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Scholarship details

2023 RTP round - Understanding the host galaxies of fast radio bursts

Status: Closed

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

View printable version [.pdf]

About this scholarship

Fast radio bursts are extremely powerful radio transients, so luminous they are visible across the Universe, which occur within mere milliseconds. FRBs have been detected in distant galaxies and used to find the previously ‘missing baryons’ in the Universe. Yet, to date only a handful of FRBs have been localised, and the origin of FRBs is not yet known.

To best address this, we need to better understand the host galaxies FRBs reside in, through localisation of their radio signal. The Curtin Institute for Radio Astronomy (CIRA) is a member of the Commensal Real-time ASKAP Fast Transients Survey (CRAFT) with the Australia Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP). By localising the FRB emission to within an arcsecond on the sky, we can identify the host galaxies, and CRAFT is expected to localise ~1 FRB every two days. We hence will have a large catalogue of host galaxies to analyse and follow-up with multiwavelength data.

FRBs are a new phenomenon that are still not well understood, and hence the FRB field is rapidly changing; the student should be prepared to adapt their research. The student should be prepared to work with national and international team at the forefront of research, and apply for time on telescopes such as ASKAP, and contribute towards observations with the Very Large Telescope in Chile, Hubble Space Telescope, and perhaps James Webb Space Telescope.

In this project the aims are to:

- Analyse existing radio and other multiwavelength information of FRB host galaxies
- Analyse new high-time resolution data of the FRB emission uniquely available to CRAFT to combine with our knowledge of the host galaxy to understand the medium the FRB signal propagates through
- Conduct new observations to study the neutral hydrogen, the star-forming fuel, of these host galaxies to inform models on the creation of FRB progenitors
- Analyse simulated hydrodynamical galaxy simulations and link the populations in these simulations to our observed sample
- Determine what causes fast radio bursts
- Understand the distribution of matter in our Universe 

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

We are searching for a talented applicant with a passion for discovery. A general astronomical background would be ideal, as would experience in optical and/or radio imaging or high-time resolution data processing. However, we emphasise that a talented applicant from any background should consider applying. 

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 Marcin Glowacki via the EOI form above.

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