Be part of world-leading quantum research 

Are you considering undertaking a PhD in quantum technology? Apply for Sydney Quantum Academy (SQA) PhD ScholarshipsSQA PhD Scholarships provide a competitive stipend of up to AU$35,000 p.a., access to career development funding and exclusive benefits.

Undertake research with leading quantum experts at SQA’s partner universities: Macquarie University, UNSW Sydney, the University of Sydney,  and the University of Technology Sydney.

Gain access to the SQA PhD Experience Program where you’ll join a growing community of quantum PhD students from across Sydney. Undertake coursework at the four partner universities and benefit from training, seminars and workshops designed to give you a competitive edge in quantum’s future workforce.

Network with the brightest minds in quantum research and enjoy career development opportunities within academia and related industries.

Applications for Round 7 Primary and Supplementary SQA PhD Scholarships are now closed.  You can still apply for a PhD Experience Scholarships (non-stipend) here or join our mailing list to be notified once applications open for Round 8 in April 2023.

You can also express your interest in the upcoming Next Generation Graduates Program for exciting industry-engaged research.  View below for application details and eligibility.

What our PhD students say

Hear from our PhD Scholarship students on the benefits of being part of the Sydney quantum community. View more experiences.

How to apply for a quantum PhD in Sydney

If you’re excited to pursue a quantum PhD at one of our partner universities, we’ve developed a helpful guide on how to apply. It’s full of important information that you need to know before applying for your SQA PhD Scholarship.

To be eligible for an SQA PhD Scholarship, you need to apply for or be enrolled in a full-time PhD program at an SQA partner university.

PhD students working together

Application details

SQA PhD Scholarship candidates will undertake their PhD studies at one of the SQA partner universities: Macquarie University, UNSW Sydney, the University of Sydney, and University of Technology Sydney.

Our main SQA PhD Scholarship program is funded by the New South Wales Government and our four partner universities.  The Next Generation Graduates Program is co-funded by CSIRO, the SQA and industry partners. 

There are 5 streams of SQA PhD Scholarships, including our PhD Experience Scholarship which is non-stipend but provides access to our experience program. 

The SQA Primary Scholarship

  • A stipend worth AU$35,000 per annum (pro rata) for the period of the recipient’s PhD candidature, for a maximum of 4 years (full-time equivalent) 
  • International tuition fees waived for international recipients. Other fees for international recipients, such as visas costs or overseas health cover, may also be covered at the discretion of the University and will be advised at the time of offer.
  • Entry to the SQA PhD Experience ProgramCompletion of the program is required.  
  • Access to SQA career development funding.

The SQA Supplementary Scholarship 

  • A stipend top-up worth the difference of the recipient’s primary PhD stipend and AU$35,000 per annum (pro rata) for the period of their primary PhD stipend 
  • International tuition fees waived or covered for international recipients for any period not covered by their primary PhD stipend scholarship. Other fees for international recipients, such as visas costs or overseas health cover, may also be covered at the discretion of the University and will be advised at the time of offer.
  • A stipend extension worth AU$35,000 per annum (pro rata) for the period of the recipient’s PhD candidature that is not covered by their primary PhD stipend. 
  • Entry to the SQA PhD Experience ProgramCompletion of the program is required. 
  • Access to SQA career development funding.

The SQA Supplementary Extension Scholarship

  • A stipend extension worth AU$35,000 per annum (pro rata) for the period of the recipient’s PhD candidature that is not covered by their primary PhD stipend. 
  • International tuition fees waived or covered for international recipients for any period not covered by their primary PhD stipend scholarship. Other fees for international recipients, such as visas costs or overseas health cover, may also be covered at the discretion of the University and will be advised at the time of offer.
  • Entry to the SQA PhD Experience Program. Completion of the program is required.  
  • Access to SQA career development funding.

