Postgraduate students who partner with CSIRO to complete their PhD studies will gain access to world-class facilities and have a unique opportunity to work alongside Australia’s leading research scientists.

Are you passionate about a career in science and want to access CSIRO's world-class facilities and staff? Then apply today for our PhD Scholarships.

There a number of priority topic areas for funding commencing in 2017. Applications close 31 October, so check them out today via our current vacancies portal.

CSIRO's Postgraduate Scholarship Program provides opportunities in science and engineering for outstanding graduates who enrol each year at Australian tertiary institutions. Scholarships are available to full-time postgraduate students who are undertaking research which will lead to the award of a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

PhD students at CSIRO are supported by both a university supervisor and a CSIRO supervisor; allowing students to maintain and develop their university connections while being exposed to research in a working environment.


CSIRO offers full and top-up Postgraduate Scholarships for periods of up to three years. Opportunities will be offered to high achieving students who are enrolled in a PhD program at an Australian university.

Top up scholarships are available to those doctoral students who gain or expect to gain an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA), or equivalent university award. In some circumstances full scholarships may also be available.

Recipients of Postgraduate Scholarships are generally required to be Australian Citizens or hold Permanent Residency status. However, in fields in which there is a national skill shortage, scholarships may be awarded to overseas candidates, provided they meet Department of Immigration and Citizenship policy guidelines. International students must be able to provide evidence of admission to an Australian university.

When to apply

Postgraduate scholarships are advertised at various times through the year via our current vacancies portal.

[Text appears on screen: Where does half the world’s oxygen come from?]

[Music plays and image changes to show Nick looking out from a hill top over a valley] 

Nick Roden: I’m Nick and I’m an oceanographer. I study the chemical changes that are happening to our ocean as a result of our carbon dioxide emissions, otherwise knowns as ocean acidification.

[Image changes to show Nick working with scientific equipment]

Most of my work is done in the Southern Ocean and around Antarctica.

[Image changes to show a large iceberg]

I’ve spent nearly two years of my life doing field work in some of the coldest and most remote places on the planet.

[Image changes to show two snow mobiles out on the ice and then changes to show Nick working inside the laboratory]

I came to science later than many; in fact I was actually a golf professional in my earlier days.

[Image changes to show Nick playing golf]

I soon discovered though that I wasn’t a very good one, so I thought that a career change was in order, and it wasn’t until one of my coaching clients suggested I go and study science at university that my life took on a different path.

[Image changes to show Nick seated and sharing a meal with other people and then changes to show Nick back in the laboratory talking with a colleague]

My longest expedition to Antarctica was for 13-months, during that time I worked as a weather observer for the Bureau of Metrology.

[Image changes to show Nick standing on a snow covered mountain looking out over the ice]

So I had a bit of spare time on my hands, I took on some voluntary work for CSIRO collecting seawater from beneath the sea ice.

[Camera pans over different scientific equipment]

It was during this field work for CSIRO that I discovered how amazing and how fragile these polar environments are. We discovered that the ocean acidity had changed much greater than we anticipated.

[Image changes to show different shots of demountable buildings with the Aurora Australis in the sky and then moves to show Nick looking at a CSIRO ship]

Most people don’t realise that over 90-per cent of the excess heat energy that’s being trapped in the earth system over the last 50-years, is it actually ends up in the ocean.

[Image changes to show Nick reading information from a laptop]

So when we’re talking about global warming, we should really be talking about ocean warming in a very real sense. The most serious changes that we’ll see in the earths system as a result of climate change will stem from the ocean, without a doubt.

[Image changes to show Nick standing on rocks on a hill top overlooking a valley]

One thing that still blows my mind about the ocean is that every second breath we take contains oxygen that was produced by microscopic plants or phytoplankton that drift in the worlds ocean. So even if you live in one of the most remotest, sandiest, driest deserts in the world, you still have a very real connection to what’s happening in your oceans, simply by the fact that you’re breathing air.

[CSIRO logo appears with text: Find out more]

Nick Roden - CSIROseven

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