PhD scholarship - In-Country PhD Program and Scholarship - Anti-corrosion coating systems for a carbon steel substrate

A PhD scholarship is available in Deakin's Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM).

The PhD student will initiate and conduct research on the topic of ‘Anti-corrosion coating systems for a carbon steel substrate’, under the guidance of Professor Maria Forsyth (Deakin University), Dr Anthony Somers (Deakin University) and Dr Fabiola Brusciotti (Tecnalia).

The successful applicant will be based primarily at Tecnalia in Spain, but will also be required to study at the Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus.

Project aim

The Deakin University (Geelong, Australia) – Tecnalia (San-Sebastien, Spain) In-Country PhD Program and Scholarship offers research students an outstanding opportunity to study internationally, working in an industry-based environment alongside world-class researchers in the field of materials science across two continents.


What is an in-country PhD program?

An in-country PhD program provides students with enrolment in Deakin’s PhD program, based primarily off-campus in a real world industry setting. 

Students are co-supervised by a principal supervisor who is an experienced member of Deakin’s academic research staff and a supervisor from a technology centre (TECNALIA), who is an expert in the field of research. Students are required to meet Deakin’s PhD program requirements.

The Deakin – Tecnalia In-Country PhD Program and Scholarship offers students enrolment in Deakin’s Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM), one of Australia's leading materials research organisations. 

Students complete the majority of the program at Tecnalia, the first privately funded applied research & technology organisation in Spain and one of the leading such centres in Europe. 

Although students are primarily based at Tecnalia in Spain, the program requires periods of study on-campus at IFM in Australia. In the first and third years of the program, students will spend periods of 6 months and 1 week respectively at IFM.

How do students benefit from an in-country PhD program?

The in-country program is a unique way to gain wide-ranging research experience within different academic and industry environments, through co-supervision from an international research team. 

Students also benefit from access to facilities and equipment to conduct experimental work in both university and industry settings, as well as access to unique international dissemination opportunities and research networking, supporting research students’ future career development. 

As a result of the program, students gain unique exposure to different cultural and scientific environments and substantially increase their employability after graduation.

In-country PhD project aim, objectives and supervision

The aim of the PhD project is to develop anti-corrosion coating systems for a carbon steel substrate. 

The objective of the project is to develop a self-repair assembly with controlled release of corrosion inhibitors. The inhibitors should be stored in suitable containers, preventing leaking, and then released in case of corrosion attack. The systems will consist of a hybrid matrix and corrosion inhibitors encapsulated into specific nano/micro-containers.

The PhD project will be co-supervised by Professor Maria Forsyth and Dr Anthony Somers from Deakin University and Dr Fabiola Brusciotti from Tecnalia.

Value and duration


  • Tuition fee coverage for the standard duration of the course (international students)
  • A stipend to support living and accommodation costs for each year of the program, provided by Tecnalia and Deakin as follows:

    Year 1: €25,320 plus a top-up of $3,000AUD

    Year 2: €12,000 plus a top-up of $9,000AUD

    Year 3: €12,000 plus a top-up of $9,000AUD
  • A relocation allowance up to $815AUD to contribute to the cost of relocation to Australia during the first year of the course
  • Overseas Student Health Cover (standard single policy) for international students for periods of study in Australia
  • International student visa fee allowance for periods of study in Australia.


Three years

Important dates


24 March 2017

closing date

15 May 2017

Eligibility criteria

  • Applications are open to Australian/New Zealand citizens, Australian permanent residents and international students.
  • Completion of a major research project within a tertiary program such as a Masters degree, including a thesis in a related area with achievement of a grade for the project equivalent to a Deakin grade of ≥70%; or
  • Masters Degree (Research) in a related area; or 
  • Honours degree with achievement of a grade of ≥ H2A (70-79%) in a related area; or
  • Other entry pathways such as substantial research experience or substantial refereed publications.
  • Mandatory English language skills: IELTS (minimum overall score 6.5, no band less than 6.0), or equivalent (e.g. TOEFL iBT) (minimum overall score 79, writing score 21) and/or previous studies or work experience in English.
  • Please refer to the entry pathways to higher degrees by research for further information.
  • It is desirable that the successful applicant’s prior studies include advanced coursework in a relevant field and initial training in appropriate research methods.

How to apply

Applicants should send copies of the following documents to Dr Anthony Somers and Dr Fabiola Brusciotti by the closing date:

  • a cover letter expressing interest in the program
  • a one page summary research proposal
  • a CV
  • academic transcripts
  • a list of publications or other research outputs. 

Selected applicants will be invited for an interview with Deakin and Tecnalia researchers.

Successful interviewees will be invited to lodge a formal PhD application to Deakin University.

Further information

For further information, please contact:

Deakin University
Dr Anthony Somers via email or phone +61 3 924 68728

Dr Fabiola Brusciotti via email