Addressing global problems through material design

PhD degree

Help address some of today’s most challenging global problems in clean energy, advanced manufacturing and dwindling resources.

A PhD at Deakin University’s Institute for Frontier Materials provides excellent research training to equip you for a range of careers. Our graduates have taken up positions as research scientists in industry, research engineers, consultants and academics in fields such as textiles, energy, 3D printing and environment.

You will be supervised by researchers who are leaders in their field with backgrounds in areas such as mechanical engineering, chemistry and textile science. Projects range from next-generation smart materials, sustainable energy generation and new battery design to lightweight alloys and carbon fibre technology.

The Institute for Frontier Materials offers scholarships for prospective PhD students through the Deakin University Higher Degree by Research (HDR) program. We also consider self-funded PhD applicants.

Entry requirements

Applicants must have demonstrated evidence of a high standard of research ability. This is normally an Honours or Masters level study with a weighted average mark of 80% within the research component or equivalent industrial research history.

IFM accept applications all year round.

How to apply

As a first step interested applicants should Find an IFM Research Supervisor. Please direct further questions to


2021/2022 Research Scholarships

Applications Now Open

About the scholarships

10-week summer vacation research scholarships are available to undergraduate students across both our Burwood Melbourne and Waurn Ponds Geelong campuses. We are seeking students to join our world-class research team to conduct a research project over the summer. Projects are available in the fields of:

  • Advanced Alloys and Infrastructure Materials
  • Carbon Fibres and Composites
  • Electro and Energy Materials
  • Fibres and Textiles

Each scholarship is valued at up to $5,000. Project descriptions and contact details are available in our Projects Booklet.

About you

The scholarships are available to encourage undergraduate students to consider a career involving research. We are looking for ambitious and curious university students to work at the cutting-edge of new discoveries. You will work with our research teams to deliver world-class research with far-reaching impacts.

The scholarships are open to both domestic and international students onshore.

Apply Now

Enquiries to Emma Prime or the Supervisor of the project you are interested in from our Projects Booklet.

Additional Information


"Completing a PhD at Deakin was an important milestone in my career, where I learnt not only the hard skills but also the soft skills needed for professional success. The IFM leadership team stimulated my independent thinking and the excellent guidance provided by my advisor helped me to navigate my career path. IFM is an excellent place with great support and world-class infrastructure to kick start your scientific career."

"Deakin’s Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM), where I did my PhD, is a world-class research centre in the field of materials science, and is host to world-leading scientists and cutting-edge research facilities. Such an environment made it possible for me to do a very fundamental research project: To push the boundaries of knowledge in the field of metals that are used for critical applications, such as automotive and energy industries. Deakin was well equipped with the instruments I needed to carry out my research."

"With the cutting-edge technology in the laboratories, and some of the lead researchers in electromaterials science worldwide, it’s almost guaranteed that you will learn more than you thought possible."

"Being a PhD student at IFM is a bit like being kid in a huge playground because you have the opportunity to work with such amazing facilities and try so many things to conduct your research."

"I received a scholarship from the Australian Research Council Future Fibres Hub to do my PhD investigating the suitability of using waste denim as feedstock for various cellulosic materials. IFM and Deakin provided a comprehensive guidance throughout my candidature, covering every aspect of my HDR training, such as easy access to librarians, handy lab instruments, and writing workshops.

Most of all, there are seminars with a variety of research topics presented by international researchers, creating a vibrant environment for us to learn. We are also encouraged and financially supported to attend conferences and visit other institutes. These are great opportunities to build our general skills through presenting our own work and communicating with people from different backgrounds."