Our Scholarship Program

Quick Eligibility Checklist

  • You hold an Australian bachelor’s degree with First Class Honours or an equivalent international degree. “First class equivalency” will be determined by the Data61 Scholarship Committee in consultation with the university supervisor but may be determined by:
    • Completion of a research project
    • Number and quality of publications, including the percentage the candidate has contributed to a publication
    • Work experience in a field relevant to the research
    • Other degrees with a strong research component
  • You have applied for admission, have been admitted, or have enrolled into a Research Doctorate (PhD) degree program at an Australian university which is signatory to the Data61 University Collaboration Agreement (DUCA).
  • You have or will apply for the relevant university or government scholarships at the same time as applying for the Data61 scholarship award. 
  • You have support from a D61-employed researcher (who will act as a member of your supervisory panel).
  • The research you undertake will be aligned with Data61’s research programs or business development teams and supervisory capabilities.
  • You agree to enrol in full-time study throughout your candidature.
  • You agree to assign intellectual property developed within the PhD project to Data61 through signing the Data61 Student Scholarship Agreement (SSA).
  • You don’t already hold a PhD.

I'm ready to apply!

Key Dates

For your application to be considered, please ensure that you submit the online application form and supporting documents by 5:00pm AEST on the closing date indicated below. Please ensure your nominated referees are aware of the last date for receipt of their reports.


Commencement in Semester 2, 2018

State Application Closes Referee Reports Outcomes Announced
International 09/03/2018 16/03/2018 20/04/2018
Domestic 30/04/2018 04/05/2018 30/06/2018
NSW | SA      
International 30/04/2018 04/05/2018 30/06/2018
Domestic 31/05/2018 06/06/2018 31/07/2018
International & Domestic 30/04/2018 04/05/2018 30/06/2018


Commencement in Semester 1, 2019

State Application Closes Referee Reports Outcomes Announced
International 31/08/2018 06/09/2018 31/10/2018
Domestic 31/10/2018 06/11/2018 19/12/2018
NSW | SA      
Round 1 (Int'l & Dom) 20/07/2018 03/08/2018 31/10/2018
Round 2 (Int'l & Dom) 12/10/2018 26/10/2018 19/12/2018
International & Domestic 31/10/2018 06/11/2018 18/01/2019


Commencement in Semester 2, 2018 & Semester 1, 2019

Round Application Closes Referee Reports Outcomes Announced Domestic & onshore international applicants commence from International applicants offshore commence from
1 31/08/2018 7/09/2018 31/10/2018 1/11/2018 1/01/2019
2 31/10/2018 7/11/2018 19/12/2018 1/01/2018 1/03/2019

Commencement in Semester 1, 2019 & Semester 2, 2019

Round Application Closes Referee Reports Outcomes Announced Domestic & onshore international applicants commence from International applicants offshore commence from
1 14/02/2019 21/02/2019 29/03/2019 1/04/2019 1/07/2019

Commencement in Semester 2, 2019

Round Application Closes Referee Reports Outcomes Announced Domestic & onshore international applicants commence from International applicants offshore commence from
1 31/03/2019 7/03/2019 17/05/2019 1/07/2019 1/09/2019
2 14/05/2019 21/05/2019 30/06/2019 1/09/2019 1/10/2019
  • We encourage applications as early as possible and recommend for international candidates to apply to the earliest round possible for their intended commencement date.
  • Application dates may be subject to change.
  • Outcome advice is dependent on timely advice from universities.


  • What is the Data61 scholarship stipend?

    The value of the scholarship will be indicated in the letter of offer and may comprise one of the following:

    1. The Data61 PhD Scholarship which comprises a full stipend set at a rate equivalent to the Research Training Program base rate. The Data61 PhD Scholarship is indexed annually in line with the Australian Government Research Training Program.
    2. The Data61 Top-up Scholarship, which provides additional support to candidates who are in receipt of a government funded, university funded or other third-party funded scholarship. The Data61 Top-up Scholarship is valued at $10,000 per annum (in exceptional circumstances Data61 can award up to $15,000 per annum).
    3. Both of the above Scholarships.
  • How will I receive the scholarship payments?

    The scholarship award is paid via the candidate’s university and via the university’s payment processes. Scholarship payments are linked to the continuation of the student candidature. Payments will cease when the doctoral thesis is submitted prior to the maximum scholarship duration, or in the event the student ceases to meet the eligibility criteria.

