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.

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

Donor Coordinator - Two Full time positions - Forefront research group

Professor Glenda Halliday and A/Professor Olivier Piguet and the Forefront research group at NeuRA are seeking two full-time Research Nurse/Donor Coordinators to join their research group. One position will work with Frontier and support research projects investigating frontotemporal dementia and related younger-onset dementias. The other position will work with the Dementia Team and support research projections investigating presymptomatic changes in non-Alzheimer’s dementias. The appointed persons will function as part of dynamic research teams and will be responsible for obtaining important biological specimens that will be used to develop biomarkers for patients with these disorders. The two positions will be full time for two years with the possibility of renewal.

These positions will coordinate the tissue donation programs for ForeFront research participants, liaising with donors and their families for blood donations and, where appropriate, for other biospecimens including brain and spinal cord donations and tissue retrieval. These positions will perform quite varied duties on a daily basis, involving the following: recruitment of study participants into the biomarker studies, performing phlebotomy to collect blood specimens, and obtention of vital signs and evaluation of adverse events at multiple time points. For the dementia team position, collection of urine and saliva and organising for cerebrospinal fluid collection will be required. For the Frontier post, initiation of brain and spinal cord autopsy processing will be required at the time of death (24 hour responsibility when on call). The positions will need to follow the research participants to obtain repeat biospecimen samples over the research studies designed to develop biomarkers for non-Alzheimer dementias. Other duties include data management (data entry and databasing) and general administrative tasks (ethics, preparation of assessment protocol kits, scheduling of participants).

Key areas of responsibility include patient liaison, recruitment, follow-up and ensuring adequate clinical documentation, venepuncture, minimal biospecimen processing, specimen cataloguing and tracking, and for the Frontier post, initiating brain-only autopsy processing at the time of death (occasional 24 hour responsibility).

Essential criteria: recognised qualification in nursing or other degree in psychology/other allied health/medical science discipline; interest in research on neurodegeneration; relevant experience; proven planning and troubleshooting skills; proactive attitude; open and clear communicator; database skills; drivers licence; knowledge of WHS responsibilities.

Desirable criteria: certificate for venepuncture or willingness to train as a venepuncturist. The suitable candidates will be self directed and able to manage shifting duties as timing requires. A genuine interest in supporting the progression of dementia research and building relationships with the participants and their families is of key importance.

Enquiries and applications to: Olivier Piguet – o.piguet@neura.edu.au

Closing: Monday 1 February 2016

Frontier Donor Coordinator - Full-time

ForeFront is a large multi-sited research group working on neurodegenerative conditions headed by Professor Glenda Halliday at NeuRA. The FRONTIER clinical research team is part of ForeFront and investigates clinical and pathological aspects of frontotemporal dementia and related disorders, notably motor neuron disease.

Applications are invited for appointment to the position of a Research Nurse/Donor Coordinator to work in FRONTIER. In this exciting position, the successful candidate will be required to recruit and follow patients into research studies designed to develop biomarkers for frontotemporal dementia, a novel area of research.

Key areas of responsibility will include patient liaison, recruitment, follow-up and ensuring adequate clinical documentation, venipuncture, minimal blood processing, specimen cataloguing and tracking, and initiating brain-only autopsy processing at the time of death (occasional 24 hour responsibility).

Essential criteria: Degree or diploma in Nursing or an Allied Health/Medical Science discipline; Venipuncture skills; knowledge of database systems; valid driver’s license; good organisational and time management skills with attention to detail; good interpersonal and communication skills; ability to work independently and within a team environment; knowledge of OHS responsibilities.

Desirable criteria: Experience communicating with the general public and medical practitioners; an interest in neuroscience research; previous research experience

Enquiries and applications to: Olivier Piguet – o.piguet@neura.edu.au

Closing: 9th December 2015

PhD Scholarship in Stroke Rehabilitation

A 3-year full-time scholarship is available for a PhD project investigating stroke rehabilitation. This project will be centred around Wii-based Movement Therapy, an exciting and novel approach to upper-limb rehabilitation developed by Dr Penelope McNulty at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA). This project may include dose-response relationships across the range of post-stroke impairment and the physiological basis of improved cardiovascular fitness promoted by Wii-based Movement Therapy.

Applicants will hold an Honours or Masters degree in Exercise Physiology (including a strong rehabilitation component) or Occupational Therapy. Australian citizenship or permanent residency is essential. Candidates must be eligible for enrolment as a postgraduate student at the University of New South Wales. Preference will be given to candidates with an Australian driver’s license.

The successful candidate will have an outstanding undergraduate degree and demonstrated skills in rehabilitation, scientific research, writing and data management. Ideally you will demonstrate self-motivation and initiative, a professional manner and excellent communication skills.

A stipend equivalent to the value of the Australian Postgraduate Award (APA), $25,849 for 2015, is offered for this position.

This is an exciting opportunity to join a dynamic team at a world class medical research institute. The Sensorimotor Neurorehabilitation Group led by Dr McNulty specialises in neurorehabilitation after stroke and the neurophysiology of stroke and healthy ageing.

Enquiries and applications (including CV, academic transcript and contact details for two academic referees) to Dr Penelope McNulty, p.mcnulty@neura.edu.au. Phone 02 9399 1074.

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.