Higher Degree by Research

All SMI's Research Centres offer Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees in their specialisations.

Postgraduate research projects have a strong link with industry; students gain excellent exposure and become familiar with the challenges of conducting research in an industrial environment, and in the challenges of transferring research outcomes to industry.


Undertaking a Higher Degree by Research at the Sustainable Minerals Institute will allow you to develop the professional and personal skills for a successful career in the mineral industry.

  • You will work on independent research projects under advisors who are world leaders in their field.
  • You will have the opportunity to undertake relevant applied research and gain valuable industry experience.
  • You will be encouraged to publish at all stages of your study
  • You will be part of a diverse and inclusive community

Every year, SMI hosts a one-day conference organised by current students. The HDR Conference is open to all research students, at UQ and beyond, who are working on topics related to sustainability in the resources sector.

The HDR Conference is an opportunity for students to showcase their research, hone their presentation skills and interact with industry professionals, academics and colleagues. It includes interactive presentations, panel discussions and a networking session with industry professionals.


PhD Scholarship Opportunities

Flotation properties of base metal sulphides in composite particles, as a function of their mineral chemistry


Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre (JKMRC) & W.H. Bryan Mining & Geology Research Centre (BRC), Sustainable Minerals Institute


Dr Liza Forbes (JKMRC)  & Dr Anita Parbhakar-Fox (BRC)

more information

QUEX PhD Scholarships

The University of Queensland and the University of Exeter are seeking exceptional students to join a world-leading, cross-continental research team tackling major challenges facing the world’s population in global sustainability and wellbeing as part of the QUEX Institute. The joint PhD scholarship program provides a fantastic opportunity for the most talented doctoral students to work closely with world class research groups and benefit from the combined expertise and facilities offered at the two institutions. Expressions of interest for 2021 will open soon - read more

UQ Scholarships

UQ ScholarshipsThe UQ Graduate School manages a limited number of merit-based scholarships for commencing or currently enrolled UQ students on a competitive basis. These scholarships provide financial support for living allowances, tuition fees and overseas health cover (OSHC) (international students only), and international travel awards. To find out more about UQ's scholarships and deadlines for upcoming rounds, please visit the UQ Graduate School Scholarships and Fees website.

Other Scholarships

Please visit the website of the UQ Scholarships Office to review other opportunities for which you may be eligible. If you are applying for an external scholarship which requires you to give evidence of your admission to a Master of Philosophy or Doctor of Philosophy, you must submit your application for admission to UQ six weeks before your scholarship application deadline. This will allow UQ and SMI the time required to process your application and issue you with a provisional offer of admission. 

Please send all email enquiries to smipostgrad@uq.edu.au


HDR Co-ordinator

Dr Kathryn Sturman
(+61) 7 3346 4006



How to Apply

Visit the UQ Graduate School Future Students website for the most current information on applying for admission and scholarships.

The best place to start is by learning about why research higher degree students choose UQ, our research degrees and entry requirementsscholarships, and the UQ Career Development Framework.

Future students can submit an application at any time. However, strict deadlines apply to those applicants who seek to be nominated for a UQ Scholarship, and consideration of UQ and SMI processing times must be given by students who are applying for external scholarships. See the section on 'Scholarships' below.

Applying is a three-step process

Search for a Supervisor (Principal Advisor)

At SMI, your potential advisor will contact us at the SMI Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Office if he or she is interested in supervising your research. We can then assist you with instructions on how to proceed  and address any specific questions or concerns you might have.

Meet our researchers

Complete the Online Application Form

Please carefully review the information provided before commencing the online application so that all required documents are prepared and ready to upload. In addition to the required application documentation, SMI requires that you also upload your proposed research project to the online application for our review and reference.

View the online application form View the required documentation

Wait for a Response to your Application

After you submit your online application, the UQ Graduate School will redirect the submission to us at the SMI HDR Office for our review and assessment of your application in consultation with your proposed principal advisor. SMI will make a decision on whether or not we are able to recommend your admission to the Dean of the Graduate School and keep you informed at all stages of the process.

General enquiries

For general enquiries contact:


+61 7 3346 4003

Student enquiries

If you would like to enquire about studying at SMI please contact our HDR Team

Contact HDR Team

Staff Resources


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