Scholarship details

Study levels


Student type

Future students

Study area

Creative practice and communication and design

Eligibility criteria

Academic performance

Application dates

Applications close
30 October 2020

What you'll receive

As the scholarship recipient, you will have the opportunity to work with a team of leading researchers and designers at QUT within the BMW Group + QUT Design Academy and with colleagues at BMW Group, 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.

This scholarship is for exceptional students to complete a MPhil on industrial design, design, robotics, autonomous systems, user-experience and human-robot interface. It is targeted specifically for researchers interested in design, emerging technologies, robotics, autonomous systems and its relationship to leading global corporations to advance the field of design, user experience and human-robot interfaces. The scholarship is funded by QUT and based at BMW Group + QUT Design Academy at QUT, Gardens Point campus.

A scholarship, tax exempt and indexed annually $28,092 per annum for a period of 1.5 years will be provided to the successful applicant. Paid leave is provided equivalent to QUTPRA scholarships. The scholarship provides some funding support for travel to undertake fieldwork and data collection in Germany. The successful applicant will need to supplement travel costs through QUT HDR funds provided as part of enrolment in a PhD program in Creative Industries or through personal funds. The scholarship does not cover relocation expenses.

International students will also receive either:

  • an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Fees Offset (International), or
  • a QUT research degree (HDR) tuition fee scholarship.

The scholarship will be governed by QUTPRA rules. Attribution of Intellectual Property (IP) are governed by QUT’s HDR rules.


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

You must also:

  • have recently completed an undergraduate degree from a recognised institution in a cognate discipline within design
  • GPA of 5 or above
  • be able to take up the scholarship and begin full-time study February 2021, but before the 1st July 2021
  • have a strong interest in undertaking a research project on industrial design, design thinking, creativity and design expertise
  • 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.
  • demonstrate an ability to work collaboratively within interdisciplinary teams, as well as proven ability to use initiative, and to work independently with minimal supervision and self management to deliver outcomes.
  • demonstrate proficient verbal, graphic and written communication skills which will enable you to prepare scholarly and other publications, presentations and funding applications.

Ideally you will also have (not necessary but preferred):

  • demonstrated knowledge in the fields of Industrial Design, Robotics, User Experience, and Mechatronics
  • demonstrated experience in the planning, conduct, analysis and reporting of qualitative and/or quantitative design research
  • demonstrated ability to apply research to meet end user and stakeholder needs through designed outputs/outcomes
  • demonstrated experience in designing, prototyping, and evaluating tangible and interfaces.

How to apply

This scholarship will utilise a two part application process:

Part One

Interested applicants must submit an EOI for consideration prior to applying for this scholarship. The EOI must include:

  • a cover letter
  • an up-to-date curriculum vitae (CV)
  • a one-page research proposal addressing the scholarship topic
  • a writing sample (e.g. copy of an article/essay/thesis you have completed).

The EOI should be sent by email to Dr Rafael Gomez ( no later than Friday 11 September 2020.

Part Two

On review of the EOI selected applicants will then be invited to submit a full application in the QUT Annual Scholarship Round that closes on 30 October 2020.

What happens next?

Applicants will be contact directly after the Scholarship Round closing date of 30 October 2020.

For details about QUT's application process please go to the QUT Scholarships Website.

About the scholarship

This MPhil project is affiliated with the BMW Group + QUT Design Academy and is fundamental to the academy’s vision of fostering design excellence, exploring knowledge horizons and advancing cutting-edge technologies. This particular research project focuses on evaluating the latest advances in human-robot interfaces within logistics and factory applications to determine best-practice principles for future development. This research project is specifically for researchers interested in advances in autonomous robotics, human-robot interfaces (HRI), emotional and experience design and its relationship to logistics and factory contexts.

Although there is research into HRIs across various contexts, there is a gap in available literature exploring advances and best-practice for logistics and factory environments specifically, on the qualitative and experiential aspects of HRIs and the factors that positively or negatively impact human experience (i.e. emotional, affective, social dimension) so as to potentially increase safety, improve performance and overall effectiveness.

As a result, there are various opportunity areas for research including:

  • What are the latest advances in HRIs for logistics and manufacturing context?
  • What are the main research gaps in this field from a qualitative design perspective?
  • What are the factors that positively or negatively impact HRIs in logistic and factory contexts in respect to emotional and affective dimension?
  • What are best-practice principles for future development of HRIs in logistic and factory settings?

For over five years, QUT has collaborated with BMW Group in Germany in the field of robotics, autonomous systems, logistics and Industry 4.0. This MPhil project aims to determine advances in the area of HRIs and investigate best practice principles in respect to emotional and affective dimensions within logistics and factory settings. The findings can contribute to both corporate contexts (such as BMW Group) as well as the general field of advanced manufacturing. This has implication for improved design of autonomous robots, HRIs, best-practice principles for future application and may have positive impacts on safety, performance, effectiveness and acceptance of autonomous robots in these contexts. The partnership between BMW Group and QUT is a perfect case to help investigate this research.

This scholarship is suited for future domestic research students interested in investigating and advancing cutting-edge knowledge in Robots, Autonomous Robotics, HRIs, HMI, Design within logistics and factory settings, situated within the Creative Industries Faculty, Industrial Design and the BMW Group + QUT Design Academy. The MPhil research will likely involve travel to BMW Group in Germany for fieldwork and data collection.

About 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.

About 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.”

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