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Process description at the UWA Node: standard UWA scholarships – open 01/02/2024 for up-to 5 ad-hoc scholarships.

The University of Western Australia (UWA) node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) invites applications for its PhD program from domestic students (Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or a New Zealand citizen) and international UWA graduates to start in mid-2024.

ICRAR/UWA hosts a vibrant and friendly research environment where PhD students carry out cutting-edge projects in observational and theoretical astrophysics, often including work in “Big Data” methodologies and technologies. ICRAR/UWA researchers play leading roles in programs that exploit state-of-the-art radio telescopes, exquisite multi-wavelength datasets, and the latest galaxy formation models run on powerful HPC facilities, such as the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre.

Situated on the Swan River, UWA is one of Australia’s most picturesque campuses. Its open courtyards, lush and verdant, are a place to study and relax, taking advantage of Perth’s beautiful climate.

Generally UWA offers a range of scholarships both for international and domestic students to carry out postgraduate studies. In this round, we are offering a number of ad-hoc scholarships aimed at specific applicants/projects, detailed below:

  1. UWA Research Training Program (RTP) International PhD Scholarship (1 position available) – This scholarship is only available to international students (not an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or a New Zealand citizen) but can be undertaken in any of the research areas at ICRAR-UWA. A full list of currently available postgraduate projects found here. Please ensure you consider only projects hosted at ICRAR’s UWA node (not the Curtin node). For further project information contact named supervisors or phd_uwa@icrar.org directly .
  2. Simon Driver ARC Laureate Fellowship PhD Scholarships (1-2 positions available) – Prof Simon Driver is currently advertising 1-2 positions (depending on applicant suitability) to work on projects associated with his ARC Laureate Fellowship – “Unveiling the mass of the Universe: stars, gas, plasma and dark matter”. Projects will be focused on i) The space-density and properties of very low mass galaxies with LSST and Euclid, and/or ii) Mapping the Dark Matter and exploring methods for optimal halo-mass estimation. For further details of each project, please contact Prof Driver directly at simon.driver@uwa.edu.au. Special consideration will be given to female Australian or Indigenous students to balance the existing team.
  3. Measuring Motions in the Local Universe with Next Generation Methods and SKA-VLBI (1 position available) – Drs Maria Rioja and Richard Dodson are currently offering 1 position to work on ultra-high precision astrometry with the next-generation radio facilities via a jointly-funded ARC and UWA position. The project will focus on development of the MultiView VLBI using the Australian Geodetic array (AuScope) with the University of Tasmania, which will provide the first high-precision astrometric measurements of Methanol Masers in the inner quadrants of our Galaxy. For further project details please see here and/or contact the supervisors directly.
  4. Cosmic powerhouses: The birth, death, and legacy of black hole jets (1 position available) – Dr Tessa Vernstrom is currently offering 1 position to explore Active Galactic Nuclei from the EMU and POSSUM ASKAP surveys. The project will focus on the determination of AGN trigging mechanisms and the impact of AGN on their host galaxies. For further project details please contact Dr Tessa Vernstrom directly at tessa.vernstrom@uwa.edu.au

Applications for this call open 1st of February 2024 with submission deadline 29th of February 2024. General International/Domestic UWA scholarships are expected to open again in July/September 2024 respectively.

Applicants interested in any of the above projects are requested to send: i) a 1-page cover letter including their proposed project of interest, ii) a CV, iii) academic transcripts, iv) proof of English Language proficiency (see below), and v) a copy of their masters or bachelor thesis, to phd_uwa@icrar.org by Thursday 29th February 2024. Applicants are also requested to arrange for two reference letters to be sent directly to phd_uwa@icrar.org by the deadline. Applicants should comply with the UWA’s English language requirements and meet the eligibility requirements found hereImportantly, applicants are only deemed eligible for the award of a scholarship if they have a combined thesis plus coursework WAM average mark of above 75% in an existing qualifying degree. Further information can be found in the UWA advice for applicants.

If you have any questions regarding PhD applications at ICRAR/UWA or the selection process, please contact Dr Luke Davies at phd_uwa@icrar.org.

ICRAR UWA has a PhD panel that will rank the applicants and call for interviews, which will be done via online platforms. We committed to equity and diversity, and encourage applications from women and underrepresented minorities.


Tips for Scholarship Applications at the UWA node

  • All scholarships are extremely competitive. Applicants with exceptional academic records (ie: >80%), research experience and/or training, together with peer reviewed research articles are considered competitive.
  • Contact potential supervisors before the deadline to let them know of your intent of working with them.
  • Answer all questions in a well written and formatted style fit for purpose – refrain from copy and paste text from other sources. UWA receives hundreds of scholarship applications, if you want yours to stand out, you need to pay attention to detail, treat it like a job application.
  • Attach all requested documentation and provide evidence to support any stated claim in regard to academic awards/prizes, or work experience by providing certificates or letters from employers.
  • Your thesis and/or published works will be read by your potential academic supervisor and the PhD selection panel, therefore make sure it is readable. If not in English, you may consider providing more than just an abstract in English.
  • Make sure all attachments are legible and in PDF format. Photos of documentation taken by a phone are not always easy to read.
  • Successful scholarship applicants are expected to take up the scholarship, full-time within a few months of the scholarship closing date. If you are unable to meet this time commitment, you should consider applying in the next round. Note: external/distance, off-campus and part-time enrolments are not permitted for scholarship holders.
  • Read UWA’s advice for applicants to ensure you are eligible for a PhD at UWA

Instructions for Scholarship Application at UWA