PhD Scholarship: Biodegradable Sprayable Polymer Formulations

Clayton, Australia
$26,288 per annum
28 Sep 2016
End of advertisement period
21 Oct 2016
Academic Discipline
Physical Sciences, Chemistry
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Faculty/Portfolio: Faculty of Science

Location: Clayton campus

$26,288 per annum (tax-free stipend)
CSIRO will provide project support costs

Duration: Three years, full-time

The Opportunity

A unique, exciting opportunity exists for an exceptionally talented candidate interested in undertaking a PhD at Monash University, working on a joint project with CSIRO.


The project will involve systematic in depth degradation studies of a series of preferred biodegradable sprayable polymer formulations with varying structural components in different types of soils using specific microorganisms and enzymes under controlled laboratory and greenhouse conditions. Selected formulations will be further evaluated under field conditions. An investigation into the toxicity of degraded products and their role and impact to C/N cycles in soil ecosystems will be integral part of this study. From the generated data, a database of structure-properties-degradation relationship will be developed, to predict sprayable polymer degradation behaviour in soil.

The project academic supervisors are Associate Professor Tony Patti and Dr Kei Saito from the School of Chemistry, working with and also supervised by CSIRO researchers Dr Raju Adhikari and Dr Priscilla Johnson (CSIRO Manufacturing Flagship).

The research team is looking for a highly qualified (H1 Honours or Masters degree or equivalent) in Chemistry, Biochemistry or Soil Science with significant chemistry experience.

Integral to your PhD you will:

  • Undertake training in both advanced technical and other topics through Monash and CSIRO
  • Work with an experienced team focusing on innovation and sustainability for the agricultural sector

Candidate requirements

Successful applicants will have an excellent academic track record in organic/polymer chemistry, biochemistry or soil chemistry.

An Honours or Masters degree with H1 or equivalent is essential.

  • Strong analytical skills to conduct experiments and develop methods for the elucidation of polymer biodegradation pathways in soils which may include hydrolytic, enzymic and microbially driven degradation mechanisms. An understanding of nutrient cycles in soils is highly desirable
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to work independently as well as in a team
  • Ability to plan, organise, manage multiple tasks and meet deadlines
  • Evidence of data analysis and interpretation skills is essential and experience with statistical analysis is desirable
  • Candidates will be required to meet Monash entry requirements which include English-language skills  
  • Scholarship holders must be enrolled full-time and on-campus


Associate Professor Tony Patti, +61 03 9905 1620

Applications and further information

To submit an expression of interest application, please email the following documents listed below to as PDF attachments:

  • Cover letter (1 x A4 page maximum)
  • CV
  • Copy of academic transcripts (university level qualifications)
  • IELTS/TOEFL English test results (if applicable or available)

Closing date

Friday 21 October 2016, 5:00pm ADST