PhD scholarship in biotransformation mechanisms of uranium species and stability in mining site environment

The PhD candidate will study U species transformation and gain intensive knowledge in U bioremediation mechanisms in mining environment via spectroscopic and modelling approaches.

Environmental contamination with uranium has posed a significant problem owing to its radiological and chemical toxicity. Bioremediation is a promising technology in uranium contamination removal, because it is lowers in cost and environmentally friendly.

In this process, Uranium species are impacted by the bacteria type and the environmental conditions such as redox potential, pH and temperature, which in turn determine the solubility and stability of uranium precipitate

In this project, the PhD candidate will conduct research into uranium species transformation and modelling and gain intensive knowledge in uranium bioremediation mechanisms in mining site environment and mining site environmental science through spectroscopic and modelling approaches as well as collaborations with RMIT experts.

The PhD candidate will be provided with numerous research and development opportunities with the support of a panel of expert supervision team:

  1. Revealing the mechanisms of uranium species transformation and immobilisation in the mining site environment.
  2. The development of new uranium (bio)remediation strategies and protocols to achieve long-term stability of immobilised uranium.
  3. Cutting-edge chemical analytical and characterisation techniques: surface and spectroscopic analysis, electrochemical study, mineralogy analysis, and synchrotron technology. 

This scholarship provides a stipend of $32,841 per annum pro rata (full-time) for three year.

Applications open now. 

7th August 2025

One scholarship available. 

To be eligible for this scholarship you must:

  • have a first-class Honours or H1 or equivalent degree in a relevant discipline of engineering/science
  • be an Australian citizen, New Zealand Citizen or an Australian permanent resident or an international student meeting the minimum English language requirements
  • provide evidence of adequate 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 PhD by research degree

To apply, please submit the following documents to Dr. Yi Yang via or Professor Miao Chen via

  • 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.

Evidence of English proficiency may be required.

The role of the PhD student includes:

  1. Investigate uranium species transformation in bioimmobilisation and their relationship with matrix mineralogy, and surface chemistry in the mining site environment by a combination of solution chemistry, spectroscopic and mineralogy analysis.
  2. Perform in-situ investigation by combining electrochemical and spectroscopic approaches (e.g. XAS, UV-Vis) to identify unstable/trace intermediate in conditions mimicking U bioremediation. 
  3. Explain the uranium species evolution and the stability of the  immobilized uranium by thermodynamic modelling and spectroscopic verification such as UV-Vis spectroscopy and XAS

The candidate should have experience in one or more of the following research areas: Environmental Science, Microbiology, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Geochemistry, and Mineral processing.

Please contact Dr. Yi Yang via or Professor Miao Chen via

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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.