La Trobe University - IIT Kanpur Joint PhD Program Scholarship


Per annum, for three and a half years. Fee relief additional.

Opening date

Closing date



Who is it for?

Future PhD candidates, Australian Citizen, Permanent Resident, New Zealand Citizen

Where is it available?

Melbourne Campus

How is it paid?

Fortnightly stipend


La Trobe University is offering a graduate research scholarship for students to undertake a joint PhD with IIT Kanpur, India.

The IIT Kanpur-La Trobe University Research Academy is a globally recognised research partnership formed between the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur and La Trobe University that brings the two organizations' research capabilities together to build a critical mass of resources and researchers who work with industry and Government to address the sustainability and liveability issues facing global communities. PhD students in our Joint Doctoral Degree Program will have opportunity to work across both countries on a solution-driven approach to a problem identified under ten multidisciplinary themes related to the Smart Cities development. Opportunities for collaboration with industry is considered a key to success in solving some of the research, development and deployment challenges under various theme areas. Find out more:

Applications for this scholarship are now open to Australian or New Zealand citizens or Australian permanent residents newly enrolling in a PhD. The application deadline is 31 March 2024.

Students undertaking the joint PhD program will be enrolled in a PhD at both institutions. Your supervisory team will comprise of academic staff from both institutions who will provide support and guidance throughout your research. As a student enrolled at both La Trobe and IIT Kanpur, you will have access to services and support provided by both institutions, including a range of professional and personal development programs.

You will begin your studies at La Trobe University where you will spend the majority of your time, but with an expectation that you will spend typically 12 months at IIT Kanpur. Travel to and study at the host institution will be subject to the usual immigration requirements.

The joint PhD includes a tailored program of progress monitoring to fulfil the requirements of both institutions. All candidates will write and submit a thesis for defence by oral examination. On successful completion of the program requirements, you will be awarded a PhD jointly by both institutions.

The successful applicant can commence at any time between 1 July and 30 November 2024, at a La Trobe University campus, and willing to spend typically 12 months based at IIT Kanpur, India.

Available projects

There is a single joint PhD scholarship available in the mid-year round, competitively awarded with selection based on academic merit and suitability to the project. Please contact the lead supervisor for more information about this project.

Project: Machine Vision Techniques for Robot Water Tank Inspection Systems (IITK-24005)

Lead supervisor: Dr Robert Ross

Other supervisor: Dr Abhilash Patel (IITK)

Clean water is an essential ingredient in the prevention of disease and flourishing of society around the world. Both Australia and India face significant challenges around water scarcity. Australia is well known for droughts as the driest continent on earth. India faces problems around inadequate water pressure, pollution and supply across mega cities. Prior to being distributed out to residences and businesses, water is commonly stored in large (>100KL) water storage tanks. These tanks vary in construction including welded steel, bolted steel, concrete and plastic. These water tanks are key assets which need to be protected from contamination and degradation by water authorities. Regular tank inspection currently performed to assess both structural integrity and ingress points for contaminates or vermin which can cause dangerous degradation to the water supply of a region. Currently, most inspections are performed manually in a time-consuming process which can be slow, subjective, dangerous, difficult to measure degradation over time and difficult to assess all areas of the water tanks requiring inspection.

A PhD candidate will be involved in design of robotic sensor systems and machine vision to perform condition assessment of water storage tank assets in a manner which improves safety, performance and traceability for these critical pieces of infrastructure.

Benefits of the scholarship

  • a stipend for up to three and a half (3.5) years, with a value of $34,000 per annum (2024 rate)
  • a Research Training Program - Fees Offset scholarship covering tuition fees for up to four (4) years.
  • a travel allowance to assist with travel between Melbourne and Uttar Pradesh, India and personal expenses while resident in the India
  • an allowance to relocate to Melbourne to commence the degree and publication/thesis allowance or RTP allowance
  • opportunities to work with outstanding researchers at La Trobe and IIT Kanpur, and have access to our suite of professional development programs

Are you eligible to apply?

To be eligible to apply for this scholarship, applicants must:

  • meet the Doctor of Philosophy entry requirements
  • not be receiving another scholarship greater than 75 per cent of the stipend rate for the same purpose
  • be an Australian or New Zealand citizen or Australian permanent resident.

In selecting successful applicants, we prioritise applications from candidates who:

  • will be enrolled full-time
  • have completed a Masters by Research or other significant body of research, such as an honours research thesis or lead authorship of a peer-reviewed publication, assessed at a La Trobe Masters by research standard of 75 or above

How to apply

Applicants should follow the following steps to apply to La Trobe University. Selected applicants will then be invited to subsequently apply for admission into the PhD program at IIT Kanpur.

  • review the scholarship eligibility requirements above
  • contact the nominated lead supervisor to obtain their in-principle agreement for you to apply
  • review and follow the steps in how to apply for candidature and submit your application by 31 March 2024
  • when prompted to select a scholarship in the application portal, select 'Graduate Research - Mid-year Scholarship Round' and include the relevant project code (IITK-24---)

Who to contact for further information

Graduate Research School,