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AI4Missions PhD Scholarship: Environmental risk factors for antimicrobial resistance

Date: 15-Jan-2023

Location: Adelaide, SA, AU Hobart, TAS, AU

Company: CSIRO

Acknowledgement of Country

CSIRO acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land, sea and waters, of the area that we live and work on across Australia. We acknowledge their continuing connection to their culture and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. View our vision towards reconciliation


The Opportunity

  • ​​​​​​Enhance your PhD studies and kickstart your research career with a CSIRO AI for Missions PhD scholarship
  • Work alongside leading data scientists and engineers in real life projects aimed at solving Australia’s biggest challenges. 
  • Our scholarship students are the next generation research leaders in data science who progress to a diverse range of careers in industry, research and academia


CSIRO has invested $25M over four years in the AI for Missions Program to create novel AI research and technologies that will enable Missions to solve Australia’s greatest challenges. To deliver on this goal we will partner with universities and industry to advance the science, technology and impact of AI to support Missions.

We are inviting applications for the AI for Missions PhD scholarship program for the project ‘Identification of environmental risk factors for antimicrobial resistance using spatio-temporal statistical models.’ We are looking for diverse and creative scholars, who can demonstrate academic and research excellence, and are capable of driving our impactful research projects that help shape Australia’s digital future. Students will have the opportunity to be part of a cohort and participate in the coursework program offered by the Next Generation Graduates Programs. Our previous scholarship recipients are successfully employed in the industry, technology companies and SMEs, universities, and leading research institutes in Australia and around the globe. Our graduates complete the program with a lifelong connection to CSIRO through our alumni network.

For this project, experience in the application of Bayesian spatio-temporal statistical models (ideally) in an environmental domain and a first class honours degree in statistics or data analytics will be highly regarded.

Project Description:
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) poses a global threat. The least-well understood component of the one-health perspective to AMR is the role that the environmental component plays in eventual clinical presentations of AMR. This project proposes a statistical approach that will be applied to a specific freshwater case, but in a way that can be readily generalised to other marine or freshwater applications or case studies. In particular, the project will identify generalisable (surrogate) AMR markers and use them as response variable(s) in a spatio-temporal model that can identify the effect of environmental covariates using observations with point (such as water quality) or areal (such as land use) characteristics.


Project Supervisors: 
Keith Hayes, CSIRO,
Erica Donner, University of South Australia,

Location:  Adelaide or Hobart - the students are expected to spend more than 50% of their time based in CSIRO.
Tenure:  Maximum term of 3.5 years for full scholarship.  
Reference: 84787 


The Scholarship:

  • Scholarships are offered at $40,500 per annum (increases to $42K in year 3) or an optional top-up amount of up to $10,000 per annum.
  • Benefits of up to $5,000 per annum for learning and development funding and $5,000 (total for the term of scholarship) for travel expenses. Tuition fees are not covered.
  • Access to world-class research facilities and excellent tools, support and resources to bring your research to life. 
  • Join the Next Generation Graduate Program cohort that includes support and course works.
  • Connect into an inclusive culture where the diversity of people, experiences and views are valued, and where you will use your skills to help solve complex national and global problems.



  • Need to contact the University supervisor and the CSIRO supervisor to secure their PhD enrolment in the corresponding University.
  • Will be required to obtain and provide a National Police Check or equivalent.
  • International applicants must have the appropriate immigration approvals to allow them to take up the scholarship.
  • Must be residing in Australia in order to commence their PhD and take up the scholarship.
  • Students must start by 31 May 2023 to join the Next Generation Graduate Program cohort. Not meeting that deadline will void the scholarship. No deferment can be permitted.

Scholarship Eligibility

To be eligible for a full scholarship you must have:

  • A first-class honours Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in the relevant research area;
  • Have been admitted in the corresponding Australian University as a PhD student;
  • Minimum of 2 referees willing to provide reference for your academic and research skills/experience.
  • Not already hold or have started a PhD degree. 


Applications will be assessed on

  1. Academic calibre of the student:  The quality of the student is critical to the assessment of a scholarship and candidates must hold (or expect to gain) a relevant first-class honours (or equivalent) degree from a recognised university. 
  2. Research potential of the student:  The student must be able to demonstrate research capability to carry out the nominated research project including required research knowledge and skills.
  3. Availability of appropriate university supervision:  The relevance of the university supervisor’s research background and their willingness to supervise the student in collaboration with the CSIRO’s supervisor should also be made clear.  


Flexible Working Arrangements

We work flexibly at CSIRO, offering a range of options for how, when and where you work. 


Diversity and Inclusion

We are working hard to recruit people from diverse backgrounds and ensure that all our people feel supported to do their best work and feel empowered to let their ideas flourish. 



At CSIRO Australia's national science agency, we solve the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology. We put the safety and wellbeing of our people above all else and earn trust everywhere because we only deal in facts. We collaborate widely and generously and deliver solutions with real impact. 

Join us and start creating tomorrow today!

How to Apply

You will be required to submit your application in the following order:

1.    In the ‘Resume/CV’ field attach your Cover Letter, Resume/CV as one document.
2.    In the ‘Cover Letter’ field attach your Academic Transcripts
3.    In the ‘Education’ section select your university from the Educational Institute list. 


Additional Information for preparing your application

Curriculum Vitae (CV)
Your CV provides an overview of your educational and employment history and your skills. You should include:

Educational history
List all degrees studied in your educational history, indicating the name of the degree, university, years studied and GPA if known. If you completed a thesis as part of your degree, provide its title, the mark and list your supervisor/s.

Employment history
List your employer, your role, duration of employment, duties and achievements.

List any awards received throughout your tertiary study or employment. Do not provide/attach evidence of awards, for example certificates.

Provide a list of publications that have been accepted or published. Do not list publications that are submitted. Do not attach publications/papers to your application. Do not attach your Masters or Honours theses.  

Other information
You may provide other information in the CV that you think is relevant to your assessment, for example, information about research interests, research project experience, or key skills such as coding. 

Academic Transcripts
Provide official transcripts for all university studies as pdf documents, including degrees not completed or abandoned. Provide translated documents where transcripts are in a language other than English. Ensure scans are legible. Do not provide transcripts from high school, testamurs/degree certificates or award certificates.


Applications Close

31 March 2023, 11.00pm AEDT
Applications may close for projects as suitable candidates are found, therefore early applications are strongly encouraged.