Future Research Talent Awards - Indonesia

Please note: Due to ongoing uncertainty and challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and considering the health and safety of staff and scholars, we’ve made the difficult decision to suspend 2020-21 round of FRT awards program. We hope that in late 2021, we will be in a position to invite nominations for the 2021-22 round of FRT awards. Please visit this page in late 2021 for an update on the 2021-22 round of FRT awards.

The Future Research Talent (FRT) awards provide selected Indonesian staff and students with an opportunity to travel to the Australian National University to pursue collaborative research, for a period of 10-12 weeks, in a range of Science, Health and Medicine disciplines.

The FRT is a competitive and prestigious program attracting the best staff and students from top tier Indonesian institutions. The program offers a valuable opportunity for Indonesia’s emerging research talent to form international connections and develop research skills at Australia’s best university*. 

* QS World University Rankings 2020/21

Hear from our 2019 FRT cohort

Value and benefits

The value of each FRT award is A$6000.

FRT awards provide selected Indonesian students with an opportunity to travel to ANU to pursue collaborative research, for a period of 10-12 weeks, in a range of Science, Health and Medicine disciplines.

The amount offered under the FRT program must be utilised to directly support the recipient’s participation in collaborative research at the ANU Colleges of Science, Health & Medicine and may be allocated towards costs associated with, but not limited to: return airfare, visa (including any associated medical expenses), travel insurance, accommodation, and general living expenses. The management of award funds is the responsibility of the recipient. 


Awards are offered under two distinct categories:

  • Students: Senior undergraduate and postgraduate students at partner institutions
  • Staff: Academic faculty members at selected universities/institutions and research-focused staff employed at selected government departments. 

Collaborating institutions in Indonesia may be invited to nominate candidates for only one or both categories. Details on which category/categories an institute can nominate candidates for will be provided to collaborating institutions directly.

To be eligible for an FRT award, the candidate must:

  • be a citizen of Indonesia residing in Indonesia;
  • be able to demonstrate a high level of academic ability and research potential;
  • be an academic staff member or a student enrolled in a program at a collaborating institution in Indonesia;
  • be nominated for award consideration by a collaborating Indonesian institution specified by the ANU Colleges of Science, Health & Medicine;
  • be seeking to undertake a research project in one of the specific fields of research proposed by the ANU Colleges of Science, Health & Medicine; and,
  • have not previously received an FRT award from the ANU Colleges of Science, Health & Medicine.

In exceptional circumstances, applications from students enrolled at institutions other than the selected partner institutions may be permitted at the discretion of the Dean of either of the two Colleges, at the request of a Research School Director.

Research areas

Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics

Research Area/Group Short description of Research Area/Group/Project

The Taipan galaxy survey

TAIPAN - cosmology and motions from a galaxy survey of the local universe

The SAMI Galaxy Survey

SAMI - galaxy dynamics and stellar populations from integral field spectroscopy

Research School of Biology

Research Area/Group Short description of Research Area/Group/Project

Biologically inspired membranes for the efficient water filtration  (Assoc. Prof Ben Corry)

We have shown that membranes formed from synthetic pores that mimic biological channels, such as carbon nanotubes, can be used in desalination and filtration. We wish to improve the design of these membranes, determining new ways to remove contaminates from water and to advance simulation methods for studying this problem.

Molecular basis of electrical impulses in cells (Assoc Prof Ben Corry)

Nerve and muscle signalling is controlled by sodium channels that must open and inactivate precisely to prevent unwanted impulses as can arise in epilepsy and cardiac arrhythmia. This project aims to elucidate the molecular basis of sodium channel function and aid in the understanding and treatment of neuromuscular disorders.

New methods in molecular phylogenetics (Assoc. Prof Rob Lanfear)

This project will look at new ways to improve how we estimate relatedness from DNA sequence data. Our lab develops some of the most widely-used software in the field (e.g. IQ-TREE, PartitionFinder, and RWTY) this project will involve developing new approaches to integrate in that software. Experience in programming and/or machine learning is useful.