The SQA PhD Experience Scholarship

The Next Generation Graduates Program Scholarship

  • A stipend worth AU$40,500 per annum (pro rata) for a period of 3.5 years for an industry-engaged research project.
  • A 6-month internship with an industry partner, during which you will be paid your scholarship stipend.
  • A training allowance worth AU$5,000 per annum for three years, for a maximum total of AU$15,000.
  • A travel allowance worth AU$5,000 total.
  • A thesis allowance worth AU$840 total.
  • Access to an 11-week coursework program designed, led, and managed by Data61, which will include keynote speakers from leaders in industry and academia and provide real world problems and examples.
  • Entry to the SQA PhD Experience Program.

For all SQA Scholarships: 

  • You are expected to apply for or be enrolled in a full-time PhD program at an SQA partner university. PhD projects must be in a field related to quantum technology. Please note you will not be offered an SQA PhD scholarship unless you have a PhD offer of admission. 
  • You must have the support of an academic staff member at one of the partner universities. To help you find a potential supervisor, view our list of the latest quantum research opportunities or search our Sydney Quantum Expert list. For more guidance, view our guide on How to apply for a quantum PhD in Sydney.

For the SQA Primary Scholarship: 

  • Scholarships are open to Australian citizens, permanent residents, and international applicants.
  • You must not hold another primary PhD stipend scholarship (for example, a Research Training Program (RTP) or equivalent scholarship). 
  • You must be a student who has commenced or is due to commence your PhD studies from July 2022 - July 2023. International students may also commence in the second half of 2023. Students who commenced in July 2022 or prior are not eligible.

 For the SQA Supplementary Scholarship: 

  • Scholarships are open to Australian citizens, permanent residents, and international applicants.
  • You must hold, or have an offer to hold, a primary PhD stipend scholarship (for example, a Research Training Program (RTP) or equivalent scholarship). 
  • The scholarship value of your primary PhD stipend must not exceed the value of AU$33,000 per annum.
  • You must be a student who has commenced or is due to commence your PhD studies from July 2022 - July 2023. International students may also commence in the second half of 2023. Students who commenced in July 2022 or prior are not eligible.

 For the SQA Supplementary Extension Scholarship: 

  • Scholarships are open to Australian citizens, permanent residents, and international applicants.
  • You must hold, or have an offer to hold, a primary PhD stipend scholarship (for example, a Research Training Program (RTP) or equivalent scholarship).  
  • Your primary PhD stipend scholarship must be of a length less than 4 years (full-time equivalent). 
  • The scholarship value of your primary PhD stipend may exceed the value of AU$33,000 per annum.  
  • You must be a student who has commenced or is due to commence your PhD studies from July 2022 - July 2023. International students may also commence in the second half of 2023. Current students who commenced in June 2022 or prior may be considered at the discretion of the applicant’s university. 

 For the SQA PhD Experience Program Scholarship: 

  • Scholarships are open to Australian citizens, permanent residents, and international applicants.
  • You can be a student at any stage of your PhD at an SQA partner university, although you must have at least an unconditional offer of admission at the time of application. We strongly recommend you apply after you are already enrolled.

For the Next Generation Graduates Program Scholarship: 

  • Scholarships are open to Australian citizens and permanent residents of Australia.
  • You must not hold another primary PhD stipend scholarship (for example, a Research Training Program (RTP) or equivalent scholarship).
  • You must be a student who has commenced or is due to commence your PhD studies from July 2022 - July 2023.
  • Your research project needs to be industry-engaged with one of our partners. More information on this to be provided soon. 

We encourage applicants based overseas to apply. If you are based overseas, and not currently an Australian resident or holder of a permanent resident visa, your application will be considered for the main SQA scholarship program. However, any offer will be dependent on the border restrictions in place by the Australian Government in response to COVID-19. You may be able to commence your studies overseas if you have support from your supervisor and university, and have received your visa, however, you may not be able to start receiving scholarship payments until you arrive in Australia and/or have an Australia bank account.  Please check with your university for further information on offshore commencement.

Stipend Scholarships (Primary, Supplementary and Supplementary Extension)

Supporting documentation

To be considered for a stipend scholarship, please upload the following documents with your application. This supporting documentation must be contained in a single pdf (not a portfolio).

  • Project proposal
  • Academic transcript(s)
  • CV
  • Any other information supporting your application

Please read the SQA PhD Scholarship Application Guidelines and SQA PhD Scholarship Conditions of Award carefully before applying.

