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Study with us

Study with us

Are you interested in furthering your career in engineering? Are you dedicated? Intelligent? Inquisitive?

If so, we want you.

The Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (IISRI) is led by a diverse group of global experts in autonomous systems, simulation, modelling, robotics and haptics. Our research team are engineering intelligent systems to solve some of the world’s most complex problems in industries including advanced manufacturing, aerospace, defence, health and transport.

We have a cohort of more than 50 higher degree by research (HDR) candidates working within IISRI’s facilities on Deakin’s Waurn Ponds campus. Here they have access to some of Australia’s most advanced technology including our Genesis Simulator, our CYCLONE high-G centrifuge, Mobile Simulator and Infinity Simulator.

By completing a HDR with IISRI you will have access to:

  • One of the top 1% of universities worldwide
  • An international research network (spanning 50+ countries) that is rated in the top 20 nationally (QS 2023)
  • Victoria’s #1 university for learning resources
  • Higher degrees by research (HDRs) fee-free for domestic candidates
  • A wide range of government- and university-funded scholarships
  • A wide range of lab spaces – such as IISRI’s Medical Robotics lab, Electronics lab, Technology Readiness Level lab, Trusted Autonomy lab, Human Performance lab, Haptics lab and Virtual Reality lab.

In addition, you will get hands-on experience working with industry and government, which will place you in good stead for your future career in intelligent systems. IISRI’s long list of partners include the Alstom, Boeing, the Australian Defence Force, Downer Group, Ford Motor Company and Hanwha.

PhD candidates who receive a Deakin University Postgraduate Research Scholarship (DUPRS) get:

  • A stipend of $34,400 per annum tax exempt (2024 rate)
  • Full tuition fee waiver for up to 4 years
  • Relocation allowance (for students arriving from interstate or overseas) from $500 to $1,500 (for single to family)
  • And, for international students only, Single Overseas Student Health Cover policy for the duration of the student visa

We are on the lookout for high-calibre PhD candidates, post-doctoral researchers and stand-out PhD projects.

Higher degree by research (PhD and Masters) opportunities

IISRI will support high performing graduates in furthering their research careers in various areas of intelligent systems research. We seek high-quality PhD candidates in the areas of:

  • autonomous systems
  • robotics
  • haptics
  • AI and Machine learning
  • control systems
  • modelling and simulation
  • optimisation
  • decision making
  • human performance analysis
  • signal processing
  • brain computer interface

To apply, email your research proposal together with your CV and a copy of their academic transcripts for consideration to IISRI HDR recruitment.

Application process

We offer scholarships for prospective PhD candidates through the Higher Degrees by Research program. All applications will go through rigorous assessment and shortlisted applicants will be interviewed.

Successful applicants will have their university tuition fees waived, and will receive a stipend and medical insurance for three years.

IISRI will also consider self-funded PhD applicants.

Selection criteria

  • Graduate of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Industrial Engineering, Bioelectric and Biomechanic Engineering or similar disciplines.
  • Expected to have completed a four-year undergraduate degree and a research thesis.
  • Having a high distinction GPA, first-class honours, scientific research experience and peer reviewed publication are advantageous.

A strong background in one or more of the following subjects is beneficial:

  • mechatronics, robotics, and haptics
  • dynamical systems and control theory
  • mechanism design and analysis
  • computational intelligence
  • decision making and optimization
  • signal and image processing
  • software and embedded systems
  • probability and stochastic
  • microelectronics and MEMS
  • information theory and data communication
  • biomechanics and bioelectric.

International applicants should provide minimum IELTS 6.5 (with no band under 6) or minimum TOEFL iBT 70 with minimum writing 21. The certificate of English language needs to be provided before commencing the course.

Find out more about applying for a research degree


PhD projects

We are always interested in hearing from motivated, talented and experienced people so please email your CV to Professor Douglas Creighton.


Final-year student projects

IISRI projects are in line with current commercial and strategic research objectives – and consistently results in award-winning work. Our team has years of supervising experience and is ready to work with you to define a suitable research project.

To ensure candidates get consistently great supervision, IISRI strictly limits the number of final-year engineering students accepted each year.


For all final-year project enquiries, please contact Dr Mick Fielding on +61 3 5227 2807 or via email.

In your correspondence, please include:

  • the project(s) you are interested in
  • your degree and major (e.g. mechatronics and robotics, medical technology, sports technology etc.)
  • any specific technical or administrative skills you would like to develop (e.g. project management, CAD, simulation, scientific testing methods, report writing etc.)
  • details of areas you enjoy and excel at
  • images or reports from past projects, if applicable.

Postdoctoral positions

There are currently no advertised post-doctoral positions open. However, we are always interested in hearing from motivated, talented and experienced people so please email your CV to Professor Douglas Creighton.

Future projects

Across all streams of IISRI, we have fascinating research projects in the pipeline. If you would like to be a part of one of these projects, please get in touch.

Research – Development – Commercial Ready

IISRI has a proven track record of achieving outstanding results in its three key pillars of Research, Development, and Commercial Ready. We work closely with companies, government and community to deliver products and services that are agile, adaptive and applicable in dynamic, real-world environments. Contact us to learn more.