Synthetic Photosynthesis - bioengineering enzymes to adjust carbon fixation (Assoc. Prof Spencer Whitney)

Photosynthesis is an essential biological process that depends on the activity of the enzyme Rubisco which catalyses carbon fixation. Rubisco is slow, inefficient and cannot accurately distinguish between CO2 and O2. Our research focuses on the development and use of synthetic biology tools to improve Rubisco performance in crops.  

Phenotypic plasticity in thermal tolerance in Australian plants (Prof Adrienne Nicotra) Projects are available examining the ecophysiology and evolution of thermal tolerance in Australian plants. Applicants will join an enthusisastic and hard-working team to conduct experiments in the field and in glasshouse/controlled environment conditions. Field work opportunities to the Australian high country and dryland are available.
Discovering the functions and roles of transporters of biomedical importance in parasites and mammals (Dr Rowena Martin) Our research is enabling robust characterisations of transporters involved in drug action and drug resistance in the malaria parasite, as well as transporters of biomedical or agricultural significance from mammals, insects, and plants. This work is providing substantial new biological insights and strategies for combatting high-priority challenges such as drug resistance.
Genomics, evolution, and host adaptation (Dr Benjamin Schwessinger) Fungal pathogens constantly evolve to evade plant immunity. Here you will learn different methods, either biochemistry or bioinformatics, that will enable you to study pathogen evolution and plant immune signalling
Pathogen detection and the microbiome (Dr Benjamin Schwessinger) The microbiome is the consortium of microbial organisms colonizing a specific habitat. This project is targeted towards understanding the principles of leaf microbiomes and its effect on plant pathogen interactions
Structural basis of cell adhesion in health and disease (Dr Jospeh Brock) This project focuses on the molecular basis of the disease endometriosis, a disease estimated to effect up to 10% of reproductive age women world-wide which can lead to internal cross-organ attachment, excruciating pain and infertility. This project incoporates 3-dimensional structure analysis of associated membrane proteins using cryo-Electron Microscopy (cryo-EM).
Structural basis of drug resistance in the Malaria parasite (Dr Joseph Brock) The best treatment for Malaria is currently via the combination of the drugs such as Artemisin. Emerging resistance means there is an urgent need a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms. This project seeks to understand the structural basis of antimalarial resistance, aiding the development of new therapeutics against the parasite.
Structural basis of Resolvin mediated GPCR signalling (Dr Joseph Brock) G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the cellular “inbox” for external messages. A newly discovered class of omega-3 fatty acid derivatives known as Pro-Resolving Mediators have a potent ability to resolve states of chronic inflammation via binding to specific GPCRs. This project seeks to understand the molecular details of these interactions.
Understanding chromosomal evolution (Dr Alexander Mikheyev) Using the unique biology of local social huntsman spider, which has extreme polymrphisms in chromosomal structure, this project aims to understand how chromosomes evolve.
Inferring the ancestral population size of pre-Columbian North American human populations (Dr Alexander Mikheyev) Advances in computational algorithms provide an opportunity to examine the demographic history of populations, i.e., whether they have grown or shrank over time. We would like to investigate the history of humans in North America, before European contact to see how many people lived there and how the population changed over time.
Using computer vision and machine learning to study honey bee behavior (Dr Alexander Mikheyev) The success of social insects depends on organization and cooperation of individuals that make up a colony. We are using neural networks and machine vision to understand how a honey bee colony is organized and how it responds to a changing environment.
Other potential projects available within the Research School of Biology http://biology.anu.edu.au/education/potential-projects 

Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science

Please see the full list of potential research areas at the Centre for the Public Awareness of Science here

Research School of Chemistry

Research Area/Group Short description of Research Area/Group/Project

Materials and New Technologies for Battery Storage

The group’s research is focused on developing materials and technologies for energy storage in batteries and related devices. A particular focus is on beyond-lithium batteries such as sodium-ion, potassium-ion and dual-ion batteries. Another avenue of our research is in hybrid storage technologies (metal-ion capacitors). New energy storage technologies become more and more important in the context of next generation power grid, home storage, and electric transportation as well as well-established applications such as power tools and portable devices.

Research School of Computer Sciences

Research Area/Group Short description of Research Area/Group/Project

High Performance Computing

The objectives are to support large-scale scientific simulations, including highly accurate weather forecasting, flood modelling and nuclear fusion simulation.

