PhD opportunities in Geochemistry/Extractive Metallurgy

The Geochemistry and Mineral Science (GeMS) research group in the Research Centre for Water, Energy and Waste (WEWR) at the Harry Butler Institute (HBI), Murdoch University, invites applications for two fully funded PhD positions in the fields of isotope geochemistry and extractive metallurgy.

These scholarships are funded by Murdoch University and the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre (FBICRC) as part of the ‘Development of a trusted supply chain for Australian battery minerals and products’ project. The FBICRC brings together nearly 70 industry participants, eight universities, the CSIRO and federal and state governments. Through a six-year research and development program the FBICRC is targeting all segments of the battery value chain to deliver commercial, proprietary outcomes to accelerate industry expansion and grow a vibrant, emerging battery industry sector. FBICRC scholarship holders will form part of the broader FBICRC community, participating in research and participant forums with opportunities to undertake industry internships and collaborate with a range of industry and research partners

The PhD candidates will join a multidisciplinary team of researchers and industry partners to identify geochemical fingerprints in critical minerals and associated products and investigate how processing and refining affect these fingerprints. The expected outcomes will enable tracing of battery minerals, concentrates and chemicals through the supply chain and will increase transparency and sustainable practices.

The successful applicants are expected to work as part of the GeMS team and conduct research at Murdoch University, at the John de Laeter Research Centre at Curtin University, and at the Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis at the University of Western Australia.

Funding bodyFBICRC and Murdoch University
Study levelPhD
Value (including stipends, expenses and top-ups)Tax exempt living allowance of AUD$32,500 per annum
Duration and start date

3.5 years; starting as soon as possible before 01 April 2022.

The positions are for 3.5 years full time, starting as soon as possible before 01 April 2022 and offer a competitive, tax-free stipend. It is expected that Covid-related travel restrictions are lifted before the start date in early 2022. In addition, the successful applicants will be able to obtain support letters from government project participants for prioritisation of their travel to Western Australia.

Application criteria

Eligibility criteria (required)

Applicants must fulfil all eligibility requirements for admission into Higher Degree Research at Murdoch University.

This includes successful completion of at least a 1 year research degree (1st class Honours degree or MSc) in a relevant field of study and meeting Murdoch University’s English language requirements.

Selection criteria (desired)

  • We are seeking highly motivated, results-driven and independent PhD candidates with a first class Honours or MSc degree in earth sciences (completed before the start date) or in related areas such as extractive metallurgy or chemistry.
  • The candidates should be able to demonstrate affinity for high-quality laboratory and analytical work, as well as for writing of publications or research reports.
  • Prior experience in stable isotope analysis by IRMS or MC-ICP-MS and metallurgical process development, particularly precipitation/crystallisation processes, will be highly regarded.
  • Hands-on experience with analytical equipment will be a benefit and should be described in the application documents.
Apply by15 January 2022
To apply

To apply, please submit:

  • a CV including GPA and transcripts of under- and postgraduate degrees,
  • contact details of two referees and
  • a 2-page statement that addresses the above eligibility and selection criteria to Dr Hans Oskierski at

The application deadline is January 15, 2022. Late applications will be considered if the positions have not been filled. We also welcome applications for other critical minerals projects via the Murdoch University Research Training Program Stipends.


For additional information please contact Murdoch project lead Dr Hans Oskierski at