The Forrest Research Foundation

Scholarships

Overview

The Forrest Research Foundation works with our five partner universities to provide PhD scholarship opportunities for world-leading researchers from both across Australia and around the world. We provide our Forrest PhD Scholars with generous financial support, mentoring and professional development opportunities to help them accelerate their career and go further than they imagined possible.

At Forrest Hall, we have created the most stimulating and inspiring learning environment where Scholars can live, learn and share ideas in a multi-disciplinary academic community. 

Forrest Scholars break with convention, push at boundaries, and go further than they imagined possible. They work with their PhD supervisors and research group to be at the forefront of world-leading research in their chosen discipline. Their research has the potential to change the world.

Benefits

Each Forrest Scholar receives a scholarship package that includes fees, a stipend and accommodation at Forrest Hall in a luxury self-contained studio apartment. This scholarship package is valued at over AU$270,000 over a four-year period including:

  • Research Training Program Stipend 

A Research Training Program (RTP) Stipend or equivalent university postgraduate research scholarship stipend valued at between $29,863 – $35,000 per annum in 2023 and indexed annually; the final value to be determined by the enrolling university.; and

  • Accommodation Allowance 

An accommodation allowance valued at $24,128 in 2024 and subject to annual indexation. The allowance is available to cover accommodation costs of a studio apartment at Forrest Hall. If a Forrest Scholar is granted a residency exemption by the Forrest Research Foundation Governors, the accommodation allowance may be used to contribute towards the cost of other residential accommodation. The Forrest Foundation endeavours to provide a 2-bedroom apartment to scholars with resident dependent children (subject to availability); and   

  • Relocation and Research Travel Allowance 

A research and travel allowance of up to $12,000, plus a relocation allowance allowing for economy airfare to Perth for Forrest Scholar and immediate dependants. The research and travel allowance are available for approved research-related expenses, overseas research, and conference travel. 

  • International Forrest Scholars

International Research Training Program (RTP) Fees Offset Scholarship or equivalent university international fee scholarship which covers the full international tuition fees and overseas student health cover. 

  • Domestic Forrest Scholars

Domestic Research Training Program (RTP) Fees Offset Scholarship which provides exemption from the requirement to pay tuition fees for the duration of the scholarship. 

Our Scholars

Current
Scholar
Aidan Archer
Offshore hydrodynamics
Aidan is passionate about understanding our natural world and solving problems to help people and the environment. Driven by his interests in our...
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Current
Scholar
Anna Faber
Synthetic biology
Anna is a passionate scientific all-rounder with three majors in biology, chemistry and high school teacher training. Driven by her excitement for...
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Current
Scholar
Callan Wood
Accreting galactic stellar-mass black holes, relativistic jets, radio astronomy
When matter falls onto a black hole, huge amounts of energy are liberated, which is often redirected into the form of powerful relativistic outflows...
Contact 
Current
Scholar
Carlos J. Toro-Huamanchumo
Cardiometabolic diseases, epidemiology and public health, evidence-based medicine
Carlos is a Peruvian MD epidemiologist and biostatistician, passionate about evidence-based health decision-making. Throughout his professional...
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Current
Scholar
Celina Burkholz
Marine biology
Celina’s PhD project will assess the adaptive capacity of kelp forests in a changing climate. Kelp forests are among the most productive ecosystems...
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Current
Scholar
Claudio Vergara
Hydrogeochemistry
Claudio’s research is focused on understanding how the control of internal and external environmental variables in post closure mining lakes...
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Current
Scholar
Dawid Makosa
Epigenetics
Dawid is a molecular biologist from Poland mainly interested in the biology of aging and single cell brain epigenomics. In his PhD research project,...
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Current
Scholar
Georgia Khinsoe
Computational models for heart valve disease 
Georgia is a biomedical engineer who is deeply passionate about creating research that can be translated into tangible solutions. Her research...
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Current
Scholar
Harrison Caddy
Computational haemodynamics
Harrison is a biomedical engineer with an interest in understanding how the cardiovascular system responds to extreme environments, including...
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Current
Scholar
Jackson Mason Stephens
Mental health and wellbeing
Jackson is a mental health and wellbeing researcher interested in exploring the mental health implications associated with how individuals relate to...
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Current
Scholar
Katharina Froedrich
Linguistics
Katharina is a PhD candidate in the Discipline of Linguistics and a member of UWA’s Language Lab. She has a strong background in sociolinguistics,...
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Current
Scholar
Luka Wright
Marine microbial and plant ecology
Ocean-based biological carbon dioxide removal is currently considered to be an important climate change mitigation strategy and kelp forests are...
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Current
Scholar
Marie Windstein
Spatial ecology of sharks and rays
Marie Windstein is a movement ecologist with two master degrees in environmental management and marine ecology. Her greatest concern for our oceans...
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Current
Scholar
Mingxin Ye
Bioceramic scaffolds for bone regeneration
Titanium implants have been thought to be safe with a high success rate for patients. However, in some cases, there have been reports of...
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Current
Scholar
Molly Schmidt
Creative writing
Molly Schmidt is a writer and journalist from Albany, Western Australia. Her debut novel, Salt River Road, was the recipient of the 2022 City of...
Contact 
Current
Scholar
Nicholas Lawler
Terahertz radiation
Electromagnetic radiation in the terahertz frequency has emerged as a novel candidate for a number of medical techniques including imaging and...
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Current
Scholar
Nicole Feast
Neuropsychology
Nicole is a clinical neuropsychologist who is passionate about assisting others to better understand and enhance their cognitive (i.e., thinking)...
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Current
Scholar
Nishu Tyagi
Spinal cord injury
Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) is a debilitating health condition leading to marked reductions in physical and mental health as well as autonomy and life...
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Current
Scholar
Rachel Newsome
Activity regimes and energetics of the reef manta ray in contrasting seascapes
Developing a new attachment method to deploy multi-sensor “FitBit” tags onto the reef manta ray for the first time to gain insight into their...
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Current
Scholar
Samalka Wijeweera
Salt tolerance mechanisms in metabolism and mitochondrial function in wheat
Samalka is interested in plant improvement to overcome novel agricultural threats and to meet the current food requirement worldwide. Soil salinity...
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Current
Scholar
Thalles Araujo
Oceanography
Thalles is an oceanographer who aims to fill the gap between real-world multidisciplinary oceans and applied math and physics, doing both theoretical...
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Current
Scholar
Tyrone O’Doherty
Black holes and neutron stars
Tyrone investigates and develops methods of finding hidden black holes in our Galaxy, the Milky Way. He is a PhD student at the Curtin Institute of...
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Current
Scholar
Valeria Mendez
Conservation biology
Valeria is a conservation biologist conducting social-ecological research within the coastal protected areas of Western Australia. Her PhD project...
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Current
Scholar
Wei Ming (Sean) Li
Chemistry and cheminformatics
Mass spectrometry (MS) is typically the first step in identification of an unknown compound; when coupled to chromatography, it can provide...
Contact 

