PhD scholarship: Explosives Detection using Nanotechnology


Enrolment status New students
Student type Domestic students, International students
Level of study Higher Degree by Research
Study area Science and Mathematics
HDR funding type Living stipend scholarship
Scholarship value $28,092 per annum tax-free (2020 rate), indexed annually
Scholarship duration Three years with the possibility of two 6-month extensions in approved circumstances
Opening date 17 February 2020
Closing date 15 March 2020


Vapour phase sensing of hazardous substances is the “Holy Grail” of detection methods as it enables standoff detection, reducing the threat to the operator. However, many hazardous substances have low saturated vapour pressures (e.g., explosives) with in field (open air) concentrations being significantly less. The ability to preconcentrate analytes and then release them in a concentrated burst for detection is an important pathway to enablement of vapour phase detection in real world applications. What is required for a portable detector device is a low power method for pre-concentrator materials to absorb and then release the analyte.

We offer an opportunity for an outstanding PhD candidate to work on an exciting project that aims to tackle this technological challenge of vapour detection making use of nanotechnology. The project will be undertaken at the Centre for Organic Photonics and Electronics (COPE) that has existing projects focused on the detection of explosives. The sensors team at COPE offers an ideal combination of experience and facilities for the synthesis, characterisation, testing and commercialisation of sensing solutions. The successful student will work on a challenging but rewarding research project under the direct supervision of DECRA recipient Dr Jos Kistemaker, Dr Paul Shaw and ARC Australian Laureate Fellow Professor Paul Burn.


To be eligible, you must meet the entry requirements for a higher degree by research.

Applications are closed.

Before you get started

If this scholarship has rules, download and read them.

How to apply

To apply for admission and scholarship, follow the link on the upper right of this page. There is no separate application for scholarship because you will have the opportunity to request scholarship consideration on the application for admission.

Before submitting an application you should:

When you apply, please ensure that under the scholarships and collaborative study section you:

  1. Select ‘My higher degree is not collaborative’
  2. Select 'I am applying for, or have been awarded a scholarship or sponsorship'.
  3. Select ‘Other’, then ‘Research Project Scholarship’ and type in ‘NANOTECHin the 'Name of scholarship' field.

See an example of what you have to do

Learn more about applying for a higher degree by research at UQ

Selection criteria

Expressions of Interest are invited from outstanding and enthusiastic graduates with a First-Class Honours, or equivalent qualifications through a relevant Masters degree. Candidates will have a strong background in physical organic chemistry and outstanding hands-on laboratory skills with a preference for some experience in spectroscopy, nanofabrication or film characterisation. Research experience in the field of organic chromophores and their photophysical properties is desirable.

Applicants must also fulfil the PhD admission criteria for the University of Queensland, including English language requirements, and demonstrate excellent capacity and potential for research. Demonstration of research ability through publication output in peer reviewed international journals is desirable.

Applications are closed.


Dr Jos Kistemaker
+61 7 3346 7989
Applications are closed.

Terms and conditions

Read the policy on UQ Research Scholarships.

A domestic part-time student with carer’s responsibilities, a medical condition or a disability, which prevents them from studying full time may be eligible for scholarship consideration, on a case by case basis.

Applications are closed.