Scholarship opportunities

Expression of interest are sought from outstanding candidates for PhD study in Chemistry.

PhD Scholarship in Chemical Engineering

PhD Scholarship Opportunity in Artificial Photosynthesis

PhD Scholarship Opportunity: Enhancing Chemistry Education at Monash

PhD Scholarship: PhD with MonashUniversity on a CSIRO Sponsored project

Faculty / Portfolio:

Faculty of Science  and Faculty of Engineering


Clayton campus,  Monash University


$25,849.00 per  annum full-time rate (tax-free stipend)

Faculty of Science

Location: Clayton campus, Monash University

Remuneration: $25,849.00 per annumfull-time rate (tax-free stipend for 3 years)

CSIRO will provide a top-up scholarship of 10K per annum, for 3years

The Opportunity

A unique, exciting opportunity exists for anexceptionally talented candidate interested in undertaking a PhD at MonashUniversity, working on a joint project with CSIRO.

PhD project:

Theproject will involve systematic in depth degradation studies of a seriesof preferred sprayable polymer formulations with varying structural componentsin different types of soils using specific microorganisms and enzymes undercontrolled laboratory and greenhouse conditions. Selected formulations will  befurther evaluated under field conditions. An investigation into the toxicity ofdegraded products and their role and impact to C/N cycles in soil ecosystemswill be integral part of this study. From the generated data, a database ofstructure-properties-degradation relationship will be developed, to predictsprayable  polymer degradation behaviour in soil.

The project academic supervisors are Assoc/Professor Tony Patti andDr Kei Saito from the School of Chemistry working with and also supervised by CSIROresearchers Dr Raju Adhikari and Dr Priscilla Johnson (CSIRO Manufacturing Flagship).

The research team is looking for a highly qualified (H1 Honours orMasters degree or equivalent) in Chemistry, Biochemistry or Soil Science withsignificant chemistry experience.

Integral to your PhD you will:

  • Undertake training in both advanced technical and other topics through Monash and CSIRO.
  • Work with an experienced team focusing on innovation and sustainability for the agricultural sector

Candidate requirements

Successful applicants will have an excellent academic trackrecordin organic/ploymer chemistry, biochemistry or soil chemistry.

An Honours or Masters degree with H1 or equivalent is essential.

Strong analytical skills to conduct experiments and develop methodsfor the elucidation of polymer biodegradation pathways in soils which mayinclude hydrolytic, enzymic and micobially driven degradation mechanisms. Anunderstanding of nutrient cycles in soils is highly desirable.

Excellent written and verbal communication skills

Ability to work independently as well as in a team

Ability to plan, organise, manage multiple tasks and meetdeadlines

Evidence of data analysis and interpretation skills is essentialand experience with statistical analysis is desirable

Candidates will be required to meet Monash entry requirementswhich include English-language skills.

Scholarship holders must be enrolled full-time and on-campus.

Applications and furtherinformation

To submit an expression of interest application, please email thefollowing documents to asPDF attachments:

  • Cover letter (1 x A4 page maximum)
  • CV
  • Copy of academic transcripts (university level qualifications)
  • IELTS/TOEFL English test results (if applicable or available)
  • For further information, contact Tony Patti +61 (0) 3 9905 1620

Closing date

Applications will be accepted until the project has been filled bya suitable candidate up to September 10th, 5 pm, 2015.


Opportunity to apply for entry into a GRIP PhD project with the Chemicals and Plastics Industry!

Please click on the link below for more information regarding this opportunity:

Chemicals and                        Plastics Manufacturing GRIP PhD advertisement -                        'novel film forming polymer nanocomposite                        particles' with industry partner Dulux

Any further inquiries should be directed to Dr Ilija Sutalo

Chemicals and Plastics                                  Innovation Manager

Postal: Monash                                  University, Clayton, VIC 3800,                                  Australia

13 Rainforest Walk,                                  Bldg 86, Room 221

Monash University,                                  Wellington Rd Clayton

P: +61 3 990 51342



The School of Chemistry is offering scholarships to suitable applicants to work on the following projects:

Further your science career with a PhD from Monash University's Faculty of Science, and become a graduate of one of Australia's leading universities.

