Scholarship details

Study levels

Research and PhD

Student type

Future students

Study area

Engineering, Science, technology and engineering and mathematics


Australian or New Zealand and International

What you'll receive

You'll receive a stipend scholarship of $34,938 per annum for a maximum duration of 4 years while undertaking a QUT PhD. This includes the possibility of two 6 month extensions if approved for your candidature.  This is the full-time, tax-free rate which will index annually.

  • A possible top-up scholarship
  • 12-month industry placement
  • if you're an international student, you will also receive a tuition fee sponsorship for your research degree
  • as a Centre student you will receive mentoring from academic and industry leaders, access internal funding opportunities, and gain real world experience.


  • You need to meet the entry requirements for a QUT Doctor of Philosophy including any English language requirements
  • first-class honours (H1) or equivalent
  • skills or experience in organic/polymer chemistry, biobased materials, materials characterisation and biomass valorisation
  • alignment with ARC Training Centre for Bioplastics and Biocomposites.

How to apply

  • Expressions of interest are invited from outstanding Australian and international graduates with a passion for global sustainability and excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • the first step is to email Dr Lisa Pope detailing your academic and research background, your motivation to research in this field and interest in this scholarship, and include your CV
  • if supported to apply, you will then submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for admission to a QUT Doctor of Philosophy following the advice at How to apply for a research degree
  • in your EOI, nominate Prof Kathryn Fairfull-Smith as your proposed principal supervisor, and copy the link to this scholarship website into question 2 of the financial details section.

About the scholarship

About the project: Bioplasticizers and biopolymers from agricultural waste

There is a great current interest in sustainable chemistry, including the development of polymers and polymer additives from renewable bio-resources. Carbohydrates such as cellulose, obtained from agricultural waste, can be hydrolysed into smaller molecules that allow access to a range of renewable chemicals and materials. One such platform compound is 5-chloromethylfurfural (CMF), which has been repurposed into renewable monomers, fuels and specialty chemicals. This project aims to prepare bio-based plasticizers from CMF and evaluate their impact on materials performance when incorporated into bioderived polymers such as lignin, alginate or chitosan. Recent developments have resulted in the replacement of synthetic plasticizers by biobased counterparts. The effect of biobased plasticizer concentration, interaction, and compatibility on the polymer properties will be examined. Chemical methods to covalently incorporate the bioplasticizer within the biopolymer will also be explored.

About us: The Australian Research Council (ARC) Training Centre for Bioplastics and Biocomposites

There is unprecedented growth in demand for bioderived and biodegradable materials. The new $13M ARC Training Centre in Bioplastics and Biocomposites will capitalise on Australia’s abundant natural bioresources to drive advances in technology for the development of bioplastic and biocomposite products for the new bioeconomy. We are a collaboration between industry, The University of Queensland (UQ) and Queensland University of Technology (QUT). We have a critical focus on providing an exceptional PhD experience.

With unique polymer processing, scale-up and analytical facilities along with extensive polymer characterisation and degradation capabilities, the research environments at UQ and QUT deliver exceptional laboratory opportunities and expertise to our students.

Find out about some of our other projects here.

Have a question?  Please email Dr Lisa Pope, Centre Manager

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