AI4Design PhD Scholarships

Date Posted: 18 Sep 2023

Location: Brisbane, QLD, AU | Melbourne, VIC, AU

Company: CSIRO

Acknowledgement of Country

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The Opportunity

  • ​​​​​​Enhance your PhD studies and kickstart your research career with CSIRO AI4Design PhD scholarship. 
  • Work alongside leading machine learning researchers, computational modellers, and engineers to develop innovative AI solutions. 
  • Be part of a large international cohort and work together to solve Australia’s biggest challenges. 
  • Our scholarship students are the next generation research leaders who progress to a diverse range of careers in industry, research and academia.


CSIRO is investing in an exciting portfolio of research in AI4Design to create novel AI technologies with the joint goals of modernising Australian industry and meeting Net Zero targets. To deliver on this goal we will partner with universities and industry to advance the science, technology and impact of AI in digital design, modelling, and manufacture of bespoke industrial devices. We are partnering with leading international research organisations to support a cohort of PhD students to develop state of the art solutions as well as providing a vibrant and engaging PhD experience. 

We are inviting applications for the CSIRO AI4Design PhD scholarship program. We are looking for diverse and creative scholars, who can demonstrate academic and research excellence, and are capable of driving impactful research projects that help shape Australia’s digital future. Students will have the opportunity to be part of a diverse international cohort and participate in the coursework program offered by the Next Generation Graduates Programs

Our previous scholarship recipients are successfully employed in industry, technology companies and SMEs, universities, and leading research institutes in Australia and around the globe. Our graduates complete the program with a lifelong connection to CSIRO through our alumni network. 


Life at CSIRO’s Data61

CSIRO’s Data61 is home to one of the largest collections of research and development expertise on artificial intelligence (AI) and data science in the world. Data61 is at the forefront of digital science and innovation. At CSIRO’s Data61 you can immerse yourself in an inclusive culture where a diversity of minds and views are welcomed.


Data61 PhD students work closely with their Data61 PhD supervisors and research teams on projects aligned with Data61’s research goals. Students are enrolled in a PhD at an Australian university and university supervisors also provide supervision and support throughout the program.  


Graduates from our scholarship program are equipped with skills and knowledge for a wide range of careers in science, engineering and research and have gone on to roles in tech companies, businesses, universities and research institutes. Graduates continue to connect with CSIRO through our alumni network. 


We deliver a diverse, inclusive and flexible working environment where our people are supported and our teams are empowered to come up with digital and data solutions with impact. 


Overview of who we are looking for
We are looking for exceptional candidates across a range of research areas.  We want diverse and creative scholars who are excited about being part of socially impactful research.  Areas of interest include physics, AI, physics-based modelling, machine learning, evolutionary algorithms, neural networks, and structural optimisation. 


Students should:

  • be able to demonstrate academic and research excellence
  • have a high level of written and oral communication skills to the Australian university standard
  • collaborate effectively and proactively as a team member
  • have demonstrated carrying out research projects individually or in teams.

Location:  Brisbane, QLD or Melbourne, VIC
Tenure:  Up to 3 years
Reference:  92964


Research projects: 

The projects will focus around several key research challenge areas in the application of machine learning and AI to design problems including: efficient and effective exploration of complex high-dimensional design spaces; acceleration of numerical physics solvers through AI-assisted emulation; and use of generative AI to create new high performance designs for novel robotics applications.  For further details on the research projects that may be undertaken, please contact Dr David Howard at


Who is eligible to apply?

Applications are only open to:

  • domestic and international students who are currently residing in Australia
  • international students overseas at the time of application who already hold a visa to study in Australia.


To be eligible you must have:

  • A first-class honours (H1) Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in the relevant research area (completed or near completion);
  • Applied for admission to a PhD program at an Australian university or be a student enrolled in their first 12 months of study in a PhD program at an Australian University;
  • A university supervisor who confirms they are willing and able to supervise you.
  • Not already hold a PhD degree. 


Important note: If you have already commenced your PhD studies, you must be less than 12 months into your PhD on 1 February 2024. Students who are awarded a base stipend from their university will be considered for top-up scholarships from CSIRO’s Data61.