Evaluating and Analysing Machine Learning Workloads on Contemporary Processors

Human-Centred Computing

Aims to produce more robust, scalable and flexible computational tools that can interact with humans effectively.

Programming Language Systems

Addresses the foundations of language implementation, including how those foundations perform, their correctness and how they influence language design.

Software Engineering

Develop the theories and practices of a new kind of software engineering with systems and design thinking at its core.

Advanced Optical Imaging and Manipulation I

Data Mining & Matching

Develop unique data mining and matching techniques that enable the linkage of large and dynamic databases, without revealing any private information.

Advancing data integration: Privacy and semantics for record linkage

Intelligent Agents

Interdisciplinary research on intelligent agents involves machine learning, reinforcement learning, artificial intelligence, information theory and statistics.

Knowledge Representation & Reasoning

Aims to develop methods for representing knowledge of physics, predicting consequences of physical actions (most of which are spatial and temporal) and selecting physical actions that have no undesired consequences

Machine Learning

Aims to understand the theoretical foundations of how machines learn, their guarantees and limitations, and the relationship between different approaches to learning.

Planning and Optimisation

Aims to build systems that can generate solutions to these real-world puzzles—following the rules and achieving the best outcomes within given constraints.

Algorithms Covers the theoretical analysis of algorithms through to the creation of efficient algorithms for a range of real-world applications, including: environmental monitoring; reducing electricity usage for cloud service providers; identifying communities on the Internet to help prevent crime and terrorism; and modelling the behaviour of complex chemical compounds in order to design new medicines.


Addresses challenges in various areas of data management, including: data modelling and database design; query processing and optimisation; data integration at different levels (record linkage, schema mapping and ontology matching); data provenance; and data cleaning.


Aims to design the logical language that is appropriate for a user's task, find proof-methods for this language and build prototypes to show that our methods are effective.

Formally Verified Vote Counting: The case of Fractional Transfer Values

Research School of Earth Sciences

Research Area/Group Short description of Research Area/Group/Project

Earth Dynamics

Active tectonics of Indonesia, using satellite geodetic techniques like GPS and InSAR, to understand plate motion and deformation.

Earth Dynamics

The study of ground movement associated with  Indonesian earthquakes and volcanoes using remote sensing data including SAR and optical imagery. 

Seismology and Mathematical Geophysics

Seismic hazard and risk in Indonesia, including local and regional Probabilistic Seismic Hazard and Risk Analysis (PSHA/PSRA), development of building fragility curves, and the characterisation of site and basin response, and scenario modelling. 

Seismology and Mathematical Geophysics

The sources of Indonesian earthquakes and tsunamis, including finite source inversion, rapid source characterisation for early warning, and studies of historical events.  

Fenner School of Environment and Society

Research Area/Group Short description of Research Area/Group/Project

Sensitivity analysis of hydrological models

A vital part of model development is the use of sensitivity analysis to understand how the model responds to changes in inputs. This project, with Assoc. Prof. Barry Croke, will explore the use of sensitivity analysis to highlight ways in which a model can be improved, through both changes to the model structure, and defining additional data will be helpful for improving a model’s performance.

Catchment and basin-scale water quality modelling in the northern Murray-Darling Basin

While water quality is a key factor in managing water resources, generally this is not given much focus. This project, with Assoc. Prof. Barry Croke, will explore the available water quality data in the northern Murray-Darling Basin, with a long term view of feeding into models that consider the social and ecological implications of water quality issues. 

Developing better hydrological models

Existing hydrological models have limitations for use in studying the possible impacts of future climate scenarios due to the dependence of model parameters on the climate. This project, led by Assoc. Prof. Barry Croke, will build on existing work incorporating groundwater variations in a surface water model.

Peatland fire and livelihoods

The project team, including Prof. Peter Kanowski, Assoc. Prof. Lorrae Van Kerkhoff, Assoc. Prof. Geoff Carey and Dr. Lisa Robins, is working on key peatland fire issues: fire management, peatland restoration, peatland livelihoods, and policy frameworks.

