Current PhD Scholarships

Current PhD Scholarships

The MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology is New Zealand’s premier research organisation in materials science and nanotechnology. PhD studentships are now open across our research areas and partnership institutions. Successful candidates will become members of the MacDiarmid Institute, a national Centre of Research Excellence which provides collaborative opportunities and a thriving environment to work in.


As a MacDiarmid Institute PhD student you will be encouraged and financially supported to take advantage of the many opportunities we provide to broaden your experience and skills. Activities on offer include

  • 3-6 month industry internships
  • annual multi-day workshops on specialist topics such as communication, commercialisation and leadership
  • intensive annual multi-day bootcamps (held in remote and beautiful locations) where experts share their knowledge in an important current research area, and
  • outreach events, working with school teachers or children.


The MacDiarmid Emerging Scientists Association (MESA), run by students and postdocs, organizes additional activities.


Each scholarship is worth NZD$27,000  per annum (not taxed) and includes all student fees. Come to New Zealand to enjoy the best of life and science! 


For more details on specific projects, deadlines, etc – contact the appropriate MacDiarmid Institute Investigator  from the list below.



Functional Nanomaterials

Professor Cather Simpson School of Chemical Sciences University of Auckland Laser Micromachining for Tailored Surface Properties

Professor David Williams School of Chemical Sciences The University of Auckland

Functional nanostructures assembled by peptide and protein templating
Dr Geoff Willmott The Departments of Physics and Chemistry The University of Auckland

Polymer and metallic surfaces for interfacing with soft matter and photovoltaics

Dr Geoff Willmott The Departments of Physics and Chemistry The University of Auckland

Nanomechanics of individual soft nanoparticles

Professor Jadranka Travas-Sejdic School of Chemical Sciences University of Auckland  Capturing and detecting rare biological markers of diseases
Professor Penny Brothers School of Chemical Sciences University of Auckland Synthesis of conjugated molecules and magnetic particles for nanomaterials applications
Professor Sally Brooker Department of Chemistry University of Otago Design, synthesis and attachment of functional molecules to surfaces


Associate Professor Geoff Waterhouse School of Chemical Sciences University of Auckland 2D semiconductor photocatalysts for solar H2 production and CO2 reduction
Professor Shane Telfer IFS-Chemistry Massey University, Palmerston North

Synthesis of New Multicomponent Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) 

MOFs are an exciting class of porous materials with a raft of applications. The project will focus on the design, synthesis, and characterisation of MOFs for gas storage and separations.  Novel spectroscopic techniques will be employed to gain insight into the MOF structure and functional properties.The position is ideal for a student wishing to acquire expertise in a range of areas such as synthetic chemistry, crystallography, and materials characterisation.

Professor Thomas Nann School of Chemical and Physical Sciences Victoria University of Wellington Nanomaterials for new battery concepts
Professor Eric Le Ru School of Chemical and Physical Sciences Victoria University of Wellington Probing the dynamics of the optical absorption of molecules on metallic nanoparticles
Associate Professor Justin Hodgkiss School of Chemical and Physical Sciences Victoria University of Wellington Ultrafast spectroscopy of perovskite PV materials
Professor Paul E. Kruger Department of Chemistry University of Canterbury  Metal-organic frameworks for energy related projects
Professor Keith Gordon Department of Chemistry University of Otago Spectroscopy of energy materials

Tomorrow’s Electronic Devices

Dr Grant Williams School of Chemical & Physical Sciences Victoria University

Experimental study of complex quantum fluids

Dr Natalie Plank School of Chemical & Physical Sciences Victoria University of Wellington Nanomaterial and neuromorphic device platforms for sensing
Professor Simon Brown Department of Physics and Astronomy University of Canterbury

Fundamental properties of nanoscale topological insulators 


Professor Simon Brown Department of Physics and Astronomy University of Canterbury

A computerchip that thinks like a brain

Professor Roger Reeves Department of Physics & Astronomy University of Canterbury The optical response of surface modified metal-oxide semiconductors
Associate Professor Martin Allen Electrical & Computer Engineering University of Canterbury

Fundamental properties and transparent electronic device applications of SnO

Professor Alison Downard Department of Chemistry University of Canterbury

Surface Modification of Metal Oxides for Transparent Electronics

Dr Andreas Markwitz National Isotope Centre GNS Science

A new family of diamond-like carbon materials for tomorrow’s electronic devices