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Scholarship details

2024 RTP round - Hunting for the Cosmic Dawn

Status: Closed

Applications open: 7/07/2023
Applications close: 25/08/2023

View printable version [.pdf]

About this scholarship

The first billion years of the Universe mark a remarkable transition in the state of the Universe, with the once-neutral hydrogen gas that fills the voids of the cosmos becoming ionised by high-energy photons from the first generations of stars and black holes. This project will use the thousands of hours of data from the Murchison Widefield Array project, combined with recent Curtin-led advances in data processing and analysis, to search for the weak radio signal from this primordial hydrogen. This project has the potential for a student to be first author on world-leading publications reporting the outcomes. 

The primary aim of this project is to harness the improvements in data quality assessment and data treatment developed by Curtin over the past 5 years to produce the deepest insights into the structure and evolution of the early Universe. 

1. Apply data calibration improvements to the full suite of MWA EoR observations from 2014-2022
2. Assess data quality with newly-developed quality metrics to select the best data
3. Combine the best sets of data together to provide new insights into the signal from the early Universe. 

Exploration of the first billion years of the Universe is a primary goal of the SKA Observatory, with the low-frequency telescope being built in the WA Outback. We have yet to detect the radio signals from this primordial hydrogen, but these are the best way to explore the evolution of the infant Universe, and understand the properties of the first generations of stars and galaxies. Detection of this signal with the MWA will provide the first glimpses into this period of the Universe.

This project may provide an Internship opportunity. Potential for internships with SKAO. 

  • Future Students
  • Faculty of Science & Engineering
    • Science courses
    • Engineering courses
  • 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 at the 2023 RTP rate valued at $32,250 p.a. for up to a maximum of 3 years, with a possible 6-month completion scholarship. Applicants are determined via a competitive selection process and will be notified of the scholarship outcome in November 2023. 

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

Scholarship Details


All applicable HDR courses

Strong statistics; experience working with complex data; comfort with scripting, Python; strong physics background. 

Application process

This project has identified a preferred candidate and is no longer available.  Please review remaining scholarships projects.

Enrolment Requirements

Eligible to enrol in a Higher Degree by Research Course at Curtin University by March 2024.

Recipients must complete their milestone 1 within 6 month of enrolment and remain enrolled on a full-time basis for the duration of the scholarship.


The Project lead has identified a preferred candidate and is no longer accepting applications. Please click here to review remaining scholarships projects.

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