  • *Up to AUD$30,000 per annum, tax-free, comprising:
    • AUD$25,392 Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) – 2014 basic rate+
    • Monash Science AUD$4608 top-up for top ranked applicants
  • + Monash Science relocation allowance AUD$3000 for  APA awardees relocating to Monash University from outside of Victoria
  • No international fees for Australian citizens (incl. Aust PR) and New Zealand citizens

Outstanding Honours graduates (including those completing this year) are invited to apply for a special Postgraduate Scholarship to undertake a PhD in the Faculty of Science.

Work with internationally-recognised researchers on a wide-range of high-impact topics from green chemistry to dark matter.

Opportunities exist for career-enhancing training in all science disciplines providing transferable skills desired by employers in industry, academia, government, and community sectors.

Check out and contact your future research supervisors.

Apply for a Scholarship online

For further information, please contact: Tom Keegan, Manager (Research and Research Training) by email at

Sediment nutrient biogeochemistry - Top up PhD scholarship ($5,000 per annum)

We are offering a top up PhD scholarship for an outstanding candidate to undertake a PhD on the biogeochemistry of periodically anoxic sediments in the Yarra River and the Gippsland Lakes.  For recent coverage of this work see this recent article in the The Age

Applicants require a strong undergraduate track record and a first class honours or equivalent in the field of chemistry, geoscience or biology.  Scholarship base rate is $25 849 and the successful candidate will be awarded a top up of $5000 pa.  For enquiries please email Assoc  Prof Perran Cook:

For further information contact:

Reversible Electrochemical Storage of Hydrogen in Activated Carbons from Brown Coal and Other Precursors - Top-Up Scholarship ($10,000 per annum)

This PhD project aims to investigate the reversible electrochemical storage of electric charge and hydrogen in ultramicroporous carbons made from Victorian brown coal and other carbonaceous precursors.

Background: Low-cost and efficient reversible energy storage devices are a critical enabling technology for a sustainable energy future. Carbon-based materials, in particular activated carbons, are potentially attractive materials for the reversible storage of hydrogen and use in supercapacitors, since  they are lightweight, have very high internal surface areas, weak catalysts for hydrogen gas production, and can produced from abundant and low-cost coal resources

The ingress and egress of hydrogen from solid-state storage materials effected electrochemically, rather than via compressed hydrogen gas, has potential advantages of higher roundtrip system energy efficiency, operation at near atmospheric temperature and pressure, and higher gravimetric and volumetric  energy. Since 2001 a number of studies have investigated the potential for electrochemical hydrogen storage in activated carbons and the electrochemical processes involved. To date, however, a practical and operational reversible hydrogen fuel cell with an integrated activated carbon storage electrode  and minimal hydrogen gas evolution has not been reported in the literature.

Recent fundamental research at RMIT University has led to an innovative concept, called a Proton Flow Battery, which embodies these principles, and promises to overcome some limitations of lithium batteries. A number of forms of activated carbon have already been made from Victorian brown coal and found  to have potential applications such as natural gas storage, carbon dioxide capture, and anode fabrication (Monash University). However, there has not been any investigation yet into the reversible electrochemical hydrogen and charge storage potential of activated carbons made from brown coal.

The project will be carried out as a collaboration between the School of Chemistry (Monash) and the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering (RMIT).  The student could be enrolled at either institution.

Benefits: Brown Coal Innovation Australia (BCIA) will provide a Top-Up Scholarship to a PhD candidate who receives an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) or similar full PhD scholarship, commencing in 2014. The Top-Up Scholarship is valued at $10,000 per annum (for a maximum of three years), of which  $7,000 p.a. will be paid as a stipend to the PhD student and $3,000 p.a. will be allocated to support travel and other research costs.