Successful candidates: 

  • Will be required to obtain and provide a National Police Check or equivalent.
  • International applicants must have the appropriate immigration approvals to allow them to take up the scholarship.
  • Must be residing in Australia in order to commence their PhD and take up the scholarship between 1 October - 31 December 2023.


The Scholarship:

  • Scholarships are offered at $42,500 per annum (rising to $44K in year 3) or an optional top-up amount of up to $10,000 per annum.
  • Benefits of up to $5,000 per annum for learning and development funding over the term of scholarship.  Additional benefits of up to $5,000 per annum for lab supplies. Tuition fees are not covered.
  • Opportunity for travel for international and domestic workshops, conferences and other events.
  • Collaboration opportunities with internationally renowned researchers. 
  • Access to world-class research facilities and excellent tools, support and resources to bring your research to life.  
  • A maximum scholarship term of 3 years (less any time lapsed in PhD if you are already enrolled and commenced studies at the university).
  • Join the Next Generation Graduate Program cohort that includes support and course works.
  • Connect into an inclusive culture where the diversity of people, experiences and views are valued, and where you will use your skills to help solve complex national and global problems.


Applications will be assessed on

  1. Academic calibre of the student:  The quality of the student is critical to the assessment of a scholarship and candidates must have a relevant first-class honours (or equivalent) degree from a recognised university (students near the completion of their honours year will be asked to demonstrate evidence of first-class honours upon receiving final grades).
  2. Research potential of the student:  The student must be able to demonstrate research potential to carry out the nominated research project including required research knowledge, literacy and skills.
  3. Evidence of skills and capability required to carry out the advertised project:  The student should demonstrate through their application the required skills, knowledge and experience for the project.


Please note the relevance of the selected university supervisor’s research background and their willingness to supervise the student in collaboration with the CSIRO’s Data61 supervisor should also be made clear by the student, as follow up references and confirmations will be actioned in the selection process.


Where to from here? 


How to Apply

You will be required to submit your application in the following order:

  1. In the ‘Resume/CV’ field attach your Cover Letter, Resume/CV as one document.
  2. In the ‘Cover Letter’ field attach your Academic Transcripts
  3. In the ‘Education’ section select your university from the Educational Institute list. 

Additional Information for preparing your application


Curriculum Vitae (CV)
Your CV provides an overview of your educational and employment history and your skills. You should include:

Educational history
List all degrees studied in your educational history, indicating the name of the degree, university, years studied and GPA if known. If you completed a thesis as part of your degree, provide its title, the mark and list your supervisor/s.

Employment history
List your employer, your role, duration of employment, duties and achievements.

List any awards received throughout your tertiary study or employment. Do not provide/attach evidence of awards, for example certificates.

Provide a list of publications that have been accepted or published. Do not list publications that are submitted. Do not attach publications/papers to your application. Do not attach your Masters or Honours theses.  

Other information
You may provide other information in the CV that you think is relevant to your assessment, for example, information about research interests, research project experience, or key skills such as coding. 

Academic Transcripts
Provide official transcripts for all university studies as pdf documents, including degrees not completed or abandoned. Provide translated documents where transcripts are in a language other than English. Ensure scans are legible. Do not provide transcripts from high school, testamurs/degree certificates or award certificates.


Flexible Working Arrangements
We work flexibly at CSIRO, offering a range of options for how, when and where you work. 


Diversity and Inclusion
We are working hard to recruit people representing the diversity across our society, and ensure that all our people feel supported to do their best work and feel empowered to let their ideas flourish. 


As part of our commitment to achieve equity for women, preference will be given to women applicants who meet the role criteria. 


At CSIRO Australia's national science agency, we solve the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology. We put the safety and wellbeing of our people above all else and earn trust everywhere because we only deal in facts. We collaborate widely and generously and deliver solutions with real impact. 


CSIRO is committed to values-based leadership to inspire performance and unlock the potential of our people.

Join us and start creating tomorrow today!


Applications Close

29 February 2024, 11.00pm AEDT

Applications are highly competitive and may close for projects as suitable candidates are accepted. Early,, quality applications are strongly encouraged.

11:00 PM

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