Project 1 aims to develop the next generation of neural stimulation devices using optical or combined optical/electrical stimulation to improve the precision of neural activation. 

Value and Duration

  • Full research tuition fee scholarship for 3 years with possible extension to 3.5 years
  • Stipend valued at a minimum of AUD 31,000 per year (pro-rata), for 3 years with possible extension to 3.5 years
  • Candidates will be based at Bionics Institute Melbourne periodically throughout their PhD program. Remainder of the candidature will be spent at RMIT’s city and/or Bundoora campuses.  

Number of scholarships available

Two for 2020 (Commencement between February and July 2020)


This scholarship is for PhD Candidates only.

Applicants must hold, or be currently completing:

  • A Master by research
  • A Master by coursework with a significant research component graded as high distinction, or equivalent
  • An Honours degree achieving first class honours
  • A 4 year Bachelor degree achieving a GPA of 4, or equivalent (80% or above)
  • Publications or significant research experience that could be considered equivalent

You must provide evidence of English language proficiency and meet the English language requirement of the research program before the application closing date of the scholarship round.

In addition to the above, to be eligible for this scholarship you must:

  • Not already hold a PhD or equivalent

How to apply

Consult with the supervisors (see contacts below) before writing your research proposal. 

Send the following documents to

  • Cover letter
  • CV
  • University transcripts
  • Statement of interest in research topic

If your proposal is successful, you will be required to submit an Expression of Interest via the online applicant portal. Full application instructions can be viewed on the School of Graduate Research How to Apply website.

You are required to apply for program DR220 (PhD - Electrical and Electronic Engineering)

Close date

Applicant Type EOI due date Application due date



23 February 2020

31 March 2020

29 February 2020

30 April 2020


Please note scholarship applications may close sooner than the dates listed above if suitable applicants are identified.


Terms and conditions

As the holder of this scholarship:

  • you must commence your studies by 31 July 2020;
  • you are not able to defer your studies to another year;
  • if a deferral is required, you must apply again the following year if you are unable to take up your award

Further information

The Bionics Institute ( and RMIT offer unique, vibrant, and multidisciplinary research environments in which experience and skills can be attained across research areas related to improved technology for hearing, vision (bionic eyes), and neurological disorders (e.g. deep brain stimulation for movement disorders).

Project 1 will use optogenetic techniques to enable neurons to be activated with low-powered micro-LEDs. Electrophysiological recordings in pre-clinical studies will be used to examine whether optical stimulation strategies can improve the spatial precision of neural activation for the benefit of bionic devices such as the cochlear implant. Details can be found at