Professor Alan Chaffee, School of Chemistry, Monash University
Email:; Phone: +61 3 9905 4626   OR

Associate Professor John Andrews, School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
Email:; Phone: +61 3 9925 6085

Sustainable Energy Applications

Faculty / Portfolio: Faculty of Science, School of Chemistry
Location: Clayton campus
Supervisors: Prof Doug MacFarlane, School of Chemistry, Monash University
Remuneration: Up to $30,000 per annum full-time rate (tax-free  stipend)

The Opportunity

Australian Laureate Fellow Professor Doug MacFarlane has two PhD scholarships to offer suitable candidates to work with him on his Fellowship Project: "Protonic Materials for Green Chemical Futures".

New technologies are required to meet society's future energy and resource requirements, while also reducing environmental impact through sustainable and non-polluting processes. Protonic materials are a promising group of materials that can potentially be used to make high performance energy storage  devices that exceed current capabilities, as well as new chemistry to recycle by-products.

We currently have two positions for PhD students in projects within Professor MacFarlane's Laureate team:

(i)     Protonic Materials for Sustainable Energy Applications. Design and prepare new protonic materials for applications in carbon capture, flow batteries and thermo-electrochemical cells. This position would suit a Chemist or Materials Scientist with an interest in energy applications  of new materials.

(ii)     Solar CO2 reduction. We are developing catalysts and electrode structures for solar driven CO2 reduction. This project would suit a candidate with interests in energy applications of electrochemistry.

This is an excellent opportunity for students to begin their research careers in an internationally recognised group, amongst quality researchers.

Candidate Requirements

The successful students will have an excellent academic track record with a background in Chemistry, Materials Science or related discipline. They will have top marks or an equivalency for top marks. Candidates will be required to meet Monash entry requirements which include English-language skills.

Details of eligibility requirements to undertake a PhD are available at:


We offer scholarships up to the value of AUD$30,000 per annum, tax-free, comprising: AUD$25,392 Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) 2014 basic rate + AUD$4608 top-up for top ranked applicants. Candidates already with an offer of an APA can apply for a Top-up scholarship of AUD$4608


For more details about the project please contact

Professor Doug MacFarlane, School of Chemistry, Monash University,

Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI)

Please email the following to Gary Annat at

  • Resume
  • Full academic track record
  • Contact details of 3 referees
  • brief statement of your suitability

SIEF Molecular Machine

Two PhD scholarships are available as part of a SIEF funded project, PROFIT-21C. The aims are to develop low energy/sustainable material platform technologies that utilise renewable resources to produce bulk chemicals, intermediate, fine and speciality chemicals. The objective of the enzymatic  processing stream is to develop advanced tethered- biocatalytic platform technologies that will enable low energy, highly selective continuous flow processing of suitable feed stocks from sustainable resources. It would also involve the development of novel renewable materials that can be employed to  recycle different biocatalytic platforms used in continuous chemical processing. The students will be part of a multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional team, including, CSIRO, Monash University, Sydney University and Manchester University.

A scholarship is offered to each successful candidate at the level of $27,000/yr, together with other benefits (e.g. travel bursary) and the student will be co-located at CSIRO's Clayton campus and the School of Chemistry at Monash University.

Development of electrochemical devices using novel conductive and flexible supports for catalyst immobilization

The main aim of this PhD project is to develop electrochemical devices for analytical and synthetic applications using a range of novel conductive and flexible materials as support for catalyst immobilization. The catalyst supports to be fabricated and tested include carbon fibre textiles, flexible  metal meshes and carbon nanotube webs. The catalysts to be immobilized on these conductive surface range from natural enzymes to artificial catalysts (both molecular catalysts and nanocatalysts). Modern electrochemical techniques and the corresponding quantitative theories will be utilized to investigate  the mechanisms of interfacial processes and evaluate the performance of electrochemical devices. The PhD student involved in this project will also have opportunities to learn and use a range of characterisation techniques including spectroscopic, chromatographic and microscopic instrumentations available  at both Monash University and CSIRO, including UV-Vis, FTIR, Raman, GC-MS, HPLC, SEM/EDX, AFM and TEM etc for sample characterization and product identification.

