SQA PhD Scholarships

2020 SQA PhD Scholarships

The SQA PhD Scholarships seek to recognise and encourage excellence amongst postgraduate candidates intending to undertake their research training in related fields of quantum science and technology. The Scholarships provide successful candidates a unique opportunity to work with researchers with industry linkages across Sydney’s foremost universities leading the way in the quantum field.

SQA PhD Scholarships are awarded to outstanding postgraduate students who will contribute to and enhance research and innovation in the field of quantum science and technology.

Candidates will undertake their PhD studies at one of the SQA founding universities: The University of Sydney, UNSW Sydney, University of Technology Sydney, and Macquarie University.

Two Scholarship streams are currently open:

  • SQA Full PhD Scholarships are available for domestic and international candidates with an outstanding track record of academic achievement and research potential to pursue full-time PhD studies related to the field of quantum science and technology at one of our founding universities.

  • SQA Supplementary PhD Scholarship are available for excellent candidates currently undertaking a PhD program (full-time) in the field of quantum science and technology at one of the founding universities.

Domestic scholarship holders are expected to commence their PhD program in the second half of 2020. International scholarship holders are expected to commence their PhD program in the first half of 2021 or earlier. (This requirement will be monitored in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. Consideration will be given to requests to delay where required).

Applications for round two have now closed.

Applicants please note: The letter of endorsement from your nominated supervisor must be emailed directly to SQA via info.sqa@sydney.edu.au within two weeks of the applications closing date (due 11:59pm on Monday, 8 June).

Details of Scholarship

SQA Full PhD Scholarship

  • The SQA PhD Scholarship provides a stipend of $35,000 AUD per annum for a maximum duration of four years. An additional $5,000 AUD will be granted to successful applicants for career development.
  • Student tuition fees may be waived for successful international applicants

SQA Supplementary PhD Scholarship

  • Open to any PhD candidate who is within the first two years of their PhD program* and already holds a primary PhD stipend
  • For students with a primary stipend less than $33,000 AUD, the SQA Supplementary PhD Scholarship will cover the difference between the value of the primary stipend and the SQA Full PhD Scholarship for the remaining duration of the primary stipend
  • If a candidate’s primary PhD stipend is funded for less than four years, they may be provided with a full PhD scholarship of $35,000 AUD per annum to extend their candidature for the remaining period of candidature (maximum PhD duration of four years)

All scholarship holders are expected to successfully pass the SQA PhD Experience Program as complementary educational coursework to their research training as per the SQA PhD Scholarship Conditions of Award.

* special consideration may be granted in extenuating circumstances

Am I eligible?

  • Scholarship applications are open to Australian citizens, permanent residents and international applicants
  • PhD Candidates must be enrolled in or have an unconditional offer in a full-time PhD program at one of the four SQA founding universities
  • PhD candidates must have the support of an academic staff member at one of the founding universities. This staff member would be the candidate's proposed supervisor and must provide endorsement for their project proposal and scholarship application.

Disclaimer: SQA scholarships will not be awarded to applicants who are not enrolled at one of the founding universities of SQA by the commencement dates specified above.

Before you apply

In order to be considered, your application must contain the following documents:

  • CV
  • Project proposal
  • Academic transcripts
  • Any other additional information when you apply
  • Proof of contact with and support from your nominated supervisor (letter of endorsement). The letter of endorsement must be emailed directly to SQA via info.sqa@sydney.edu.au by your nominated supervisor within two weeks of the applications closing date (due 11:59pm on Monday, 8 June).

The letter must include confirmation of the following:

  • You have contacted your nominated supervisor to discuss your application and project proposal
  • Your nominated supervisor has contacted your referees
  • Your nominated supervisor has read your project proposal
  • Your nominated supervisor has commented on your academic merit and research potential
  • Your nominated supervisor endorses application and project proposal

Please refer to the SQA PhD Scholarship Application Guidelines for additional information on your application.

How will my application be assessed?

Applications are assessed to ensure candidates meet the academic and research standards and to ensure alignment to SQA goals and objectives.

The assessment criteria are:

  • Academic merit
  • Research potential and alignment with SQA objectives
  • Industry engagement

The SQA PhD Scholarship selection committee assess applications through a competitive assessment process. Members of the selection committee are researchers and academics within the four founding universities.

Applicants should ensure that all information conveyed in their application can be understood by someone within and outside their sub-discipline.

The SQA encourages applications from women, Indigenous Australians, applicants with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people with disability, and from those who identify as LGBTIQ. We welcome applicants to include this information as part of their applications.

The SQA PhD Scholarship scheme is funded by the New South Wales Government and the four founding universities of the Sydney Quantum Academy.

Given our current climate of uncertainty around COVID-19, we encourage you to please re-visit this site regularly for updates and additional information.



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