Employment & Scholarships

Information for PhD Applicants

PhD students form an integral part of the research community at Neuroscience Research Australia. We currently have students studying under the supervision of a NeuRA faculty member in almost every research group across the institute. Our doctoral students come from both Australia and overseas and generally have a graduate degree in either medicine, science or allied health.

If you are interested in commencing a PhD at NeuRA, you must first make contact with a potential supervisor to discuss your proposed project. You can find out about what type of research we are currently conducting in the ‘Our Research’ section of the NeuRA website. You will also find contact details for our group leaders there.

You may start your doctoral studies in either first (March) or second (August) semester. Before you begin, you must be accepted and enrolled as a postgraduate student at the University of New South Wales.

PhD Project – Proprioception in health and disease

A postgraduate scholarship is available to support an incoming PhD student at NeuRA. The PhD project will investigate proprioception in healthy people and people with motor impairments. Proprioception is a term used to describe our sense of limb position and movement, the sense of force and heaviness and other senses related to balance and body image. The PhD student will undertake studies which will address novel questions about how we maintain a stable body representation and how we use it to make movements and maintain balance. This is important because many neurological conditions are characterised by a defective proprioceptive-body representation. The studies will involve conducting experiment on human participants and patients.

The project is suited to individuals with a background in physiology, neuroscience, medical and health sciences, psychology or a related discipline. Experience performing experiments in healthy participants and patients groups would be an asset.

The PhD student will be supervised by Professor Simon Gandevia www.neura.edu.au/research/themes/gandevia-group. Please see motorimpairment.neura.edu.au for examples of research from the Motor Impairment team. The PhD will be conducted through the University of New South Wales but the student will work in Professor Gandevia’s laboratory at NeuRA as part of a small and friendly team of outstanding physiologists.

The stipend offered for this 3-year scholarship will be equivalent to the Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) rate (AU$26,288 for 2016, and incremented annually). The successful applicant is also eligible to apply for the NeuRA Supplementary Scholarship ($5,000 p.a.). Both Australian and international applicants are welcome to apply. However international applicants are required to pay university tuition fees. The proposed starting date is on or before 15 August 2016.

Essential criteria: An undergraduate degree with good Honours in physiology, neuroscience, medical and health sciences, psychology or a related discipline; eligibility for enrolment in a PhD program at the University of New South Wales. Good data analysis and computer skills and excellent communication skills are essential.

All enquiries should be directed to Professor Simon Gandevia (s.gandevia@neura.edu.au). Please send your application, with your curriculum vitae to Professor Gandevia.

Closing date: Thursday, 30 June 2016

Key Strategic Fundraising Role – Major Gifts Manager, NeuRA

  • World-class medical research institute
  • Help conquer and cure brain and nervous system disease and disorder affecting millions
  • Become a key member of a dynamic fundraising team

NeuRA is now searching for an enthusiastic and experienced fundraising professional to join their Foundation team in the key role of Major Gifts Manager. The Major Gifts Manager will develop and drive the major gifts program and assist in achieving the institutes’ business plans for the next few years.

Reporting to the Foundation Director, your objective is to grow their major gifts donor base, and manage donor stewardship to increase the number and value of their major gifts program. A key responsibility is to develop, nurture and maintain relationships with high-net-worth individuals, businesses, philanthropic organisations, trusts and foundations to generate additional income to help fund their important areas of neurological research.

Experience in developing and implementing a major gifts strategy is essential, along with sound donor research and planning skills. To perform well in this role, you will have excellent communication, influencing and presentation skills, with the ability to engage and build confidence with high-net worth individuals.

If you are a proactive professional fundraiser with a passion to make a difference in this vital area of research, please forward your application or enquiry to Lee Hilton l.hilton@neura.edu.au.

Closing: Friday, 29 April, 2016

Postdoctoral Fellow in Magnetic Resonance Elastography Research

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral research fellow to undertake research into developing efficient algorithms for analysing anisotropic and large deformation MR elastography experimental data. The project will principally involve developing, testing and validating methods for efficiently and robustly extracting tissue mechanical properties from MR elastography experimental data and implementing these in a user-friendly software environment. The successful applicant will be expected to take a lead role in software development, manuscript preparation and presentation of results at conferences. Initial appointment will be for 18 months, and is full time.

Essential to selection will be: PhD in physics, applied mathematics, applied mechanics, biomedical engineering or related discipline; expertise in continuum mechanics and numerical methods; advanced computer programming skills; excellent written and verbal English; good interpersonal and problem solving skills; excellent time management and organizational skills; ability to work independently and within a team environment. Must be able to work in an MRI scanner (i.e. have no MRI-incompatible implants or prior conditions that would preclude working in an MR scanner). The role will also involve assisting other team members with MRE experiments and data analysis.

Desirable skills: Previous experience in MR imaging, image analysis, elastography, or inverse problems is highly desirable. MATLAB or C++ programming skills an advantage. Applicants with a strong publication track record are highly desirable.