Acid sulfate soils in productive systems Acid sulfate soils (ASS) are widespread in both Australia and Indonesia, with significant impacts on primary production (agriculture and aquaculture) due to acidity, metal toxicity, and  low nutrient availability.  Identification of ASS in a range of environmental settings and the implications this has for productivity will be examined. This team will be led by Dr Sara Beavis and Dr Craig Strong.   

Mathematical Sciences Institute

Research Area/Group Short description of Research Area/Group/Project

Algebra & Topology

The Algebra & Topology research program explores the areas of algebraic geometry, representation theory, algebraic topology, K-theory, analytic number theory, operator algebras, low-dimensional and symplectic topology, and homological algebra.

Analysis & Geometry

The Analysis & Geometry research program explores the areas of differential geometry, several complex variables, non-commutative geometry, harmonic analysis, microlocal analysis, partial differential equations, operator theory, spectral theory, convex geometry and statistical learning theory, and banach algebras.

Applied & Nonlinear Analysis

Current research in the Applied & Nonlinear Analysis research program emphasises elliptic and parabolic partial differential equations, geometric and physical variational problems, geometric partial differential equations, geometric evolutions, geometric measure theory, optimal transportation, affine differential geometry, conformal differential geometry, finite element and difference equation approximations, and geometry of fractals.

Bioinformation Science

Mathematics, statistics, quantitative biology, goal of developing new techniques for analysing complex biological systems.  

Computational Mathematics The Computational Mathematics research program actively studies theoretical aspects of computational algorithms, both in the continuous and discrete settings, as well addressing implementation issues to ensure efficient and reliable solution techniques.
Mathematical Physics The Mathematics Physics research program spans the ANU College of Science, with several members having joint appointments with the Department of Theoretical Physics in RSPE. The program is active in studying fundamental problems across a broad spectrum of Mathematical Physics.
Stochastic Analysis & Risk Modelling The Stochastic Analysis & Risk Modelling research program explores the areas of stochastic modelling of financial processes, statistical inference relating to those models, stochastic integration and numerical aspects of partial differential equations, and option pricing models.
Theoretical Astrophysics The Theorectical Astrophysics research program explores the areas of compact stars, radiation processes and transfer mechanisms in accretion flows on to highly magnetic compact stars, modelling of accretion disks, modelling of stars and magnetic atmospheres, cataclysmic variable binaries, and searching for the progenitors of type Ia supernovae.

John Curtin School of Medical Research

Research Area/Group Short description of Research Area/Group/Project

Gardiner group

The group investigates the molecular basis of processes coordinated by platelets across vascular biology.

Man Group

The Man Group investigates the role of innate immunity in infectious diseases and cancer.

Thompson Group

Our lab studies the molecular mechanisms of epithelial tissue development, tissue regeneration and carcinoma formation.

Research School of Physics

Please see a list of the school's research projects here. You may filter for 'summer scholars' but please do not limit your search to only those projects. Most research projects can be adjusted to suit a 10 - 12 week research period. 

Research Area/Group Short description of Research Area/Group/Project

Atomic and Molecular Physics

The physical properties of atoms and molecules, underpin the nature of all matter and as such their study represents a fundamental discipline. The School has a number of research programs in this area. Please see a list of research projects in this area here.

Clean Energy

Physics plays a key role in addressing the looming energy crisis. The School has a range of research projects in fusion power, plasma-based nanotechnologies to create highly efficient fuel cells and multi-layer solar cells manufactured from compound semiconductors. Please see a list of the research projects in this area here.

Environmental Physics

There are several areas of Environmental Physics research at the school. Accelerator Mass Spectrometry is a highly sensitive technique for identifying and quantifying minute traces of isotopes. Atmospheric physics research focuses on the development and application of widely tuneable coherent sources of vacuum ultraviolet light and their application to the study of photo-dissociation dynamics. Please see a list of research projects in this area here.

Fusion and Plasma Confinement

RSPE hosts the H1-NF toroidal helical-axis stellarator which is used to study the physics of confined plasmas and to develop novel diagnostic instrumentation for larger power reactors. Special areas of interest include plasma turbulence and spectroscopic instrumentation. Please see a list of research projects in this area here.

