PhD (Industry) scholarships

PhD (Industry) – A collaboration between IBM, Victorian Government and Federation University, supported by funding from Destination Australia Program

Federation University is seeking ten new PhD candidates for fully funded projects co-designed and co-supervised by IBM scientists and leading academics within the University’s newly established research centres.

The PhD candidates will be based at Federation University’s Mt Helen Campus in Ballarat and will receive a scholarship of $30,000 per calendar year in partnership with IBM Watson. Australian citizens and permanent residents will receive a fee offset scholarship and international applicants may be eligible for a tuition fee scholarship.

These opportunities are open to suitably qualified people with relevant academic qualifications and demonstrated fundamental technical knowledge (e.g. multimedia processing and analytics, machine learning, IoT and data science) relevant to the application domain of each project (e.g. health, engineering and supply chain). Specific skills and interests relevant for each project are listed below.

Applications from Australian citizens, permanent residents, and international residents with appropriate qualifications, skills and interests will be ranked highly.

This program will be funded through grants provided by the Victorian Government, the Destination Australia Scholarship program, and IBM.

Successful applicants may have the opportunity to participate in an industry-based internship.

Scholarship details

Scholarship amount: $30,000 per annum*, funded by Department of Education and Destination Australia

Fees: Up to $32,000 per annum covered by a Research Training Program Fee-Offset Scholarships (domestic students) or a Federation University Tuition Fee Scholarship (international students)

Applications for the final round are now open.

Applications and all associated documents must be submitted by Sunday 19th June 2022.


Scholarship applicants must be eligible to undertake a PhD. Please verify that you meet eligibility requirements outlined on the Graduate Research School website before you apply. If you are making a case for ‘Honours equivalence', in order to demonstrate your eligibility, please ensure that you provide detailed information to support your case.

Applications are open to Australian residents, permanent residents and international applicants.


  • Students are expected to commit to full-time study for the duration of their candidature.
  • Scholarships are for a period of three years and extension to scholarships will not be granted.
  • Successful scholarship applicants must reside in or relocate to Ballarat and study on campus.
  • Successful scholarship applicants must participate in an internship period.
  • Successful scholarship applicants must formally assign, in advance, all right, title and interest they may have in any IP developed to the University prior to commencing a project.

View the general conditions for Federation University HDR Scholarships on the Graduate Research School website. Where these conditions differ to those on this form, the conditions outlined for this specific scholarship take precedence.

How to apply

Applicants who do not complete all steps will not be considered.

Step 1: Follow the application process outlined at: How to apply

Step 2: Provide a 1000-word statement covering the following areas:

  • Discuss your motivations for applying for this PhD scholarship, and your intended outcomes (both for yourself (personally and professionally), and for the sector)
  • Discuss some of the key existing research literature which impact this topic area
  • Discuss your relevant background and experience as they are relevant to the project
  • Discuss how an internship may positively impact on your project and future career.
  • Discuss potential challenges and how you might overcome them

Applicants are not required to provide a 250 Project Summary.

Step 3: Complete the Scholarship Expression of Interest Form


  1. Developing digital approaches to chronic disease management in older people
  2. Optimizing Carbon Footprint in Smart Buildings

Please direct any questions regarding the projects to the first listed supervisor in the project description.

1. Developing digital approaches to chronic disease management in older people


The Happy Life Club is a global innovative clinician coach driven method to assist patients with chronic illness management. Chronic illnesses account for 90 per cent of global disease burden. The PhD project will employ digital health approaches, AI and multimodal data analytics to maximise patient reach and clinical effectiveness.

Background and interests relevant to the project

Behavioural sciences, IT, data science


Federation University: Professor Colette Browning, Professor Shane Thomas
IBM: Dr Rahil Garnavi, Dr Michal Chorev

Affiliated research centre

Health Innovation and Transformation Centre

2. Optimising Carbon Footprint in Smart Buildings


Reducing energy consumption in the buildings sector will be a key step towards carbon footprint reduction. In collaboration with IBM, this project aims to develop optimised energy management techniques to minimise the energy consumption of buildings through data acquisition, data analytics, optimisation, and control in electrical and computing engineering.

Academic background

IT, data science, AI, electrical engineering background with preferred skills in optimisation, control and simulation


Federation University: Associate Professor Jiefeng (Jerry) Hu, Professor Adil Baghirov

IBM: Dr Arun Vishwanath, Dr Ram Kolluri

Affiliated research centre

Centre for New Energy Transitions