First listed on: 03 October 2022

Data61 PhD Scholarships


Acknowledgement of Country

CSIRO acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land, sea and waters, of the area that we live and work on across Australia. We acknowledge their continuing connection to their culture and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. View our vision towards reconciliation

The Opportunity

We have a range of exciting opportunities available for PhD students who are passionate about science and engineering in the digital and data sciences.

  • Enhance your PhD studies and kickstart your research career with a PhD studentship at CSIRO’s Data61, the dedicated data and digital arm of Australia’s national science agency.
  • Work with talented people on projects aimed at solving the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology. 
  • Build your skills, apply your knowledge and deepen your skillset to design and solve complex research problems.

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 to 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. The Data61 PhD Scholarships project list (link to webpage) lists project summaries. More information and full project details can be found in the research projects list (link - pdf).

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.

Students may be based at various locations across Australia.

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 01 February 2023. 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 February – 31 March 2023.

Please see FAQs (link) if you have any questions regarding the above eligibility.

The scholarship 

Successful candidates receive a scholarship package including:

  • A stipend at the Research Training Program (RTP) base rate (2022 rate $29,863 pa) and/or a Top-up scholarship of $10,000 per annum.
  • Benefits of up to $5,000 learning and development funding over the term of the scholarship with the use of these funds being at the discretion of CSIRO and the student's university supervisor.
  • Access to national research infrastructure, tools and resources to further enhance your research capability.
  • A maximum scholarship term of 3.5 years (less any time lapsed in a PhD if you are already enrolled and have commenced studies at the university).

Assessment criteria

Applications will be assessed on: 

  • 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). 
  • 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.
  • 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 particular 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

Applicants may apply to a maximum of two projects (two preferences). For details of the research projects that may be undertaken, please view the research projects list (link) Note: Some projects listed may not proceed.

Applications require the following documentation:

  • Cover Letter
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Academic Transcripts

Information about these documents is outlined below. Candidates may be required to provide at least two referees (preferably academic referees) upon request.

In the online application system, you will be required to submit your application in the following order:

  1. In the ‘Resume/CV’ field attach your Cover Letter and 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.
  4. in the ‘Job-Specific Information’ section, select your preferred research project/s in order of preference.  You are not required to provide your Grade Point Average (GPA), please select ‘Not Applicable’.

Applications without the required documentation or who submit documentation in the incorrect application fields will be considered incomplete and will not be assessed. Applications received via email will be deleted.

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. Talk to us about how this role could be flexible for you. 


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. 

Join us and start creating tomorrow today!

CSIRO is an Equal Opportunity employer working hard to recruit world-class talent that represents the diversity across our society.  

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

Applications Close

03 November 2022,11.00pm AEDT

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

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