Eligibility

Forrest PhD Scholarships are offered to candidates who have exceptional academic profiles, a commitment to engagement and impact, and who have the desire, drive and imagination to undertake doctoral research of the highest standard. Forrest Scholars will be among the top performing students in their undergraduate and graduate cohorts. There are no pre-existing research themes but candidates must undertake research at one of the five Western Australian based universities:

  • Curtin University
  • Edith Cowan University
  • Murdoch University
  • The University of Notre Dame Australia (Fremantle Campus)
  • The University of Western Australia

Eligibility


The grade point average (GPA) of current Forrest Scholars is between 3.95/4.00, with the majority of Scholars having achieved a perfect GPA of 4.00 in their undergraduate and/or graduate degrees. An applicant must have a bachelor’s degree of First-Class Honours standard or equivalent (such as a Master of Research) and will typically be in the top 5% of students in their graduating class.

Key success factors in a research journey are resourcefulness and resilience. The Foundation embraces the concept of ‘mistakability’ – accepting that we all make mistakes and ‘fail’ in some of our endeavours. This could be an experiment that failed because of our own errors or circumstances beyond our control – the question is what have we learnt, how can we apply this knowledge and how can this contribute to our broader work.

Academic excellence is a necessary, but not a sufficient, condition for winning a Forrest PhD Scholarship. You also need to demonstrate deep curiosity about your chosen field of study, a strong desire to communicate to others, your enthusiasm for knowledge and discovery, a commitment to use this knowledge to have a positive impact on the world around us, and the drive and determination to succeed even when faced with obstacles and setbacks.

Your proposed doctoral research should be innovative and exciting. You must discuss your doctoral research plans with your proposed PhD supervisor prior to applying and they must agree to supervise you otherwise you are ineligible to apply. Both the the nominated supervisor of each candidate who is shortlisted for interview and their references will be asked to provide an assessment of the academic performance and research significance of the candidate.

Forrest PhD Scholarships can be held at any of Western Australia’s (WA) five universities and are open to candidates in all subject areas, from any country and nationality. Your research must relate to our region and you must be prepared to respond to the question: why is it important that your research be undertaken in WA and how will the state of WA benefit from your research?

Assessment criteria

  • Applicants must have attained the English language admission standards of their chosen university prior to submitting their application.
    The duration of Forrest PhD Scholarships is up to 4 years, conditional on satisfactory progress.
    Forrest Scholars are expected to reside in an apartment in Forrest Hall (exemptions may be considered in special circumstances in accordance with the Scholarship Conditions).
    While the Foundation has no pre-existing research themes, occasionally we do identify areas to prioritise.

