HDR Scholarship - A study to predict and reduce microplastic shedding in textiles

Applications now open. A PhD scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'A study to predict and reduce microplastic shedding in textiles'.

Project Supervisor


Geelong Technology Precinct (GTP), Waurn Ponds Campus

Research topic

There are limited studies that increase the understanding of mechanisms involved in microplastics and other micropollutants shedding into the environment from fibres, textiles and fabrics. This in turn limits our understanding of how to mitigate or capture these pollutants prior to environmental discharge. This research topic aims to build an increasing library of the physical and chemical processes that contribute to shedding of microplastics from partner organisation products in Australian and international markets. The position will sit within the ARC Research Hub for Future Fibres which includes several industry Partner Organisations seeking to solve real-world problems. The hub focuses on:

  • Sustainability
  • Circular economics
  • Extraordinary functionality

The Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM) is one of the top research institutes in the world for fibre material sciences with globally recognised fibre production and characterisation facilities. The ARC Research Hub for Future Fibres leverages the vast knowledge of our internationally acclaimed academics and researchers to solve real world Industry Partner problems. Greater Geelong is in the top 10% of the fastest growing local government areas (LGA) in Australia and adjacent to the Surf Coast LGA, which has the second fastest growth nationally. Considered the gateway to the Great Ocean Road and home to the Geelong Cats AFL team, the region also boasts magnificent scenery, award winning wineries and famous surf breaks such as Bell Beach. Getting to Melbourne, the largest city in Australia, is easy with convenient public transport options, a modern freeway system and direct domestic/international flights.

Deakin University is committed to the impact themes of:

  • Advancing society, culture and the economy
  • Building safe and secure communities
  • Creating smarter technologies
  • Enabling a sustainable world
  • Improving health and wellbeing

Over 90 nationalities are represented in the Deakin community with the IFM having one of the largest international components at our university. Inclusiveness, understanding and openness to new ideas are core values of all our people.

Project aim

This PhD programme aims to fundamentally investigate:

  • the physical and chemical parameters responsible for microplastic shedding from textiles (especially during the laundering process)
  • how to measure those parameters effectively and develop testing protocols
  • how to identify opportunities to mitigate or capture micropollutants
  • possible solutions to predict the end-of-life of the textiles and/or enhance their lifespan

The project will also seek to enhance the PhD candidate’s skills and knowledge in:

  • a broad range of fibre characterisation and examination techniques available through equipment and expertise
  • problem solving skills to identify opportunities for standardised testing protocols in conjunction with Hub staff and Supervisors
  • collaboration strategies for Deakin University, Hub/IFM staff and industry Partner Organisations
  • team skills and able to work in a multi-cultural research group
  • developing a body of work that furthers the candidate’s own research field and that of the Supervisor/Hub/IFM

Important dates

Applications close 5pm, Sunday 31 July 2023


This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $33,500 per annum tax exempt (2023 rate)
  • Relocation allowance of $500-1500 (for single to family) for students moving from interstate
  • International students only:  Tuition fees offset for the duration of 4 years. Single Overseas Student Health Cover policy for the duration of the student visa.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must:

  • be a domestic or international candidate. Domestic includes candidates with Australian Citizenship, Australian Permanent Residency or New Zealand Citizenship.
  • meet Deakin's PhD entry requirements
  • be enrolling full time and hold an honours degree (first class) or an equivalent standard master's degree with a substantial research component.

Please refer to the research degree entry pathways page for further information.

Additional desirable criteria include:

  • Demonstrated experience of safe working practises in a chemical laboratory
  • Good communication, presentation and writing skills
  • Familiarity with nanomaterial/textile characterisation techniques and knowledge of textile chemistry would be advantageous

How to apply

Please complete the expression of interest form as below. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you will be invited to submit a full application. Please do not contact us unless instructed to do so.


Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact A/Prof Maryam Naebe

A/Prof Maryam Naebe
Email A/Prof Maryam Naebe
+61 3 522 72783