Employment & Scholarships

Please send all position applications, addressing the selection criteria, to:
Lee Hilton
PO Box 1165 Randwick NSW Australia 2031
Fax: +612 9399 1026


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.

Read about some of our current PhD students


Occupational Therapist - 2 part time positions

Applications are invited for an Occupational Therapist to work on an NHMRC funded research study evaluating the potential effectiveness of a combined exercise and home modification intervention to prevent falls and improve quality of life for people with cognitive impairment. The study has a strong focus on functional cognition. It will run for 4 years.Tne 2 study sites are Prince of Wales Hospital and Hornsby Hospital catchment areas.

Essential criteria: Degree in occupational therapy; registration to practice in NSW; experience in working with people with dementia; excellent communication and interpersonal skills; demonstrated organisational skills; basic IT skills – Word, Excel, Powerpoint; ability to work independently and as part of a team; valid Australian driver's license.

Desirable criteria: experience in working with older people in the community setting; understanding of/ experience with falls prevention education/ intervention; use of own vehicle.

Further information and a position description can be obtained from the study principal investigator - Prof Jacqueline Close (02 9399 1055, j.close@neura.edu.au) or the study Co-Ordinator- Ms Sandra O'Rourke (02 9399 1851, s.o'rourke@neura.edu.au).

Enquiries to: Prof Jacqueline Close j.close@neura.edu.au.
Please forward your application to: Lee Hilton l.hilton@neura.edu.au. Fax: +61 2 9399 1026. Mail: PO Box 1165 Randwick NSW 2031.

Closing: Friday 2 May 2014


RESEARCH ASSISTANT

Applications are invited for a Research Assistant to carry out research into the contributions of neural control, functional anatomy and sensation to obstructive sleep apnoea. The position involves assisting with subject recruitment, scheduling and carrying out MRI and sleep physiology experiments and data analysis. The successful applicant will also be involved in manuscript preparation and presentation of results at conferences. The position is full-time, however part-time hours (3 days per week minimum) will also be considered.

Essential criteria: Degree in Science, biomedical engineering or related discipline, with honours or equivalent experience; advanced computer skills; a good knowledge of basic statistics; excellent written and verbal English; 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 involve assisting with occasional overnight experiments.

Desirable criteria: previous experience in: MR imaging; image analysis; human physiology or patient research; EMG measurements; sleep research. Understanding of biomechanics; MATLAB or other programming skills an advantage.

Enquiries to: Prof Lynne Bilston l.bilston@neura.edu.au.
Please forward your application to: Lee Hilton l.hilton@neura.edu.au. Fax: +61 2 9399 1026. Mail: PO Box 1165 Randwick NSW 2031.

Closing: Friday 18 April 2014


RESEARCH OFFICER / POSTDOCTORAL FELLOW

A/Prof Olivier Piguet and Prof John Hodges seek a full-time postdoctoral fellow to join their clinical research groups. This position is part of the memory program of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders and the successful applicant will work on projects investigating healthy and pathological cognitive ageing using convergent neuropsychological and brain imaging methods. The position will be responsible for designing research experiments, and will lead imaging data collection and analyses. This is an initial two year appointment.

Essential criteria: PhD or equivalent in Psychology, clinical neuroscience or biomedical engineering; knowledge of experimental designs and statistical analyses; experience with imaging processing softwares (FSL, FreeSurfer) and MATLAB programming; interest in the cognitive neuroscience of neurodegenerative disorders; excellent interpersonal skills; valid Australian driver's licence.

Desirable criteria: Experience working with older healthy adults and patients with dementia; excellent organisational and management skills and ability to work to deadlines.

Enquiries to: A/Prof Olivier Piguet, +61 2 9399 1713; o.piguet@neura.edu.au.
Please forward your application to: Lee Hilton l.hilton@neura.edu.au. Fax: +61 2 9399 1026. Mail: PO Box 1165 Randwick NSW 2031.

Closing: 30 April 2014


PhD Scholarship on the Neurobiology of Schizophrenia

The PhD program will be based within Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA). A PhD Scholarship has been established to encourage an exceptional student to undertake research in the pathology of schizophrenia in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

The Scholarship is provided for three and one half (3.5) years) to a student commencing their PhD with the potential for a six (6) month extension (at discretion of provider).

For an international student: The scholarship will provide funds for tuition, health insurance and Visa fees, plus a AU$30,000 per annum living allowance and up to $5,000 travel expenses.

For an Australian citizen/permanent resident: The scholarship will provide AU$30,000 per annum living allowance and up to $5,000 travel expenses.

The award is subject to the discretion of the selection committee. The successful candidate will be under the supervision of Dr Katerina Zavitsanou and Professor Cynthia Shannon Weickert.

Schizophrenia is a chronic and disabling mental disorder that affects 1% of the world’s population. Importantly, maternal infection during pregnancy has been shown to increase the risk of schizophrenia in offspring. Using a rodent model our proposal aims to determine the impact of maternal infection on the development of schizophrenia-relevant brain pathology and associated behaviours and in an established rat model of the disorder (i.e. the maternal immune system activation model) and the preventive potential of novel medications.

