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PhD Scholarship – Characterization of Modified Starches

Apply now Job no:500607
Area:Faculty Of Engineering, Architecture & Info Tech
Salary (FTE):APA Scholarship NON-BANDED ($26,682.00 - $26,682.00)
Work type:Full Time - Scholarship
Location: St Lucia

The School of Chemical Engineering

The School of Chemical Engineering is an international leader in the chemical engineering field and has an excellent international reputation which has been built over four decades at the University. With 35 academic staff, including 17 professors, the School provides quality programs and leadership in chemical engineering education, research and development, and expert consulting to support the process industries.

UQ Chemical Engineering was ranked in the top 16 worldwide in the 2012 QS subject rankings for chemical engineering and was the top ranking school in Australia. It was also given the highest score awarded for chemical engineering in Australia in the recent ERA study. Information about the Faculty and the School may be accessed on the Faculty’s web site at

The project

An opportunity exists for a PhD candidate to investigate analytical methods for characterizing modified starches as part of the ARC Linkage project, ‘Designing starches for increased productivity in mineral flotation’.

Flotation is essential in mineral resource extraction, being an economical way to separate fine particles of minerals. Reagents are used to alter mineral surface properties so that the specific particles either adhere to bubbles and float, or otherwise sink. The role of such reagents is likely to increase significantly for market supply to be maintained as ore mineralogy becomes more complex, and the use of toxic and accumulative reagents, such as cyanides and oil-based polymers, will need to decrease. The extensive scope of possible starch modifications therefore offers prime opportunities to create environmentally benign reagents from an abundant and renewable agricultural resource. 

Working alongside a prominent Australian wheat processing company, the project will also investigate related industrial and food applications for the materials developed in the laboratory. The successful candidate will work on both the fundamental and applied aspects of starch properties with the support of internationally respected researcher Prof. Mike Gidley.

The person

Applicants should have an honours degree in chemistry or chemical engineering, with a focus on polymers and/or carbohydrates, or a related discipline. Desirable qualities include a strong interest in polymer characterization techniques, solid academic performance, good oral and written communication skills, and the desire to solve problems creatively.


Both domestic (Australian and New Zealand) students and international students are welcome to apply.  Applicants must be eligible to enrol in a PhD with The University of Queensland.  For a complete list of the university’s minimum entry requirements please refer to:


Mandatory requirements for international applicants:

  1. At least 2 high quality research publications;
  2. Excellent academic performance evidenced by a high Grade Point Average (GPA); or,
  3. Equivalent industry experience


International applicants must meet the University of Queensland's English Language Proficiency (ELP) requirements, detailed at


The base stipend will be at the rate of AUD $26,682 per annum (2017 rate) tax-free for three years with the possibility of a six-month extension in approved circumstances. Candidates will be expected to apply for a RTP (formerly APA and IPRS) scholarship or another external competitive scholarship and if successful will receive a $5000 top-up in addition to their scholarship for the three years of candidature.  Assistance with the application process will be provided.


To discuss this role please contact Dr. Paul Luckman on +61 7 3346 7756 or


With all enquires please include this phrase in the subject line of the email “ARC-LP PHD 2017” along with your name.


To submit an application for this role, use the Apply button below. All applicants must supply the following documents:


  • A cover letter that addresses how you meet the requirements for the PhD program;
  • A curriculum vitae detailing education, professional experience, research experience, publications, and relevant competencies;
  • The name and contact details of three referees.


For information on completing the application process click here.

Applications close: E. Australia Standard Time

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