PhD Student Scholarship

PhD Student Scholarship

The University of Queensland - School of Biomedical Sciences

Brisbane, Australia

School of Biomedical Sciences

The University of Queensland (UQ) School of Biomedical Sciences is a distinguished centre for teaching and research in the academic disciplines of Anatomy, Developmental Biology, Physiology, Pharmacology and Pathology. The School has more than 40 full-time research and teaching staff and is one of the largest Schools of its type in Australia. It has links to other prestigious research centres on the St Lucia campus including the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI), the Institute of Molecular Bioscience (IMB) and the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN). Our diverse research provides an exciting environment for national and international research fellows and higher degree students. It is concerned with advancing the understanding of how cellular mechanisms contribute to the function of the human body in health and disease. Details of the research interests of academic staff may be accessed on the school’s web site at

In addition to its graduate research programs, the School teaches undergraduate students in Science, Medicine, and Health Sciences.

The role: We are seeking two PhD candidates to undertake new collaborative projects on the molecular mechanisms underlying neural development and degeneration within the Laboratories of Neural Wiring (Millard Lab) and Kinase Biology (Ng Lab). Each laboratory will host a PhD candidate to provide expert training in Drosophila Neurogenetics and Mammalian Cell Signalling, respectively. In addition, each candidate will work within a collaborative and multidisciplinary environment encompassing the two laboratory groups to develop new reagents and drive project innovations facilitated by access to diverse technologies. PhD candidates will gain experience in modern molecular and cellular techniques, CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, advanced cellular imaging, proteomics and a range of model systems.

The candidates will also be provided research opportunities to contribute to joint lab meetings, manuscript preparation and presentation of research findings at national and international scientific meetings.

Please read the following references for background:

  • Kerwin SK, Li JS, Noakes PG, Shin GJ, Millard SS (2018). Regulated alternative splicing of Drosophila Dscam2 is necessary for attaining the appropriate number of photoreceptor synapses. Genetics 208 (2): 717-28.
  • Lah GJ, Li JS, Millard SS (2014). Cell-specific alternative splicing of Drosophila Dscam2 is crucial for proper neuronal wiring. Neuron 17;83(6):1376-88.
  • Li SSJ, Millard SS (in press). Deterministic splicing of Dscam2 is regulated by Muscleblind. Science Advances (pdf available upon request).
  • Lim NR, Shohayeb B, Zaytseva O, Mitchell N, Millard SS, Ng DCH, Quinn LM. Glial-Specific Functions of Microcephaly Protein WDR62 and Interaction with the Mitotic Kinase AURKA Are Essential for Drosophila Brain Growth. Stem Cell Reports. 2017. 9(1):32-41. doi: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2017.05.015.
  • Lim NR, Yeap YY, Zhao TT, Yip YY, Wong SC, Xu D, Ang CS, Williamson NA, Xu Z, Bogoyevitch MA, Ng DC. Opposing roles for JNK and Aurora A in regulating the association of WDR62 with spindle microtubules. J Cell Sci. 2015. 128(3):527-40. DOI:10.1242/jcs.157537.

The person: Exceptional graduate students with a high level (H1) Honours degree (or equivalent) in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Developmental Biology, Genetics, Cellular Physiology, Molecular Neuroscience or a related discipline are encouraged to apply. Candidate should have a strong desire to develop a successful research career, substantial laboratory experience, a systematic approach to problem solving, good writing skills, and the capacity to work well with others. The successful candidate will be responsible for experimental design, data analyses, and manuscript preparation, and will also be expected to support applications for funding to support their research focus. Relevant laboratory experience, particularly in sterile tissue culture, immunoblotting, light microscopy, recombinant DNA techniques and fly genetics are desirable, but not essential.

Suitable candidates that obtain successful admission to the Graduate School will be supported with a UQ Scholarship. For further information on entry requirements, please visit Scholarships are open to all qualified candidates proficient in English ( The 2018 Research Training Program (RTP) living allowance stipend rate is AUD$27,082 (indexed annually), which is tax-free for three years with two possible extensions of up to 6 months each in approved circumstances (conditions apply: For further information on scholarships refer to:

Successful applicants are expected to cover their own moving expenses.

Enquiries: To discuss this role and for further information, please contact Associate Professor Sean Millard at and/or Associate Professor Dominic Ng at

Applications: To submit an application for this role, go to, complete the online application and provide the following supporting documents:

  • A cover letter that addresses how you meet the requirements for the PhD program and addressing the desired skills and attributes;
  • A curriculum vitae detailing education, professional experience, research experience, publications, and relevant competencies;
  • Academic transcript for all post-secondary study undertaken, complete or incomplete, including the institution grading scale;
  • Award certificates for all completed post-secondary study
  • The name and contact details of two referees who can best comment on your prior research experience. UQ will contact your referees directly, but you will need to enter their details into the application form.

Applications close: 7 February 2019

Job no: 505622

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: 505622