The PhD student will carry out comprehensive behavioural, cellular and molecular analyses to define how enviromental risk factors impact on schizophrenia-related domains at different developmental stages and whether early treatments have a preventive potential. Gender-specific effects may also be considered.

Essential: An undergraduate degree with Honours (first class) in Neuroscience, Pharmacology, Molecular Biology or equivalent; ability to meet the criteria for enrolment in a PhD program at the University of New South Wales.

Desirable: Experience with animal model behaviour, immunohistochemistry and molecular techniques; good organizational skills and attention to detail.

Enquiries to: Dr Katerina Zavitsanou +61 2 9399 1822 k.zavitsanou@neura.edu.au.

To apply for this Scholarship email electronic copies of your cover letter addressing the selection criteria, your CV, and a copy of your academic record to Dr Zavitsanou.


PhD Project - The Effects of Life Style Choices in Schizophrenia

Supervisors
Dr Tim Karl (http://www.neura.edu.au/research/themes/karl-group)
Prof Margaret Morris (https://research.unsw.edu.au/people/professor-margaret-morris)

Synopsis
Schizophrenia is a chronic and disabling mental disorder that affects 1% of the world’s population. Importantly, neuregulin 1 (NRG1) is a candidate gene for schizophrenia and mouse models for different Nrg1 isoforms have shown promise for determining how altering the gene Nrg1 may increase the risk for schizophrenia. Our proposal aims to determine the impact of 'life style choices' (i.e. exercise and nutrition) on the development of schizophrenia-relevant behaviours and brain pathology in an established mouse model of the disorder (i.e. Nrg1 mutant mice). This research will increase our understanding of how lifestyle choices may alleviate, or exacerbate the disorder.

The PhD student will carry out comprehensive behavioural, cellular and molecular analyses to define how a genetic predisposition for schizophrenia interacts with environmental factors to impact on schizophrenia-related domains. Different developmental stages and sex-specific effects will also be considered. The project will combine the long-standing expertise of the two research teams in pharmacology, obesity research, molecular neuroscience and schizophrenia.

The PhD program will be based within Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) and the School of Medical Sciences, University of New South Wales. NeuRA is an international leader in brain and nervous system research. The program will suit an individual with skills in experimental animal model research and an interest in a career in integrative behavioural, cellular and molecular neurosciences.

Essential criteria: An undergraduate degree with Honours (first class) in a relevant neuroscience, biology, medicine or psychology discipline; eligibility for enrolment in a PhD program at the University of New South Wales; eligibility to apply for an Australian Postgraduate Award (deadline 18th of October 2013) or equivalent.

For all enquiries and comprehensive project details, please contact:

Dr Tim Karl t.karl@neura.edu.au

Prof Margaret Morris m.morris@unsw.edu.au


PhD Project - Novel Treatment Options for Alzheimer’s Disease

Supervisors
Dr Tim Karl (http://www.neura.edu.au/research/themes/karl-group)
A/Prof Lars Ittner (http://medicalsciences.med.unsw.edu.au/research/groups/dementia-research...)

Synopsis
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is neurodegenerative cognitive disorder, which is classically described by two post-mortem histological diagnostic features: extracellular amyloid deposition resulting in senile plaques and tau hyper-phosphorylation forming intracellular neurofibrillary tangles. Importantly, a multitude of transgenic mouse models is available for the different pathological aspects of AD. These models have been significant for the development and evaluation of new therapeutic targets, which have the ability to overcome short-comings of current treatment options.

The PhD student will carry out comprehensive behavioural, cellular and molecular analyses to define the therapeutic potential of new pharmacological compounds (including non-psychoactive cannabinoids) for AD. Furthermore, the project will evaluate how life choices and modifications to the environment (e.g. exercise and cognitive stimulation) impact on transgenic mouse models of AD. The ability to prevent and/or reverse the onset of cognitive deficits and brain pathology with relevance to the disease will be evaluated in great detail thereby combining the long-standing expertise of both research groups in preclinical research into aging and neurodegeneration.

The PhD program will be based within Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) and the University of New South Wales. NeuRA is an international leader in brain and nervous system research. The program will suit an individual with skills in experimental animal model research and an interest in a career in integrative behavioural, cellular and molecular neurosciences.

Essential criteria: An undergraduate degree with Honours (first class) in a relevant neuroscience, biology, medicine or psychology discipline; eligibility for enrolment in a PhD program at the University of New South Wales; eligibility to apply for an Australian Postgraduate Award (deadline 18th of October 2013) or equivalent.

For all enquiries and comprehensive project details, please contact:

Dr Tim Karl t.karl@neura.edu.au

A/Prof Lars Ittner l.ittner@unsw.edu.au


PhD Projects - FRONTIER research group

Two 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.

The PhD students will be based within FRONTIER at Neuroscience Research Australia and the University of New South Wales.

Essential criteria: An undergraduate degree with Honours (first class) in a relevant Psychology, or Neuroscience discipline; eligibility for enrolment in a PhD program at the University of New South Wales; eligibility to apply for an Australian Postgraduate Award or equivalent.

Enquiries to: Associate Professor Olivier Piguet. Please send your application to Lee Hilton. Fax: 02 9399 1026. Mail: PO Box 1165 Randwick NSW Australia 2031.

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