PhD Scholarship in Probing Nanoscale Disorder in 3D with X-rays

A PhD project on the development of a new x-ray diffraction technique for disordered materials. Will suit candidates interested in combining physics, programming and data analysis.

Develop a new x-ray technique for characterising disordered molecular structures in 3D, participate in synchrotron x-ray experiments, develop computational analysis tools and create numerical simulations.

  • A stipend of $31,000 per annum (pro rata), for 3 years with possible extension to 3.5 years.

Candidates with a background in physics are encouraged to apply.

To be eligible for this scholarship you must:

  • have first-class Honours or equivalent, or a Masters by Research degree in a relevant discipline of engineering/science
  • be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or an international student meeting the minimum English language requirements
  • provide evidence of good oral and written communication skills
  • demonstrate the ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary research team
  • meet RMIT’s entry requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy.

To apply, please submit the following documents to Dr. Andrew Martin via andrew.martin@rmit.edu.au

  • a cover letter (research statement)
  • a copy of electronic academic transcripts
  • a CV that includes any publications/awards and the contact details of two referees.

For international applicants, evidence of English proficiency may be required.

Prospective candidates will be invited to submit a full application for admission to the PhD (Applied Physics) (DR230).

Scholarship applications will only be successful if prospective candidates are provided with an offer for admission.

1 July 2021.

We are developing and applying new ways of revealing the nanostructure of liquids and soft matter in 3D with x-rays. The goal is to the smash the 1D limits of conventional x-ray diffraction methods by translating our breakthrough theory from 2017 into proof-of-principle experiments. This project is part of a larger research effort funded by an ARC Discovery Project and involving collaborations with La Trobe University, University of Melbourne and international collaborators in Germany, Sweden and the USA. The experiments are conducted at synchrotron and international x-ray free-electron laser facilities.

X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs) are amazing new x-ray sources that produce femtosecond pulses around a billion times brighter than a synchrotron. There are exciting opportunities to study the atomic structures of protein molecules and liquids that are inaccessible to other x-ray sources. We have collected data at the Australian Synchrotron and X-ray laser facilities of liquids and protein crystallisation. Now we are pushing to unlock the secrets in the data. This project involves analysing diffraction data and/or simulations to develop our 3D technique for studying disordered nanoscale structure.

This scholarship will be governed by RMIT's University HDR Scholarship Terms and Conditions.

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.