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Scholarship details

2023 RTP round - Searching for hidden black holes lurking in our Galaxy

Status: Closed

Applications open: 8/07/2022
Applications close: 18/08/2022

View printable version [.pdf]

About this scholarship

Black holes are among the most elusive objects in our universe. Theoretical simulations predict millions to hundreds of millions of black holes roaming through our Galaxy. However, there are only ~100 found so far. It is not currently clear whether this stark gap is due to observational challenges in finding black holes or whether our poor understanding of black hole formation and evolution is also to blame. Following recent breakthroughs in discoveries of black holes, such as gravitational-wave emitting merging black holes, we aim to ultimately answer the question: "How many black holes are there in our Galaxy?"

We will approach this question with the following steps:
- Perform theoretical simulations of black hole population in the Galaxy based on multiple sets of assumptions based on recent advancements in black hole research.
- Compare the results to nascent observed samples of black holes.
- Identify theoretical and observational factors contributing to the gap between theoretical simulations and observed samples of black holes.

Black hole astrophysics is an exciting and rapidly evolving field of astronomy. As more observations reveal previously unknown black holes, they open the path to a more accurate understanding of the physics behind their formation and evolution. In this project we will focus on linking observations and theoretical models to characterize the population of black holes in our Galaxy. 

An Internship opportunity may also be available with this project.

  • Future Students
  • Faculty of Science & Engineering
    • Science courses
    • Engineering courses
    • Western Australian School of Mines (WASM)
  • Higher Degree by Research
  • Australian Citizen
  • Australian Permanent Resident
  • New Zealand Citizen
  • Permanent Humanitarian Visa
  • Merit Based

The annual scholarship package (stipend and tuition fees) is approx. $60,000 - $70,000 p.a.


Successful HDR applicants for admission will receive a 100% fee offset for up to 4 years, stipend scholarships, valued at $28,854 p.a. for up to a maximum of 3.5 years, are determined via a competitive selection process. Applicants will be notified of the scholarship outcome in November 2022. 


For detailed information, visit: Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarships | Curtin University, Perth, Australia.

Scholarship Details


All applicable HDR courses

This opportunity is open to applicants with any science-oriented undergraduate background. Applicants with a background in physics/astronomy are particularly encouraged to apply. 

Application process

If this project excites you, and your research skills and experience are a good fit for this specific project, you should contact the Project Lead (listed below in the enquires section) via the Expression of Interest (EOI) form.

Enrolment Requirements

Eligible to enrol in a Higher Degree by Research Course at Curtin University by March 2023


To enquire about this project opportunity that includes a scholarship application, contact the Project lead, Dr Arash Bahramian via the EOI form above.

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