HDR Scholarship - Molecular modelling of bio-based self-healing polymers

Applications now open. A PhD scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'Molecular modelling of bio-based self-healing polymers'.

Project Supervisor

Additional Supervision


Geelong Technology Precinct (GTP), Waurn Ponds Campus

Research topic

This project will use molecular dynamics simulations to model the structure and properties of bio-based self-healing resins, particularly those involving dynamic bonding (including hydrogen bonding). There is a growing focus in the resin area to develop bio-based alternatives to petroleum-based resin products. However, bio-based analogues can suffer from performance issues and the reasons to explain this are not always clear, due to the relative immaturity of these materials in comparison to their petroelum based counterparts. Molecular simulations can predict the molecular-scale structure of these materials and enable clear links to their physical properties.

In this project, a range of bio-based self-healing polymers will be considered, including Schiff-based polymers and bio-derived polyols for making bio-based polyurethanes. The insights from these molecular simulations will provide a strong complement to the experimental activities led by Prof Russell Varley.

Project aim

Bio-based resins are produced from sustainable resources, and so are a key part of the circular economy. Furthermore, self-healing polymers are durable (less susceptible) to degradation. These aspects align strongly with IFM's focus on materials for the circular economy. 

Important dates

Applications will remain open until a candidate has been appointed


This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $28,900 per annum tax exempt (2022 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 either a domestic or international candidate currently residing in Australia. 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.

How to apply

Please apply using the Find a Research Supervisor tool


Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact Prof Tiffany Walsh

Prof Tiffany Walsh
Email Prof Tiffany Walsh
+61 3 522 73116