Three Fully Funded PhD Scholarships on Sustainable Minerals Science at Murdoch University & CSIRO Mineral Resources, Perth, Australia

The fully funded scholarships

Three fully funded PhD scholarships are available, each includes a very generous tax-free living stipend scholarship (AUD $40,000 per year), and a tuition fee waiver scholarship (AUD $35,800 per year), and a learning and development budget of $5,000 over the term of the candidature. PhD programs in Australia typically take 3.5 to 4 years to complete.

The location

Perth is a beautiful coastal capital city in Western Australia. It is the ideal place to carry out mineral-related research because of the vibrant minerals industry in Western Australia. There are ample opportunities for PhD graduates in the minerals industry (starting from ~AUD $100,000 annual salary), as well as in research institutes or universities. Also, Perth has been one of the most liveable cities in the world for many years. Western Australia has many beautiful beaches and national parks to enjoy over the weekends and holidays. Living cost is typically half of the stipend scholarship.

The PhD projects

Three PhD projects involve collaborations between Murdoch University and The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO). Students will hold a joint studentship at Murdoch University and CSIRO Mineral Resources. The successful applicants are expected to work as part of the team and conduct research at Murdoch University, CSIRO, and Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis at the University of Western Australia. Some experiments may be carried out at the Australian Synchrotron (Melbourne) or at the Australian Centre for Neutron Scattering (Sydney). The main theme of these projects is sustainable minerals science focusing on experiments on fluid-mineral reactions, and the experimental results interpretations will involve thermodynamic and kinetic modelling. The three projects will focus on:

Project 1 - Acid Mine Drainage.

Acid mine drainage is one of the most significant forms of water pollution and is causing the most serious global environmental crisis facing the mining industry today. This project aims to develop effective and sustainable ways towards preventing long-term acid mine drainage, by designing fluid-mineral reactions that can stop the oxidation of acid generating phases.

Project 2 - Mineral Carbonation.

The project will engage with CSIRO's Permanent Carbon Locking Future Science Platform on acceleration of mineral carbonation through fluid-mineral interactions. This project involves developing the science to investigate fluid-mineral interactions to lock CO2 in minerals to assist in delivering cost-effective, long-lasting, and scalability approaches for carbon mineralization.

Project 3 - Critical Minerals.

Critical minerals are ore minerals containing critical metals that are essential for modern technologies and economies. Western Australia is abundant in critical minerals such as minerals hosting rare earth elements and nickel. This project aims to develop hydrometallurgical leaching processes for more efficient extraction and recovery of critical metals from selected critical minerals.

Who should apply?

We are seeking highly motivated, results-driven, and independent PhD candidates who have completed or nearly complete a master's degree by research or a first-class Honours degree (or a bachelor's degree with a thesis component) in Chemistry, Minerals, or Materials related majors (e.g., Mineralogy, Geochemistry, Geology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Chemical Engineering, Materials Science, Extractive Metallurgy). The candidates should be able to demonstrate affinity for high-quality laboratory and analytical work, as well as for writing of publications (including thesis) or research reports. Previous knowledge and experience in physical chemistry, particularly thermodynamics, kinetics, and crystal dissolution/precipitation processes are highly regarded. Hands-on experience with analytical equipment will be a benefit and should be described in the application documents.

For international students, minimum English proficiency is, IELTS overall 6.5 with no band less than 6.0, or TOEFL IBT overall 90 with no band less than 20.

How to apply?

Please send your application documents, including a full CV (list the publications and theses and contact details of three referees), undergraduate and postgraduate academic transcripts, IELTS or TOEFL reports, and a cover letter to Associate Professor Fang Xia (f.xia@murdoch.edu.au) and Dr. Yuan Mei (yuan.mei@csiro.au) with the subject line indicating project name and your name, such as "Acid Mine Drainage Scholarship-Your full name", "Mineral Carbonation Scholarship-Your full name", "Critical Minerals Scholarship-Your full name".

Please email your application before September 30, 2022. However, late applications will be considered if the positions have not been filled. If you are successful, the PhD projects start early 2023, depending on other factors such as visa application if you are international applicants.

posted: 21 September 2022     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.