CSIRO Industry PhD Program Scholarships - Space Down Under

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Payment per year
Four years
Postgraduate Research
Australian Citizens
Australian Permanent Residents
New Zealand Citizens
Permanent Humanitarian Visa Holders
Type of Scholarship
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
Students with Disabilities
Supplementary Scholarships
Available In
Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology (SET)
Available To
Future Students

The CSIRO Industry PhD Program (iPhD) is a four-year research training program, focusing on applied research that benefits industry by solving real-world challenges. It aims to produce the next generation of innovation leaders with the skills to work at the interface of research and industry in Australia.

Apply today to undertake this exciting project at the University of Adelaide.


Project overview

Closing the Loop: Beneficial Reuse of Water Treatment Residue for Sustainable Development

Water treatment solid (WTS) is the residual material derived from potable water treatment plants. WTS is non-hazardous solid waste, which is either disposed of in landfills with associated environmental and financial burdens or remains stockpiled at water treatment sites. The presence of activated carbon in WTS imparts a large surface area capable of capturing environmental contaminants and nutrients from both.

Our industry partner (Space Down Under) has transformed the WTS into a proprietary product called Structural Permeable Aerated Compactable Earth (SPACE) which is used as a filter media around  in the infiltration systems  tanks to filter the stormwater. The filter medium captures beneficial nutrients such as N and P and various contaminants harmful to downstream aquatic environments. The nutrients are beneficial to the street trees, whereas the contaminants remain locked up in either the filter medium or the surrounding soil.

This PhD project aims to radically improve the end-of-life management of WTS and develop a novel medium by combining the WTS with other sustainable materials, such as rock dust or recycled media for developing an eco-friendly subgrade media. The new medium will not only help in developing a permeable reactive barrier for environmental contaminants, but also promote resource recovery, circular economy, urban sustainability, and reduced environmental impact.

The successful candidate will undertake this research as part of a PhD at the University of Adelaide, and in collaboration with research specialists at CSIRO and Space Down Under. Moreover, they will have the opportunity to undertake a three-month placement with Space Down Under during their research candidature.


The opportunity

The program includes:

  1. Admission to a PhD program at the University of Adelaide.
  2. Supervision by the participating university, CSIRO, and Space Down Under.
  3. A four year scholarship package totalling $46,000 per annum (2024 rate).  
  4. A four year Project Expense and Development package of $13,000 per annum.
  5. A three month industry engagement component with the industry partner.
  6. A structured professional development and training program to develop your applied research skills.

Successful students are subject to the policies, procedures and guidelines of the participating university in addition to the CSIRO Industry PhD Program terms and conditions. Students will receive a standard PhD on completion.


Eligibility Requirements

 The student must:

  1. Be an Australian citizen or Permanent Resident, or a New Zealand citizen.  
  2. Meet participating university PhD admission requirements.
  3. Meet university English language requirements.
  4. Not have previously completed a PhD.
  5. Be able to commence the Program in the year of the offer.
  6. Enrol as a full-time PhD student.
  7. Be prepared to be located at the project location(s) that the host university has approved and, if required, comply with the host university’s external enrolment procedures.


The ideal candidate will also possess the following skills and qualifications:


• Honours or Master’s degree in any of these subjects (Soil Science, Water Science/Engineering, Environmental Science/Engineering, Civil/Chemical Engineering, Material Science, Chemistry, Biology, or a related subject)

Laboratory and data analysis skills:

• Ability to operate laboratory equipment, perform chemical analyses, handle hazardous materials, and use statistical analysis software to interpret research data and draw conclusions.

Technical writing skills:

• Ability to write research papers and reports.

Project management skills:

• Ability to manage time, set priorities, and coordinate tasks and resources to complete research projects on time and within budget.

Interpersonal skills:

• Ability to work collaboratively with team members, communicate effectively with stakeholders, and present research findings to audiences with varying levels of technical knowledge.


Application Process

  1. Applicants are required to submit an expression of interest (EOI) to the Industry Engagement team at the Adelaide Graduate Research School. This should include a CV and cover letter (of not more than 2 pages) outlining your interest in the project, and relevant experience.
  2. The EOI is assessed by the supervisory team and shortlisted applicants are interviewed.
  3. The supervisory team nominates a preferred applicant.
  4. The nominated applicant will be instructed to apply.
  5. The application is then assessed by the host university against PhD admission criteria.
  6. The university will issue a letter of offer for the program if all conditions have been satisfied.  



Dr Shervin Kabiri (University of Adelaide): shervin.kabiri@adelaide.edu.au

Dr Prashant Srivastava (CSIRO): prashant.srivastava@csiro.au


General Enquiries:

Email: hdrindustryenq@adelaide.edu.au

Web: CSIRO Industry PhD