Opportunities for prospective PGR students

Opportunities for postgraduate research students and visitors


UNSW, with its main campus located in Sydney – one of the world’s most livable and attractive cities – is a leading Australian teaching and research university, with over 52,000 students, including over 13,000 international students, and more then 5,000 staff. UNSW is consistently ranked by the Times Higher Education Supplement as Australia's top Technological University, one of the world’s top 50 universities in the QS rankings, first in Australia in the Shanghai Jiao Tong rankings, and top research university in the state of New South Wales. UNSW is a foundation member of the Group of Eight leading research universities in Australia, the Universitas 21 international consortium, and a member of the GlobTech alliance.

The UNSW Faculty of Engineering is the largest and most diverse of its type in Australia. It offers a wide choice of undergraduate and postgraduate programs in Civil & Environmental Engineering, Electrical Engineering & Telecommunications, Computer Science & Engineering, Mining Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering & Industrial Chemistry, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, and Photovoltaic & Renewable Energy Engineering. The Faculty has approximately 10,000 students, almost 7,500 of which are undergraduate students.

The School of Civil & Environmental Engineering is the largest and most successful school of its kind in Australia and is a dynamic and integral part of the Faculty of Engineering, itself consistently ranks as the best in Australia. It has about 1,800 undergraduate students, 600 postgraduate coursework students, and over 200 higher degree (masters/PhD) students. The school is also home to a strong Satellite Navigation & Positioning (SNAP) research laboratory. SNAP is a cross-disciplinary group that links researchers and facilities from the Schools of Civil & Engineering (Surveying & Geospatial Engineering group) and Electrical Engineering & Telecommunications (Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research).

SNAP Research Topics

The SNAP research themes are:

  • Geodetic infrastructure and analysis
  • Satellite navigation receiver design and signal processing
  • Multi-GNSS studies
  • Personal and indoor positioning
  • Multi-sensor integration
  • Precise GNSS positioning technology and applications

Postgraduate Study Opportunities

We are looking for special people to carry out exciting research in the research themes listed above. Why not do a PhD or Research Masters degree with us?

Are you:

  • Passionate about geospatial technologies (and their applications) such as GNSS technology and applications, geodesy and precise positioning, GNSS measurement algorithms, navigation systems, or signal processing?
  • Prepared to work hard and make an impact as a researcher in a fast moving field?
  • Have expertise in software development, electronics, mathematics, statistics or geodesy?
  • Keen to work within a team, and perhaps in collaboration with outside partners?
  • Articulate, ambitious, and possessing of a forward-looking and confident personality?

We are looking for postgraduate students with the appropriate qualities and skills to join our various research teams. Expertise and qualifications in any of the following are especially welcomed: civil & environmental engineering, surveying, geospatial information systems, electrical engineering or telecommunications, computer science or engineering, mechanical engineering, mathematics and physics.

SNAP staff are world class researchers in their fields. For example, Professor Chris Rizos is an expert on high precision GNSS for geodetic and navigation applications, and is co-director of the Satellite Navigation and Positioning (SNAP) Lab at UNSW. He is president of the International Association of Geodesy (IAG), a member of the International GNSS Service (IGS) governing board, and co-chair of the Multi-GNSS Asia organisation. Professor Andrew Dempster is a world expert on GNSS receiver design and signal processing. He is director of the Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research (ACSER) and co-director of the SNAP Lab.

There are two steps for prospective research students: (1) enrol in the Research Masters or PhD program, and (2) apply for scholarship support (if student is not self-funded).

Application Procedure

The full procedure is outlined on this web page. You can also seek advice from the UNSW Graduate Research School. When you have completed the application process, and your qualifications and associated documentation have been assessed, you will be made an offer for the program of your choice. Note that your qualifications will be assessed to ensure your undergraduate degree (and, if relevant, your Masters by coursework degree) is of a suitably high standard. The research topic area need only be defined in very broad terms.

Scholarship Support

There are a range of scholarships available from the Australian Government, UNSW and the Faculty of Engineering. The scholarships fall into two categories:

If you are a Local Student – an Australian citizen or holder of a Permanent Resident visa – the scholarships for which you will apply are the Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) or University Postgraduate Award (UPA). Awards are made on the basis of the quality of your undergraduate qualification – check your eligibility. You may also be eligible for a faculty top-up scholarship valued at $30,000 or more per annum.

If you are an International Student the most common scholarships are:

  • International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS)
  • University International Postgraduate Award (UIPA)
  • Tuition Fee Scholarship (TFS) plus a Research Stipend

There may also be funding support from other sources, such as home country or Australian aid scholarships. Chinese students should in particular note the China Scholarship Council (CSC) scheme, which has a special procedure.

Note that there are English Language Requirements that must be met.