Enquiries to:Prof Lynne Bilston - l.bilston@neura.edu.au. Please send your application to Lee Hilton l.hilton@neura.edu.au. Mail: PO Box 1165 Randwick NSW 2031.

Closing: Saturday, 16 April, 2016

Postdoctoral Fellow

This exciting opportunity within the Schizophrenia Research Laboratory will focus on cognitive and physiological investigations of the healthy human brain and of the brains of people with schizophrenia. The primary project aims to determine the extent to which various treatments reduce psychotic symptoms, improve cognition, and reverse dysfunctional brain activity in people with schizophrenia. Additional projects examining neuromodulatory factors such as hormones, growth factors and inflammation will also be available.

Essential to selection will be: PhD in Neuroscience, Cognitive Psychology/Neuroscience, Computer Science or equivalent and interest/experience in working with major mental illness and experience writing scientific manuscripts for publication.

Familiarity with computational and statistical methods for functional neuroimaging (e.g., Unix/Linux, C/C++, MATLAB, SPM, AFNI) and brain stimulation (rTMS, tDCS) techniques confer an advantage but are not required.

Enquiries to: A/Prof Thomas Weickert - t.weickert@neura.edu.au. Please send your application to Lee Hilton l.hilton@neura.edu.au. Mail: PO Box 1165 Randwick NSW 2031.

Closing: Friday 19 February, 2016

Digital Marketing & Communications Officer - Part-time position

Are you an experienced digital marketer who loves the challenge of innovation?

If so, NeuRA has an immediate opening for an energetic, entrepreneurial digital communicator and marketing strategist.

About you:

You are a strategic thinker, adept at organising, prioritising and distilling information. You can quickly identify new opportunities within the emerging tech/digital/social marketing arena. You’re immersed in the ‘global connection’ keeping abreast of and applying emerging behaviours and technologies which will enhance NeuRA’s research profile.

The role requires:

  • Minimum of 3 years creating and implementing digital campaigns
  • Excellent knowledge of search engine optimisation for websites and social media platforms
  • High level of experience in search engine marketing including Google Ad Grants
  • Excellent knowledge of Google analytics with ability to set up and track campaigns and key events
  • Coordination of parallel social media platforms including cross promotion and content scheduling
  • Ability to identify, collect, interpret and curate audience-specific content to support NeuRA’s digital channels across diverse research areas
  • Driving digital innovation and identifying opportunities for enhancing public engagement, fundraising and advocacy calls to action
  • Identifying and engaging with key influencers online and building social media networks
  • Attention to detail, highly developed written and verbal communication skills, with experience in copy writing and blogging
  • Ability to address the different needs of NeuRA’s audience
  • Excellent time management skills with demonstrated experience in managing multiple projects simultaneously
  • Exceptional relationship skills and the ability to translate an idea into action
  • Ability to work autonomously and also within part of a team


  • Developing annual digital marketing strategies for NeuRA covering key research areas
  • Weekly evaluation and reporting of current digital marketing campaigns
  • Developing social media strategies across relevant channels and key research areas
  • Creating engaging and innovative social media specific content
  • Setting up, monitoring and optimising NeuRA’s national and international Google AdWords campaigns to ensure our Ad Grant (currently $40k) status is maintained
  • Providing monthly summary reports on social media activity performance, providing analytics to support findings and recommendations
  • Developing and maintaining excellent relationship with influencers online to promote NeuRA
  • Identifying emerging digital trends and platforms to increase NeuRA’s profile
  • Training researchers in social media communication
  • Developing strategies to increase online donations
  • Running digital marketing campaigns
  • Managing multiple social media platforms

This is a part time, 12-month contract position (3 days/week) and may require occasional work out of regular hours. A competitive salary is offered together with the availability of salary packaging to achieve a tax effective total salary package.

If successful, you will certainly find the position interesting and challenging. Please send your CV, copies of qualifications, a cover letter addressing the selection criteria and include why you think you’d make a great addition to the Communications team. Enquiries to Anne Graham, Communications Manager, Ph: 02 9399 1077; E: a.graham@neura.edu.au. Please forward your application to Lee Hilton, E: l.hilton@neura.edu.au; Mail: PO Box 1165 Randwick NSW 2031

Closing: Friday 12 February, 2016

PhD Projects - FRONTIER research group

Several PhD projects are available in FRONTIER, a clinical research group specialising in younger onset dementia syndromes based at Neuroscience Research Australia. The PhD projects will focus on aspects of memory, imagination, and social cognition and how these processes are disrupted in dementia syndromes. The PhD students will use a combination of neuropsychological and neuroimaging techniques to study brain-behaviour relationships. These projects are ideally suited to individuals who have a strong aptitude for research with good interpersonal skills, and have an interest in cognitive neuroscience/neuropsychology.

Further information about each project can be found here.