To be successful, applicants should meet the following requirements: (1) have a First Class Honours degree in chemistry, biochemistry, materials science or a closely related discipline. Prior research experience in the areas of electrochemistry, carbon based materials, nanotechnology and protein chemistry  would be advantageous; (2) fulfil the criteria for PhD admission and meet the requirements for the award of a Monash University.

For further information please contact:
Prof Alan Bond (ph +61 3 9905 1338); email or
Dr Mustafa Musameh (ph +61 3 9545 8149; email or
Dr Jie Zhang (ph +61 3 9905 6289);

Synthesis and screening of biomimetic carbohydrate receptors

The binding of cell-surface carbohydrates to carbohydrate binding proteins mediates a wide range of physiological and pathophysiological processes including embryogenesis, protein folding and trafficking, immune regulation and inflammation1, microbial infection2 and cancer.3 These fundamental cell-cell  and cell-matrix binding events are also associated with microbial infection and cancer progression. This has promoted significant effort toward the development of synthetic carbohydrate receptors as biological probes and drug leads for the treatment of HIV and cancer.4-6 However, the rational design  and synthesis of synthetic carbohydrate receptors de novo poses numerous biochemical and synthetic challenges. This project will utilize a new paradigm for the synthesis and screening of synthetic carbohydrate receptors, or "synthetic lectins", based on principles of reversibility, molecular recognition  and adaption. Dynamic combinatorial libraries of cyclic peptides and glycopeptides will be synthesized and screened in situ as receptors for carbohydrates implicated in disease related processes.

The PhD scholarship will be supported by the ARC DECRA project entitled "Access to Biomimetic carbohydrate receptors using dynamic combinatorial chemistry". A successful PhD student will be supervised by Dr Brendan Wilkinson (Monash University) and will work closely with international and local collaborators  throughout the course of the project. The project will combine areas of organic synthesis, analytical chemistry and glycobiology for the development of biomimetic carbohydrate receptors, or "synthetic lectins". The outcomes of this project will establish new structure-activity relationships with respect  to the specificity and affinity of some poorly understood lectins, and help identify potential drug leads for the treatment of various cancers and microbial infection. The project will largely be conducted at the School of Chemistry, Monash University. The candidate will also be heavily involved in the  biological screening and lectin array assays for synthesised receptors, which will be conducted at the Burnet Institute (Melbourne) and the Institute for Glycomics at Griffith University, respectively.

Interested candidates should directly contact: Dr Brendan Wilkinson by email:


  1. Almkvist, J.; Karlsson, A. Glycoconjugate J. 2004, 19, 575-581
  2. Hooper, L. V.; Gordon, J. I. Glycobiology 2001, 11, 1R-10R.
  3. Barrow, H.; Rhodes, J. M. Int. J. Cancer 2011, 129, 1-8.
  4. Thijssen, V. L.; Poirier, F.; Baum, L. G.; Griffioen, A. W. Blood 2008, 110, 2819-2827.
  5. Sookcharoenpinyo, B.; Klein, E.; Ferrand, Y.; Walker, D. B.; Brotherhood, P. R.; Ke, C.; Crump, M. P.; Davis, A. P. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2012, 51, 4586-4590.
  6. Balzarini, J. Antivir. Chem. Chemother. 2007, 18, 1-11.

Development of adaptable, carbohydrate-based biomaterials

Cyclodextrins (CD) are cyclic oligosaccharides that consist of repeating α-1,4-D-glucopyranoside units.1 Naturally occurring CDs and their derivatives have been widely used as pharmaceutical excipients and delivery agents, with many finding related applications in the food, agrochemical and textile  industries.3-4 Owing to their powerful host-guest inclusion properties, CDs have recently been exploited as supramolecular hosts, or receptors, that mimic biological recognition events and as water-soluble host templates for macromolecular self-assembly of micelles, vesicles and nanomaterials.5

This project will explore the use of dynamic combinatorial chemistry (DCC)6 for the template-directed synthesis of reversible carbohydrate macrocycles, with a view of developing dynamic combinatorial libraries of CD mimics as "tailored", adaptable molecular systems for drug delivery and macromolecular  self-assembly.