Application process

01
Completed Application Form
02
Curriculum vitae
03
Copies of all academic transcripts
04
Contact details for four referees – three academic (required) and one personal (optional)
05
Passport-sized photograph

Scholarships are available at all five Western Australian universities.

Forrest Scholarships are open to international and domestic students intending on enrolling in a PhD at a Western Australian university.

Note that we employ a multi-stage selection process drawing on the research officers of our partner universities. The final selection of successful applicants is undertaken by a Selection Committee which comprises eminent people from the research and broader communities drawn from the Forrest Research Foundation Selection Panel.

Please read the Scholarship Conditions before applying.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click the “Apply” tab on the Forrest PhD Scholarship web page where you will be directed to the applications portal. This link will only be made available when the scholarship round is open.

All applications must be submitted online through the Forrest Research Foundation application portal. If you experience any issues submitting your application through the portal, contact the Forrest Research Foundation here as soon as possible.

Please note that, in addition to submitting your application through the Forrest Research Foundation application portal, you will also need to submit an application for the Doctor of Philosophy at whichever Western Australian university you are hoping to complete your PhD. Please check the relevant university’s website for specific detail on their closing dates for applications for the Doctor of Philosophy.

The Forrest PhD Scholarship round varies annually but it is usually in the third quarter of each year (typically applications open in July and close in September). We suggest you subscribe to updates from the Forrest Research Foundation, so that you will receive an alert once applications open.

Applicants are required to provide contact details for three referees (at least two should be academic) – please note that referee reports will most likely be required only if you make the interview stage.

You should ask people who will best support your application. Where possible this should include your academic supervisors, colleagues, and key contacts who can provide relevant information about your academic achievements and professional attributes, especially in relation to the selection criteria. You are encouraged to provide referees that are not all from the same organisation, school or faculty. If you choose to nominate personal referees, they should be persons able to comment on personal characteristics and strengths as displayed, for example, in your extra-curricular activities at university, or in your previous employment. Personal referees should not be related to you.

Referees may be contacted directly by the Forrest Research Foundation once the application round is closed. Please note that referee reports will most likely be required only if you make the interview stage.

A Forrest PhD Scholarship may not usually be deferred. The Governors of the Forrest Research Foundation may consider a request for deferral by a successful applicant in extenuating circumstances. You will need to write a letter requesting any deferral directly to the Director of the Forrest Research Foundation, which outlines your specific circumstances, who will then discuss your formal request with the Governors.

There is no “formula” for a successful application. Each application should be about the particular candidate and the proposed research, while ensuring you also address the selection criteria and submit all formal requirements including uploading the documentation.

Remember: we are looking for candidates who are academically excellent, want to be part of our vibrant intellectual community, be curious and have a desire to engage with the public.

It is a requirement that each applicant contact their proposed supervisor to discuss their Forrest PhD Scholarship application and ensure they are willing to supervise you. It is recommended that you undertake this in advance of the application period (i.e., prior to July-September), to ensure that you have sufficient time to secure a potential supervisor and have discussed your planned research project. Applicants who do not have a supervisor will not be considered.

Please note that some universities require that you have more than one supervisor for your enrolment in the Doctor of Philosophy. Be sure to check the conditions carefully of your enrolling university.

The Selection Committee will seek the views of proposed supervisors prior to interviewing shortlisted candidates.

In order to be eligible to apply for a Forrest PhD Scholarship, applicants will need to have a Bachelor’s degree of First-Class Honours or equivalent (such as a Master of Research). You will also need a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.8/4.0. Our applicants are typically in the top 5% of their graduating class, and you are encouraged to bring to the attention of the Selection Committee evidence of your academic achievement. The average GPA of current Forrest Scholars is greater than 3.95/4.00.

The Forrest Scholarship is open to domestic and international students. Successful international students will be offered an International Research Training Program (RTP) Fees Offset Scholarship or equivalent university international fee scholarship awarded by the nominated university.

The Forrest Scholarship Conditions stipulate that, to be eligible, applicants must have applied for PhD enrolment as an internal student based at a Western Australian campus of one of the five specified Western Australian universities and not have been enrolled in the proposed PhD or previously undertaken research towards a PhD or other research doctorate.

No. Forrest PhD Scholarships are open to applicants from all disciplines.

No. Forrest Scholarships applications are a separate scholarship and therefore a separate application needs to be completed for each. Applicants need to ensure they contact their nominated university to discuss making a PhD and International Research Training Program Scholarship or Research Training Program application. Contact details for the different scholarship office can be found here:

Curtin University
Edith Cowan University
Murdoch University
The University of Notre Dame Australia
The University of Western Australia

 

 

Your success will not be determined based on your choice of supervisor or university. It is recommended that you nominate your proposed university and supervisor based on the research environment and facilities that are most relevant to your proposed PhD.

Please note that multiple applications will not be considered.

Applications open September