Scholarship details

Study levels


Student type

Future students

Study area

Creative practice and communication and design


Australian or New Zealand and Australian

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 1.5 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 an MPhil on:

  • industrial design
  • design
  • robotics
  • autonomous systems
  • user-experience
  • human-robot interface.

You should also be 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.

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 early 2022
  • 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.

Ideally you will also have demonstrated knowledge in:

  • industrial design
  • robotics
  • user experience
  • mechatronics.

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 Master of Philosophy (MPhil) 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

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 research project is focused on the use of wearable technology within manufacturing and logistics. As we shift into Industry 4.0 there is greater interest in the research, development and use of wearable technologies. This includes exoskeleton devices that could improve overall safety and productivity, wearable devices which provide ways to monitor operator wellbeing and work performance, share information and knowledge, and provide Big Data analytics, or adaptive smart tools and wearable AR and VR technologies to improve HRI and support human integration within future factories.

While the technical aspects of this technology is evolving there is an opportunity to better explore how wearable technologies will impact workplace practices and culture and how to effectively support human operators as we shift into Industry 4.0 characterised in part by flexible robotic automation equipment and intelligent decision-making software platforms. This project would advance best-practice for logistics and factory environments specifically, on the qualitative and experiential aspects of wearable technologies implementation and the factors that positively or negatively impact human experience (i.e. emotional, affective, social dimension) to potentially increase safety and improve performance and overall effectiveness.

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

  • what are the latest advances in sensory technology to detect human biometrics, movement, cognitive and affective information?
  • what are the main research gaps in this field from a qualitative design perspective?
  • what are the factors that positively or negatively impact wearable technologies implementation in respect to workplace practices, culture and user perceptions?
  • what are best-practice principles for the future development of wearable technologies in factory spaces?

For over 5 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.

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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