The PhD scholarship will be supported by the ARC DECRA project entitled "Access to Biomimetic carbohydrate receptors using dynamic combinatorial chemistry". A successful PhD student will be supervised by Dr Brendan Wilkinson (Monash University) and will work closely with Dr Pol Besenius, director of  the Supramolecular materials group at the University of Münster, Germany for the characterization of self-assemblies using cutting-edge electron microscopy techniques. The project will combine areas of organic synthesis, carbohydrate chemistry and materials chemistry for the development of adaptable,  carbohydrate-based biomaterials. The outcomes of this project will enable the first example of an adaptable carbohydrate macrocycle combinatorial library commencing from a single, functionalized carbohydrate building block, and provide entry to stimuli-responsive and adaptable materials at the single  molecule and macromolecular level. The project will largely be conducted at the School of Chemistry, Monash University. The candidate will also be heavily involved in the characterization of CD mimics and self-assemblies, which will be conducted at the Monash Centre for Electron Micrcoscopy (MCEM), Monash  University and the University of M>ünster.

Interested candidates should directly contact:
Dr Brendan Wilkinson by e-mail:


  1. Villiers, A., Compt. Rendu. 1891, 112, 536-538.
  2. Szetjli, J. Chem. Rev. 1998, 98, 1743-1753.
  3. Davis, M. E.; Brewster, M. E. Nat. Rev. Drug Discov. 2004, 3, 1023-1035.
  4. Hedges, R. A. Chem. Rev. 1998, 98, 2035-2044.
  5. Chen, G.; Jiang, M. Chem. Soc. Rev. 2011, 40 , 2254–2266.
  6. Corbett, P. T.; Leclaire, J.; Vial, L.; West, K. R.; Wietor, J.-L.; Sanders, J. K. M.; Otto, S. Chem. Rev. 2006, 106 , 3652-3711.

Transport properties of phosphonium IL electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries using quantum chemical and NMR methods

Nowadays lithium ion batteries are frequently used in low power applications such as mobile phones, laptops, cameras and other portable consumer electronic products. These batteries are also ideal for high power battery applications, especially in the automotive, military and aerospace industries. Among  the existing technologies rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are preferred due to high power density as well as energy density and are considered strong candidates hybrid and battery-powered electric vehicles.1 Compromised safety of these devices arising from the use of volatile and corrosive in nature  organic-based electrolytes such as ethylene carbonate2 represents an outstanding issue that needs to be addressed. Ionic liquid (IL) electrolytes represent a promising alternative to currently used electrolytes due to their superior properties in thermal and electrochemical stability, non-volatility  and relatively inert nature. Phosphonium-based ionic liquids have pioneered the field due to their wide electrochemical window and improved lithium transport.

The PhD scholarship will be supported by the Linkage project entitled "Phosphonium Ionic Liquids for Advanced Lithium Energy Storage Systems". A successful PhD student will be co-supervised by Dr Katya Pas (Monash University) and Prof. Maria Forsyth (Deakin University). The project will combine both  quantum chemical methods such as the Fragment Molecular Orbital approach in combination with the MP2 level of theory3 and experimental methods such as NMR to understand trends in lithium ion transport and speciation mechanisms in phosphonium-based ionic liquids. The outcomes of this project will establish  important design parameters for novel ionic liquids with enhanced lithium transport properties. The calculations will be run on the computational facilities at the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) and the Monash eResearch Centre. Experimental work will be conducted on the NMR facilities at  Deakin University.

Interested candidates should directly contact Dr Katya Pas by e-mail:


  1. S. T. M. Lowe, T. Trigg, G. Gereffi,, Center on Globalization, Governance and Competitiveness, Duke University, 2010, accessed 24 Oct 2011
  2. A. K. Shukla, T. Prem Kumar, Current Science 2008, 94, 314.
  3. E. I. Izgorodina, J. Rigby, D. R. MacFarlane, Chemical Communications 2012, DOI: 10.1039/C1CC15056A, part of 'Emerging Inverstigators 2012' themed issue.