Please note: Failure to follow the guidelines will lead to your application not being considered.

Supervisor endorsement

When you submit your application, an email will be sent to your proposed supervisor for them to complete a supervisor endorsement form. In order to receive an endorsement, you need to have previously communicated with your proposed supervisor, and they must have agreed to supervise you.

To help you find a potential supervisor, view our list of the latest quantum research opportunities or search our Sydney Quantum Expert list. For more guidance, view our guide on How to apply for a quantum PhD in Sydney.

PhD Experience Program Scholarship (non-stipend)

The application process for the PhD Experience Scholarship does not require supporting documentation. In the application form you will be asked for details about yourself and your PhD - including a brief description of your research project/area (max 200 words).

You will also need the support of your supervisor, and they will asked to endorse your application once completed.

Next Generation Graduates Program

The Next Generation Graduates Program Scholarship will have alternate conditions of award according to its funding scheme, that are currently in development. You will have an opportunity to review the conditions of award once applications officially open for this program.

There are specific industry partners connected to this program. To be considered for this scholarship, you will need to have a project and relevant potential supervisor that will engage one of these industry partners. More information will be provided here soon. 

Our Sydney network of quantum experts are seeking PhD, Honours and Master students to work on a variety of quantum science and technology research projects. Projects suit both experimentalists or theorists, and driven individuals with backgrounds across a range of disciplines such as physics, computer science, engineering, chemistry or mathematics.

To help you find a potential supervisor, view our list of the latest quantum research opportunities now.

Stipend Scholarships (Primary, Supplementary and Supplementary Extension)

Applications will be assessed based on:

  • Candidate experience including academic merit, experience in quantum technology and / or any professional expertise
  • Quality of the proposed project including relevance to quantum technology and / or alignment to the research strengths of the proposed partner institution
  • Alignment of the application to SQA objectives including industry engagement, cross-institutional supervision and / or the potential to contribute to the growth of Sydney’s quantum ecosystem.

Consideration will also be given to supervisor capacity, diversity of applicants and the diversity of the proposed supervisors (early to mid-career supervisors and supervisors who identify as women).

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.

Applications will be assessed by researchers and academics within the four partner universities through a competitive assessment process. You should ensure that all information conveyed in your application can be understood by someone within and outside your sub-discipline.

For the Next Generation Graduates Program, there may be additional criteria. More information on this will be provided when the application round opens. 

What is SQA career development funding (CDF)? 

All SQA scholarship students (Primary, Supplementary, Supplementary Extension and PhD Experience) will have access to a pool of SQA career development funds held locally at your university. The approval processes and availability of funds will depend on your university who manage the process.  

The intention of this funding is not to replace funding you may already be eligible to receive (e.g., you may already have support for a laptop from your research group), but rather to provide you with opportunities you may not have been able to access without the SQA CDF - such as specialist training. 

Next Generation Graduates Program Scholarship students will have their own travel and training allowance, and thus will not have access to the SQA CDF pool.

 

How do I know which stipend scholarship type I am eligible for? 

The eligibility requirements are listed above, but you do not need to declare which scholarship type you want to apply for. According to the answers you provide in your application, we will work out which stipend scholarship type (Primary, Supplementary, Supplementary Extension) you are eligible for.  

For the Next Generation Graduates Program, you will have an option in the application form to express your interest in this scholarship. 

 

Can I apply for both the SQA PhD scholarships and submit an EOI to the Next Generation Graduates Program Scholarship at the same time?

Yes, you can. In the application form, you will be asked which scholarship schemes you wish to apply/submit an EOI for, and you can select either one or both.

 

The Next Generation Graduates Program Scholarship are currently expressions of interest only – what does that mean?

This means that the program establishment is in development, but we are opening up to students to express their interest. If you submit an EOI, we’ll make sure you’re kept in the loop with the program opportunities.

We have combined the EOI form with the normal SQA PhD Scholarships application form so you don’t have to fill out two different forms if you are interested in both. There is also a Next Generation Graduates Program EOI only form, if you are not also interested in applying to our other scholarship streams.

