Student Scholarships

Bright Spark PhD Top Up Scholarship opportunities are available!

Click here to apply now!

Scholarship – Closing 31 October 11:55 pm AEDT

The Bright Spark Top Up Scholarship is valued up to $10,000 per annum.

The minimum award is $5,000 per annum.

The value of the award is to be determined at the discretion of the supervisor. TMOS evaluates the pay conditions of its students and staff to support equity across the Centre.

In addition to the Bright Spark Top Up Scholarship, the student will receive $5,000 during the lifetime of their project for professional development.

Additionally, there will be opportunities for students to receive high-end training in science communication, industry internships, national and international academic placements, and access to conference awards, travel fellowships and support for carers.

We especially encourage applications from people who identify as women, LGBTQI+, and from First Nations Peoples in Australia and globally, to join us as the future leaders of the meta optical revolution.

Information on the Bright Spark Process:

The Bright Spark process is currently seeking expressions of interest for 2021/2022 PhD students.

If you have not already enrolled with one of our five participating universities, you will be required to do so to be eligible for a top up scholarship. We will only award scholarships to students that successfully enroll in a PhD program with a supervisor within TMOS.


To be eligible to apply you must have (or expect to gain):

  • First or upper second-class honours or equivalent such as Masters in science, physics, or engineering
  • Receive admission to one of the TMOS participating universities as a PhD student
  • Receive a visa to study in Australia if an international student
  • Awarded a primary scholarship*
  • Be available to commence with TMOS no later than October 2022
  • Have identified a university supervisor within TMOS

*Discussions regarding a primary scholarship may be entered into for exceptional candidates, particularly candidates from underrepresented groups.


  • The eligibility criteria are met e.g., the student has or is likely to receive first class honours or equivalent (Masters) and they are likely to or have entered a PhD program in a participating university
  • The quality of the student’s track record relative to opportunity
  • The availability of supervision for the student in alignment with the students’ skills and preferences for supervisors, location, and research project.

Our Commitments

As a PhD student, TMOS will provide you:

  • a cross-university PhD supervisory panel based on your chosen Research Theme to build cross-disciplinary skills.
  • a mentor from an external university for regular discussions on research, networking, and career advice.
  • numerous career development opportunities, through workshops on topics such as research ethics, leadership, scientific communication, thesis and grant writing, job interviews, technology transfer, entrepreneurship, IP and commercialisation and more.
  • access to industry internship opportunities with TMOS industry partners, as well as student exchange opportunities with top international universities.
  • a strong engagement with a wide range of outreach activities.
  • access to Centre-funded travel grants and scholarships.

We know from experience that diversity with inclusion improves our ideas and supports better outcomes for everyone.

Along with other initiatives, our Centre-funded carers grants to participate in professional activities will also be open to PhD students.

Apply now!

Where can you do your PhD with TMOS?

TMOS is hosted at five university locations in Australia:

  • The Australian National University (Canberra, headquarters)
  • The University of Melbourne (Melbourne)
  • University of Technology Sydney (Sydney)
  • The University of Western Australia (Perth)
  • RMIT University (Melbourne)
Team based collaborative research in a lab

Our Research Program

TMOS has three Research Themes on the science of light generationmanipulation and detection in nanostructured materials.

Our PhD research topics include:

  • Nano-lasers and nanolaser arrays
  • Nonlinear metasurfaces and nanoantennas
  • Quantum nanoscale sources and meta-optics
  • Holographic and neuromorphic meta-optics
  • Tuneable meta-optics
  • Multimodal detection
  • Infrared nanoscale detectors

…and anything else your imagination desires within the scope of transformative meta optics!

Apply now!

Experiments probing the forefront of optics