PhD Scholarships in Computer Science and IT

The School of Science is offering PhD scholarships in computer science and IT to high achieving research students. More information about the relevant research projects can be found below.

Value and duration

The scholarships are valued at up to $25,000 per annum for three years (with a possibility of a six months extension). International candidates may be eligible for a tuition waiver.


To be eligible for these scholarships you must:

  • have an undergraduate or a masters degree in the area of Computer Science or related discipline, with outstanding grades
  • meet the entry requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy
  • show evidence of research ability — e.g. an honours degree, a minor thesis, some publication, or a well-developed preliminary research proposal, developed under the guidance of the supervisor
  • have an interest in cross-disciplinary research and ability to work in a team.

How to apply

  1. Identify the research project (below) you would like to work on.
  2. Email the project supervisor and express your interest.
  3. With approval from the project supervisor, submit your PhD (Computer Science) application.

Open date

Applications are now open.

Close date

Applications will close when a candidate is selected.

Research projects

PhD scholarships are available for PhD research in the following projects.

Spatio-temporal Data Analytics and Prediction with Swarming Drones


Dr Flora Salim

Number of scholarships available

Up to two


The candidate will develop techniques for analysing and inferring spatio-temporal sensor data captured from the drones. The candidate needs to deal with the data sparsity, data quality, and uncertainty issues in multi-dimensional sensor readings from drones. The candidate will also investigate data analysis techniques for profiling and predicting weather and wind phenomena using data collected from drones. Using high-performance techniques for multivariate spatio-temporal prediction, a large volume of historic and near real time highly multidimensional sensor data will be analysed, visualized, and evaluated.

ARC Linkage Project background

In response to the urgent need for more site specific and vertical environmental information to inform the design of sustainable urban design, this project investigates the use of Micro Air Vehicles (drones) equipped with diverse lightweight sensing equipment to gather site specific environmental sensor data. This multidisciplinary team of researchers from RMIT, with Aurecon, one of the world’s leading engineering, design, planning, project management and consulting company and Australian unmanned aerial vehicle specialist UAV-Australia, are proposing to research, for the first time the usage of emerging micro flight technology to gather and analyse large volume of heterogeneous sensor data, over extended time periods and locations, with the aim to inform urban design and planning, and integrate them for urban design and urban computing applications.

Two types of scholarships are available:

1. $7000 top-up scholarship per year for three years, for the recipients of any of the following three scholarships ($29,288/year - tax free).

2. ARC Linkage Scholarship. The scholarship is valued at $25,000 per annum for three years (with a possibility of a six months extension). The selected candidate will also receive a tuition-fee waiver.

Dr. Flora Salim will provide primary supervision.


Email Dr Flora Salim, for further information.

Find out more about this project.

User-Adaptive Search and Evaluation for Complex Information-Seeking Tasks


Associate Professor Lawrence Cavedon

Number of scholarships available



This PhD project will be part of a project involving a world-leading team of Information Retrieval researchers from RMIT University and the University of Melbourne, in collaboration with industry partner SEEK, Australia's leading company providing online job-search services.

The project will focus on developing evaluation methods to understand and characterise search engine users and their situation within complex, multi-faceted search tasks, with job-search being an example. While evaluation of web search engine effectiveness is relatively well understood, measuring information retrieval performance in the context of complex tasks with heterogeneous users is a largely neglected problem.

This project plans to mine user-specific characteristics and situations from complex profiles and interaction logs for online information services run by the industry partner, SEEK. The new techniques are intended to better understand task-oriented search, and have the potential to reinvent the user experience for complex search tasks.

Interested students must have a degree in Computer Science or related field. Some background in Information Retrieval, particularly IR Evaluation, and strong Statistics is beneficial.

Students applying to Australian PhD programs require a minimum of 4 years of previous tertiary study, with a minor research project component that includes a thesis/report of approximately 10,000 words.

The scholarship is for 3 years and provides a stipend of approximately AU$25,000.

International students are welcome to apply although international tuition fees may apply, however, there is a possibility that such fees would be waived.


Email Associate Professor Lawrence Cavedon, for further information.

Data-driven Optimisation for Long-term Cloud Service Composition


Dr Kai Qin and Professor Athman Bouguettaya

Number of scholarships available



Data-driven optimisation is a novel optimisation paradigm which searches for optimal solutions under the guidance of useful information learnt from historical search experiences using machine learning techniques. Search experiences in one problem can be used to facilitate solving other problems via knowledge transfer. This project will develop effective and efficient data-driven optimisation techniques for the selection and composition of cloud services under a long-term economic model-based framework. It aims to assist IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) consumers in optimising their selection of IaaS providers to minimise their long-term costs while meeting their QoS (Quality of Service) expectations, and also to assist IaaS providers in optimising their selection of IaaS requests to maximise their long-term revenue while meeting their consumers' QoS expectations.

The outcomes of this project will lead to an economically viable cloud market facilitating cloud providers to maximise their long-term revenue while aiding cloud consumers to minimise their long-term costs.

Applicants must have:

  • evidence of research ability, e.g. an honours degree, a minor thesis, publication(s), or a well-developed preliminary research proposal, developed under the guidance of the supervisor
  • a strong interest in one or more of the following areas: optimisation, evolutionary computation, machine learning, and cloud computing
  • programming skills using Matlab, C/C++ or Java.


Email Dr Kai Qin, for further information.

Top-up scholarship in Team Behaviour Modelling


Associate Professor John Thangarajah

Number of scholarships available



The aim of this project is to develop a methodology and notation for specifying and designing complex team oriented strategic behaviours. While initially focused on modelling military operations, the methodology can be applied to any complex coordinated system of interacting autonomous entities in the simulated or real world. While there are existing software and systems engineering techniques for specifying and designing safety and security critical systems, no such methodology exist for specifying coordinated tactical behaviour of mixed human and autonomous systems. This research collaboration aims to develop such techniques which lie at the intersection of software engineering, systems engineering and artificial intelligence. The purpose is to lay the ground work for the systematic specification of intelligent systems. Although it is expected the initial application will be for the simulation of complex air operations, it is envisaged that the methodology can be applied to the specification of autonomous behaviour in other (non-military) domains.

Over the last two years, researchers at RMIT University, in collaboration with DSTO, have investigated a Tactical Development Framework (TDF) where the focus was on modelling tactics from an individual agents point of view and did not consider teams of agents or team tactics as it wasn’t critical to submarine application domain. However, team modelling is critical in the area of aerospace simulation. In this project we will extend TDF to incorporate models of teams and team tactics so it can be used in air combat simulations. This requires explicit modelling of team hierarchies, team goals, team plans, team coordination, task delegation etc., and these are currently not captured in TDF. We will investigate the existing approaches to team-based modelling, such as the seminal work of Tambe and team-oriented agent implementations such as Machinetta that have been used in military simulations, and will adapt and extend the necessary concepts to fit within the TDF methodology. Our key aim is to capture the necessary information at the appropriate level of abstraction such that it is easily understood and altered by the domain experts, but is also expressed in sufficient detail to allow pushing into various simulation environments such as VBS3 and OneSAF

This is a top-up scholarship worth $5000 per year for up to 3 years. The ideal candidate is a student with an APA looking for a top-up.


Email Associate Professor John Thangarajah, for further information.


For further information about these scholarships and projects, email Associate Professor Xiaodong Li,