First listed on: 02 February 2023

CSIRO Industry PhD Scholarship: Development of new sorbent formulations for PFAS remediation


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

  • Gain experience working with industry to solve real-world problems while you earn your PhD 
  • Develop transferable professional skills 
  • Get access to specialised expertise, equipment and training 

The CSIRO Industry PhD Scholarship (iPhD) Program is an industry-focused, applied research scholarship and training program that brings together an industry partner, the university and CSIRO. 

You will undertake a co-designed research project that will develop your ability to translate research into commercial outcomes.  

You will get real-world experience and access to specialised expertise, equipment and training.

Our graduates develop transferable professional skills and are well positioned to work at the cutting edge of industry focussed research.  

Scholarship details 

The Program includes:

  • admission to the university PhD program  
  • a four-year scholarship package of approx. $45,000 per annum  
  • a four-year Project Expense and Development package of up to $13,000 per annum  
  • an in-business component with an industry partner of at least 3 months 
  • professional development training to enhance your applied research skills  
  • supervision by CSIRO, the industry partner, and the university  

Project Title:  Development of new sorbent formulations for PFAS remediation. 

Project Description:   Australia is faced with a big contamination problem relating to chemicals used in firefighting foams, called per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances or PFAS. PFAS are a large group of chemicals, with over 5000 different species. Their complexity has posed a challenge with existing remediation approaches based on sorbents, with varying success achieved for different PFAS species. For example, current sorbents available in the market cannot effectively immobilise short-chain PFAS. 

This project aims to develop remediation materials that will be effective for a wider range of PFAS and allow tailored solutions for PFAS immobilisation in soil. This project will assist the PhD student to develop skills in material and soil science, environmental chemistry, analytical techniques and soil management. It also provides an opportunity for the student to work with the industry.

Project supervisors:   

    CSIRO supervisor: Divina Navarro
    Business Unit: Land & Water
    Research program: Industry Environments
    Email address:

    University supervisor: Shervin Kabiri 
    The University of Adelaide (UoA)
    Email address:
    Faculty: Sciences, Engineering and Technology
    School: Engineering and Technology

    Company name: Rembind


  • Primary location of the student: CSIRO CSIRO, Land & Water, Waite S.A.
  • Other potential locations: The University of Adelaide, Waite Campus
  • In-business component with Industry partner: Rembind’s Head Office (2 Ann Nelson Drive, Thebarton SA 5031), but will also involve some interstate travel to remediation projects and manufacturing facilities.

Overview of who we are looking for 

The ideal student will have:

  • A background in chemistry or materials science. 
  • An extensive knowledge or experience in materials synthesis, minerals, environmental science and analytical chemistry is preferred.  
  • Excellent communication, and organizational skills are required. 
  • Forward thinking, innovation and creativity are encouraged for this position.


To be eligible to apply you must:

  •     be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or a New Zealand citizen 
  •     meet host university PhD admission requirements 
  •     meet university English language requirements 
  •     not have previously completed a PhD 
  •     be able to commence the program in the year of the offer 
  •     enrol as a full-time PhD student 

Applications will be assessed on:

  1. Experience relevant to the field of research, including any research experience
  2. Suitability for the project
  3. Academic excellence
  4. Motivation for undertaking an Industry PhD project

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. 

Further information about the CSIRO Industry PhD Program can be found at:  

How to Apply:

Applicants are required to submit an expression of interest (EOI) to the University supervisor ( of The University of Adelaide).

For details on how to apply, please see The University of Adelaide website at:  Industry-engaged PhD opportunities with the University of Adelaide and CSIRO | Adelaide Graduate Research School | University of Adelaide 

Applications close:  31 March 2023, 5:00pm AEDT

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