The details you supply in your EOI will be confirmed with you when the Next Generation Graduates Program application round opens to check if you would like to officially submit those details, or if you would like to make any updates.

 

How many rounds are there per year? 

We typically hold two application rounds per year – one in ~April and another ~September. You can sign up to our mailing list to stay updated when rounds open. 

How do I know if my research area sufficiently relates to quantum tech? 

As quantum tech can span various disciplines and areas, the best person to answer this question is your proposed supervisor. 

My supervisor is not on the SQA expert list – does this matter? 

You are most welcome to apply with a supervisor who is not on the SQA expert list, but you still must have a supervisor from an SQA university and the project must be sufficiently related to quantum tech.  

Do I have to come to Australia, or can I do my PhD entirely remotely and apply for a scholarship? 

As per the requirements of your university candidature (see their degree resolutions for details), you will need to do your PhD largely in Australia. You may be able to be overseas for a period within this or commence offshore for a period of time. If you are an international student, you will need an Australia visa granted before you can enrol.  

What are the selection criteria? 

Details are available above – under ‘How will my application be assessed?’ 

Is there an IELTS requirement for a scholarship application? 

There is no SQA specific requirement for IELTS. You will need to adhere to the IELTS requirements of your chosen SQA university however, to be admitted for your PhD. SQA university PhD admission will be required to receive your scholarship, should you be awarded.  

Do I need to include my co-supervisor in my application? 

It is not required if you have not organised a co-supervisor at the time of application. You are most welcome to note your co-supervisor in your application if you have one organised. 

Can I start my application form and save it to finish it later? 

Depending on your browser – it should remember you and let you return to the same spot. However, if you open it up on a different browser or device, it likely won’t remember you, so make sure to keep a copy of anything you worry about losing to be safe.  

I’ve accidentally submitted something incorrect on my application – how do I update this? 

If you submit multiple applications, we will use the latest application you submitted before the deadline in the assessment and selection process. If you are having trouble accessing the form after your first submission (i.e., the link takes you to a thank you for submitting page), if you open the link using a different browser application (e.g. Firefox instead of Chrome) and it should let you access the form anew. 

Alternatively, you can also email info.sqa@sydney.edu.au with your updated information. 

Can I apply for an SQA scholarship and another scholarship at the same time? 

Yes, you can. However, should you be successful for another scholarship it may change your eligibility in terms of SQA scholarship types. For example, should you receive a non-SQA primary stipend (e.g., an RTP) since your application, you would no longer be eligible for an SQA Primary Scholarship, but you still may be eligible for an SQA Supplementary Scholarship. 

Can I do an internship during my PhD? 

For the SQA PhD Scholarships, we are very supportive of you doing an internship during your candidature – we have more information on internships here.  

Note, you will likely need to get approval from your supervisor and university and follow any of their requirements.  

For the Next Generation Graduates Program Scholarship, you will be required to complete a 6-month internship.

Can I get a second extension (past 4 years) if my thesis is delayed? 

In general, no. This is due to most university degree resolutions stating that four years full time (not including extended leave or suspensions of study) is the maximum candidature length. See your university’s degree resolutions for details. 

Can I reapply if I am unsuccessful? 

Yes, you are most welcome to reapply in future rounds, as long as you still fulfil the eligibility criteria.  

Can I get feedback on my application? 

Unfortunately, we cannot provide feedback on your application.  

Can I apply if I am a cotutelle students with an SQA university and another university? 

Yes, you can apply. Should you be successful however, the SQA PhD Scholarship stipend would only cover the period you are in Sydney and based at the SQA university. 

 

I have another question not answered here – who can I ask? 

Please email info.sqa@sydney.edu.au and we will get back to you as soon as possible. 

Stipend Scholarships (Primary, Supplementary and Supplementary Extension)

Please note Applications for Round 7 are now closed. Please sign up to our mailing list to be notified once Round 8 opens in April 2023.

PhD Experience Program Scholarship (non-stipend)

Applications are open all year round. Apply here.

Next Generation Graduates Program Scholarship

Round 1 is now open for expressions of interest hereThe Next Generation Graduates Program is co-funded by CSIRO, the SQA and industry partners.

Image courtesy of the University of Sydney.