Scholarship details

Study levels


Student type

Future students

Study area

Creative practice and communication and design


Australian or New Zealand and International

Application dates

Applications close
8 September 2021

What you'll receive

You will have the opportunity to work with a team of leading researchers and designers at QUT and colleagues at BMW Group within the BMW Group + QUT Design Academy, to undertake your own innovative research to advance the fields of industrial design, design thinking and creativity and design expertise, and to gain an internationally recognised postgraduate qualification.

You will receive:

  • a living allowance of AU$28,597 (2021 rate, tax exempt) for 3 years, indexed annually
  • the possibility of a six-month extension to the scholarship, subject to approval by QUT
  • additional paid leave equivalent to QUTPRA scholarships
  • the possibility of some funding support for specialised equipment or resources
  • some funding towards travel to Germany to undertake fieldwork at data collection, depending on Australian and international border restrictions.

This scholarship is for full-time study and can be used to support living costs. It does not cover relocation expenses.

If you're an international student and receiving this scholarship, you will also be considered for a research student tuition fee scholarship.


To receive this scholarship you must be completing a PhD on:

  • design
  • automotive design
  • mobility services
  • HMI
  • user experience
  • emerging technologies
  • vehicle interfaces.

To apply for this scholarship, you must meet the entry requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at QUT, including any English language requirements for international students.

You must also:

  • have recently completed a first-class Honours degree, a research Masters degree, or a coursework Masters degree with a significant research component from a recognised institution and in a cognate discipline
  • have a GPA of 5 or above
  • be able to take up the scholarship and begin full-time study early 2022
  • have a strong interest in undertaking a three-year research project on industrial design, automotive design, mobility services, emerging technologies and user experience
  • develop a research proposal that responds to and aligns with the scholarship topic, that demonstrates your knowledge and understanding of the topic area, and that clearly articulates the contribution your research will make
  • demonstrate excellent capacity and potential for research.

Ideally, you will also have a demonstrated knowledge in:

  • industrial design
  • automotive or transport design
  • high-end visualisation
  • emerging technologies.

Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, this scholarship is only available to students who are a resident or currently onshore in Australia.

How to apply

To be considered for this scholarship, you will need to apply for and be accepted into a PhD at QUT.

How to apply for a research degree

Submit your expression of interest to study a PhD by 11.59pm AEST on Wednesday 8 September 2021. Late applications will not be considered.

Indicate your interest in this scholarship by nominating Associate Professor Rafael Gomez as principal supervisor, and include the name of this scholarship in the financial details section.

As part of your EOI, complete and return a research proposal template (DOCX file, 82.9 KB).

Contact Associate Professor Rafael Gomez for more details.

What happens next?

You will be contacted with the outcome of your EOI after 8 September 2021. If your expression of interest is accepted, you'll be invited to submit a full application, including a research proposal, to finalise your application.


This scholarship will be governed by the QUT Postgraduate Research Award rules.

About the scholarship

Traditionally, Industrial Design (ID) is founded on a blend of core competencies to design products and associated devices and services including:

  • user-centered design principles
  • manufacturing and fabrication knowledge
  • engineering expertise
  • advanced visualisation and communication skills
  • computer-aided design
  • human behaviour
  • business knowledge.

However, in recent years, there has been a shift in this landscape and ID professionals are applying their knowledge, skillsets and expertise in a broad range of areas including business strategy, creative innovation, systems thinking and a host of other non-traditional functions for large multinational corporations faced with opportunities and challenges relating to emerging technologies such as mixed reality, virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, robotics, automation.

Although there has been a recognition of this shift, little is known about the ways in which ID professionals are able to successfully apply these types of skillsets and approaches for corporate success, or the implications for tertiary design education. As a result, there are various opportunity areas for research including:

  • how are ID skills and knowledge helping in corporate contexts for positive impacts?
  • how can corporates better take advantage of design and creative thinking in non-traditional contexts (e.g. in non-design departments)
  • what are the implications of this shift for tertiary design education now and in the future?
  • how does/can ID education better prepare students for these types of roles in the 21st century?

For 5 years, QUT has collaborated with BMW Group in Germany to provide internships for over 20 industrial design students. The students are having a significant impact at BMW Group and this PhD project aims to investigate the ways in which ID thinking, skillsets and aptitudes are able to create these outcomes in non-traditional contexts in the hopes of advancing knowledge in this area. These can benefit both corporate contexts (BMW Group) to better leverage designers to benefit business goals, as well as tertiary educational contexts (QUT) to better recognise these impacts and develop degrees that match these needs. Therefore, the partnership between BMW Group and QUT is a perfect case to help investigate this research.

This scholarship is suited for future domestic or international research students interested in investigating and advancing cutting-edge knowledge in industrial design, design thinking, design expertise and creative thinking within multinational corporations, situated within the Creative Industries Faculty, Industrial Design and the BMW Group + QUT Design Academy. The PhD research will likely involve travel to BMW Group in Germany for fieldwork and data collection.

This scholarship is funded by QUT and based at BMW Group + QUT Design Academy at QUT, Gardens Point campus.

BMW Group + QUT Design Academy

BMW Group (BMW, Rolls Royce and Mini) is a Global Fortune 100 company and is the world's leading manufacturer of premium automobiles, motorcycles, and provider of premium financial and mobility services headquartered in Munich, Germany. Queensland University of Technology (QUT) is a leading Australian university and is a national leader in collaborative industry research and teaching located in Brisbane, Australia.

The BMW Group + QUT Design Academy's mission is to strengthen and expand BMW Group and QUT's partnership through three bespoke programs; Internships, Research and Special Projects. Our vision is to create a hub that focuses on Fostering Design Excellence, Exploring Knowledge Horizons and Advancing Cutting-Edge Technologies. We aspire to position design and creativity as an unparalleled and indispensable skillset for the world's best organisations. The academy is a design hub for advanced learning, cutting-edge research and R+D projects focused on the application of emerging technologies including virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, autonomous systems and robotics among others. The academy is a partnership between BMW Group in Germany and QUT in Australia and is run and administered by QUT from its Gardens Point campus in Brisbane, Australia.

More about BMW Group + QUT Design Academy

QUT Design Lab

Design is no longer just the pursuit of creating objects or artefacts. It is a method and a research approach able to drive Australia's National Innovation agenda. Harnessing this potential, the QUT Design Lab was founded in 2016 to employ bold, fresh, and rigorous design-led research to tackle major societal challenges facing society, industry, community, and the environment.

Acting as a hub and home for a diverse team of academics, research students, and industry professionals, the QUT Design Lab supports transdisciplinary collaborations that result in tangible impact and engagement, and which transfer knowledge and technology into beneficial applications for industry and society.

Our mission is 'change by design.'

More about QUT Design Lab

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