email email/info)( or phone (07) 4042 2200 or visit

Applications will be reviewed and assessed by the SRF's Public Fund Management Committee who are experts in education, conservation, environmental management and business.

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