Student Research Opportunities

The University of South Australia’s (UniSA) new multi-million dollar Future Industries Institute (FII) focuses on building knowledge and capacity in core future industries. The Institute combines and builds from the established research capability and reputation of the former Ian Wark Research Institute, Mawson Institute and Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation, and extends into other complementary research capabilities within the University's Division of Information Technology, Engineering and the Environment and across the university.  

Located in the city of Adelaide, the Future Industries Institute is a short 15km north of the city centre, located in the newly developed area of "Mawson Lakes". The Future Industries Institute operates from three new, purpose built buildings, equipped with state of the art laboratories and equipment. We currently have around 250 staff/PhD students, all specialising in aspects of Environmental Science and Engineering, Energy and Advanced Manufacturing, Minerals and Resources Engineering and Biomaterials Engineering and Nanomedicine.

Project Areas

We have projects available in four main strand areas;

Environmental Science and Engineering

environmental risk assessment and remediation, nanoparticles in the environment, microbial ecology

Energy and Advanced Manufacturing

thin film coatings, electromaterials, surface characterisation and analysis

Minerals and Resources Engineering

surface and interfacial chemistry, flotation, leaching, solvent extraction, process intensification, physical separation, flocculation/sedimentation, process water and energy use, surface spectroscopies/microscopies, synchrotron science applications.

Biomaterials Engineering and Nanomedicine

biomaterials, porous materials, surface engineering, biosensors, biointerfaces, high-throughput screening, tissue engineering and cell therapy

It is recommended that you review the Researchers pages to see the work they are undertaking and discuss potential visiting student projects.  Students will be selected on their background and suitability for the project. 

Visiting International Students (up to 12 months)

The Future Industries Institute hosts students from overseas institutes from six weeks to 12 months undertaking projects relevent to their program needs and the students interests (note we recommend a minimum stay of six months to undertake research project).

Students must be either in their final year of studies or recently completed within previous 12 months.  Internships may be either unpaid or paid a stipend during your placement (this will be covered in your offer letter).

Students should note:

  • Travel and accommodation arrangements are the sole responsibility of the student.
  • Travel costs and living expenses are your own responsibility. You should ensure that you have sufficient funds on arrival to cover at least the first four weeks of your accommodation, including any bond you may be asked to pay and living expenses during this time. A bond is usually the equivalent of 2-4 weeks rent.
  • Ensure that you can bring a laptop computer with you (making sure it is not more than 5 years old). The Institute may be able to assist students who do not own a laptop computer for a limited period of time but this cannot be guaranteed. 
  • You are expected to organise and maintain health insurance to avoid unexpected medical expenses. You should ensure your insurance will provide at least the level of coverage required for your purpose of stay. Your health insurance cover does not have to be held with an Australian insurer and arrangements made in your home country may be assessed as being acceptable.  This requirement may not apply to you if your country has a reciprocal health care agreement with Australia, and you are enrolled with Medicare. See: Medicare Australia Health Care for Visitors to Australia

Visiting students ‘How to apply’

International students are invited to apply for an Visiting International Student placement;

  1. Email your CV and research interest directly to one of our researchers in your area of interest and discuss a suitable project, timelines (dates and length of stay), IELTS or english language level, remuneration opportunties etc.
  2. Once the researcher is happy with the details they will make contact with the FII Administrative team to start the process. You will receive an official offer letter for placement which contains further details and instructions (please do not act on just an email confirmation from your supervisor – you must have the official offer letter for your visa application).

For further information please contact:  Future Industries Institute (

Undergraduate, Summer Internship, Masters by Research and PhD Projects

Students interested in undertaking either an Undergraduate final year research project or summer internship, Masters by Research or PhD should contact the project area directly to discuss available projects and find a suitable supervisor.

Vacation Scholarships

Are you an undergraduate student curious about research? Do you want to find out whether doing research in your field of study is your future career direction? 

If you are in your second, third, fourth or honours year and have a strong academic record, a Vacation Research Scholarship may be for you. Students from other Australian Universities are welcome to apply.

These scholarships give you the opportunity to earn $300 a week undertaking research for up to 8 weeks with experienced researchers, usually between November and February, in a recognised research institute or centre within the University. The scholarships are offered annually, with applications for 2019-20 closing on 13 September 2019.

For more information, navigate to the Future Industries Institute via the Information Technology, Engineering and the Environment link on the Vacation Research Scholarships page.