Materials Science and Engineering Please see a list of research projects in this area here.
Nanoscience and Nanotechnology We conduct extensive research into the design, growth and fabrication of semiconductor and optical devices on the nanometer scale using techniques ranging from MOCVD growth to ion beam processing. We also research the nanoscale modification of bulk materials such as nanocrystals within semiconductors induced by ion irradiation. Please see a list of research projects in this area here.
Photonics, Lasers and Nonlinear Optics The School has a very strong research effort in laser cooling and trapping of atoms, optical materials, photonics , optoelectronic devices, quantum computing, optical solitons and theoretical modelling of nonlinear optical phenomena. Please see a list of research projects in this area here.
Plasma Applications and Technology Please see a list of research projects in this area here.
Physics of the Nucleaus

The School operates the premier facility in Australia for accelerator-based research in physics of the nucleus. The accelerators feed a variety of experiments and instrumentation in Fusion and Fission Dynamics with Heavy Ions, Nuclear Spectroscopy, Nuclear Moments and Hyperfine Fields, Perturbed Angular Correlations and Hyperfine Interactions applied to Materials, Heavy Ion Elastic Recoil Detection Analysis (ERDA), and Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS). Please see a list of research projects in this area here.

Quantum Science and Applications Please see a list of research projects in this area here.
Quantum Devices and Technology Please see a list of research projects in this area here.
Topological and Structural Science Please see a list of research projects in this area here.
Theoretical Physics Much of the theoretical work in the School compliments the experimental programs in areas such as the transport studies in semiconductors, photonics and optical communications. Please see a list of research projects in this area here.

Research School of Population Health

Research Area/Group Short description of Research Area/Group/Project

Global Health

At the Department of Global Health we are conducting research into Neglected Tropical Diseases in Indonesia and the Asia-Pacific more broadly. In particular we are investigating the role of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions in solving these diseases of poverty

Global Health

At the Department of Global Health and in collaboration with the Indonesian Ministry of Health we are improving measurement of mortality and its causes in Indonesia. 

Global Health

At the Department of Global Health we conduct research on vector borne diseases in Indonesia and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region. We use a spatial approach in understanding the transmission of these diseases and to identify areas of high transmission risk for effective intervention. 

Mental Health Research 

At the Centre for Mental Health Research, we are conducting research into suicide prevention - Identifying risk and protective factors for suicide in Indonesia, identifying barriers to care and testing evidence-based population interventions.

Ageing, Health and Wellbeing At the Centre for Mental Health Research, we are conducting international research on ageing and cognitive and mental health. 
Health Service, Research and policy Undertake research on breast feeding policies in Indonesia at the Department of Health Service, Research and policy.


The selection process for FRT program will be undertaken by a selection committee which will consider the following factors when shortlisting FRT award recipients:

  • academic merit and candidate’s research proposal;
  • ranking of nominated candidates by the collaborating Indonesian institution; 
  • English language ability of candidates; and,
  • ranking of nominated candidates by the host ANU research school

Nomination and application

The FRT award program is only open to candidates from specific collaborating institutions in Indonesia. Every year, the collaborating institutions will be provided with nomination instructions, including a link to the nomination and application portal.

Applications open: late November
Applications close: late January

Successful FRT award recipients will be notified by the end of February.

Further information

Funds awarded under the FRT program must be fully expended by the recipient within 12 months from the date on which the recipient was notified of their award.

It is suggested that the candidates undertake their research project at ANU from June – August. However, the timing can be negotiated between the award recipient and the host Research School/Research group at ANU.

The Research Schools, in consultation with the award recipient and the collaborating Indonesian institution, may also extend the research project beyond 12 weeks. Any ongoing funding to support research experience/projects longer than 12 weeks will be at the discretion of the ANU Research School and the Research group/department hosting the student.

Reference documents


Please speak to the international relations/collaboration office of your institution to check if it is an FRT collaborating institution. Your international relations office will run the first selection round for your institution and can answer any questions about the program. If your institution is not a collaborating institution or your international office cannot answer your questions, please contact ANU at frt.science@anu.edu.au.

Indonesian students at ANU