    The scholarship does not provide relocation reimbursement or allowances to take up study, thesis printing allowances, overseas student health insurance or tuition fees.

    Please also note that the scholarship award does not include funding for conference registration or travel, however, support may be available to scholarship recipients through Data61 research programs. Students should refer to their Data61 supervisor and/or research program coordinator for more information.

  • How many Data61 scholarships are on offer?

    Data61 PhD Scholarships are set on a merit basis and are not awarded based on quota.

  • What is the scholarship duration?

    Awards will be made for the duration of the student’s university candidature up to a maximum of 3.5 years. The term of the scholarship award will be reduced for study time already completed at the time of the scholarship award.

    Candidates should be aware that the duration of the scholarship award may be shorter than the term of the Student Scholarship Agreement, the latter remaining in force for the duration of the candidature or termination of the agreement.

  • How do I apply?

    Students wishing to apply for a Data61 Scholarship should have already made contact with a Data61 supervisor to discuss a research project, and have written agreement from the Data61 researcher to supervise their PhD project. This confirmation, a research proposal and other supporting documentation must be submitted at the time of application.

    Application rounds are held two to four times each year, depending on university processes and numbers of applications.  Rounds will be announced on the CSIRO and Data61 websites, together with relevant links and information.

    Students need to have two academic referees, who will each complete the Data61 Academic Referee Report and provide it to Data61 in order for their application to proceed to assessment. 

  • How can I identify a potential research supervisor?

    Please refer to our research area or contact us to discuss your field of interest.

  • How will my application be assessed?

    Applications for Data61 scholarships will be ranked by a Scholarship Committee made up of senior Data61 researchers and university collaborators under the following three broad assessment criteria:

    • Academic merit - such as performance in university studies. 
    • Research potential - such as contributions achieved under supervision. 
    • Alignment - such as relevance to Data61’s Research Programs. 
  • What is the Data61 Student Scholarship Agreement (SSA)?

    Students and universities must agree to and sign the Data61 SSA to accept the award, which assigns intellectual property created during the research project to Data61. The SSA provides the legal framework for intellectual property (IP) assignment, publications, copyright and confidentiality matters that may affect the student, the university and/or Data61.

    Under the SSA, ownership of intellectual property developed during the course of the research project is transferred to Data61. In return, students may be eligible to share in certain commercial benefits derived from the development of the IP, in accordance with the policy set out in the SSA.

  • Will standard leave allowances apply to these Scholarships?


    Leave entitlements of students who hold Data61 scholarships are unaffected by the award of the Data61 scholarship and students will receive those entitlements in line with the policies of the university of enrolment.

  • What if I need to convert to part time study?

    Scholarship candidates must maintain a full-time study load. Students must inform Data61 if they are intending to change study load and provide a copy of any university approval paperwork.

    Scholarship payments will be suspended when a student converts to a part-time study load. Payments may recommence upon the resumption of full-time study. The scholarship duration will be reduced by the period of part-time study at a rate of one full-time day for every two part-time days.

    In cases of extreme personal circumstances this restriction may be lifted at the discretion of the relevant Scholarship Committee Chair, provided candidates are able to provide appropriate supporting documentation. 

  • Can current PhD candidates apply?


    Potential candidates may have already commenced a PhD research program at one of our participating universities.

  • If I have applied for another scholarship, will this preclude me from applying for a Data61 scholarship?


    Candidates must apply for other university or government scholarships at the same time as applying for the Data61 scholarship award. Candidates who are awarded a university or Government primary scholarship may receive a Data61 top-up scholarship. If at any time a Data61 PhD Scholarship (full stipend) holder receives a secondary award of a value greater than 75% of the Data61 PhD Scholarship rate, the Data61 PhD Scholarship will be suspended for the duration of the secondary scholarship. The Data61 Top-up Scholarship may continue to be held, but will not convert to a full stipend if the primary scholarship ceases.

  • Will my PhD candidature be assessed at regular intervals?

    Continuation of Data61 scholarship payments is conditional upon maintained satisfactory academic progress and satisfactory engagement with Data61. Progress is monitored through complementary annual scholarship and academic reviews undertaken by the university review panel which will include in its membership the relevant Data61 Research Program Director or delegate.

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