Employment and Scholarships

NeuRA is committed to recruiting, training and retaining students, researchers and staff of the highest calibre. If you are interested in a career or studying at NeuRA, please review the information and list of opportunities below.

Career Opportunities




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.

Check out the UNSW Scientia PhD scholarships at NeuRA

PhD Project / Scholarship - Dementia Prevention

Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) is an international leader in brain and nervous system research, and endeavours to find the causes of and cures for neurological and psychiatric diseases. An exciting opportunity has arisen for a 3 year PhD scholarship within a new and dynamic team working in dementia prevention and based in Sydney across the University of New South Wales School of Psychology and Neuroscience Research Australia. The scholarship is in the field of dementia risk reduction and the project may focus on measuring and identifying risk factors, methods of assessing risk factors and/or approaches to risk reduction in the fields of cognitive ageing, cognitive decline and the development of dementia. There will be opportunities for the successful candidate to develop and refine research objectives in collaboration with the supervisory team. Applicants must have strong statistical skills or an interest in developing such skills.

For this opportunity, you must be an Australian citizen or have Permanent Residency, with First Class Honours in psychology, epidemiology or a related area. A Master’s degree in one of the above fields would be advantageous.

The stipend offered is $32,082 per annum.

Applicants should submit their CV, academic transcript and a covering letter, including full contact details of two referees (at least one academic), to Professor Kaarin Anstey (k.anstey@neura.edu.au)

PhD Projects / Scholarships - Centre of Research Excellence in Neurocognitive Disorders (CRE-NCD)

Neurocognitive Disorders (NCDs) are one of the largest unmet challenges in health care, due to their lifelong nature, high management costs, prevalence and frequent recurrence within families. The development of effective therapies has been hampered by the heterogeneity in the underlying genetic aetiologies, and hence biology, of NCD. A dynamic Centre of Research Excellence in Neurocognitive Disorders (CRE-NCD) has been established to transform the diagnosis and characterization of NCD through the application of genomic technologies, including whole exome sequencing (WES) and whole genome sequencing (WGS). This will be achieved through a co-ordinated network of experienced clinicians and researchers to enhance fundamental knowledge about the genetic basis of neurocognition and the investigation of targeted treatment strategies in relation to biological pathways. This program will achieve its goals through a national approach with improvements in clinical phenotyping, genomic diagnostics, common data analysis and reporting standards. The aim is that within the next 5 years, all Australians with NCDs will have access to genomic testing, achieving a diagnosis in >50%. A molecular diagnosis with an accurate genotype-phenotype classification is essential for defining an aetiology for families, improving patient management, predicting recurrence risk, and for the successful design of targeted therapeutics. The CRE-NCD team comprises researchers and clinicians with internationally recognised leadership and track records in neurogenetics research, genomics, bioinformatics, functional analysis, health economics and clinical practice.

Several PhD projects are available through the CRE-NCD for highly motivated scientists or physicians across Australia. Desirable qualifications and skills include medical graduates or first class Honours degree (or equivalent) in Biomedical Science, Neuroscience, Genetics or related field with particular skills relevant to the PhD project (molecular biology, cell biology, economics, bioinformatics, clinical phenotyping).

To view ALL available project vacancies, click here.

The Genomics of intellectual disability (ID) – NeuRA, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 

This project will apply massively parallel sequencing, the development of bioinformatics tools and functional validation in families with ID. The workpages in the PhD will include (1) definition of the broad clinical phenotyping and molecular mechanisms in a retrospectively and prospectively selected population with neurocognitive disorders of at least 200 families (2) exploration non-coding and CNV mechanisms (3) study of non-coding mechanisms in detail through intersection with ENCODE data in WGS studies where WES has not defined an aetiology (4) the identification of novel Mendelian disease genes with follow-up animal and functional studies. Phenotypes relating to specific mutations will be sought in iPS cells and an initial study on variable expressivity and non-penetrance will be performed in families with recurrent mutations that do not always result in neurocognitive disorders. Non-penetrance mechanisms will be sought in specific syndromes by including interrogation of divergent CNV’s proximate to the known gene locus or relating to more distant functional elements.

The stipend offered is $27,200 per annum plus laboratory support over 3 years for relevant projects.

Enquiries to: Associate Professor Tony Roscioli (tony.roscioli@health.nsw.gov.au) and Dr Carey-Anne Evans (c.evans@neura.edu.au)

Applicants should submit their CV and a one page expression of interest to: Dr Carey-Anne Evans (c.evans@neura.edu.au). An interview process will follow for successful applicants.

Applications close: Open until filled

PhD Projects/ Scholarships x 2- Chronic musculoskeletal pain

Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) is an international leader in brain and nervous system research, and endeavors to find the causes of and cures for neurological and psychiatric diseases.

An exciting opportunity has arisen for two 3-year PhD scholarships within a new and dynamic team working to understand, treat and prevent chronic musculoskeletal pain. The project is based in Sydney across the University of New South Wales School of Medical Sciences and Neuroscience Research Australia.

The scholarships are in the field of musculoskeletal pain and are focussed on understanding the role of brain plasticity in the transition to chronic pain. The PhD candidates will work under a National Health and Medical Research Council funded trial that uses a novel, long-lasting experimental pain model to explore the mechanisms that underpin pain severity and recovery in humans. It is hoped that this information will help to drive the evolution of more effective treatments for musculoskeletal pain in future. The PhD candidates will work as part of two large and vibrant research teams at NeuRA (Schabrun Group and Seminowicz Group) and will collaborate with national and international experts in the field.

For this opportunity, applicants must hold a First-Class Honours degree in physiology, neuroscience, medical and health sciences (including allied health professions), psychology or a related discipline.

The stipend offered is in line with the Australian Postgraduate Award (currently $27,082 for 2018). Both Australian and international applicants are welcome to apply. However international applicants are required to pay university tuition fees, and be eligible to obtain an Australian student visa.

Applicants should submit their CV, academic transcript and a covering letter, including full contact details of two referees (at least one academic), to Dr Siobhan Schabrun (s.schabrun@neura.edu.au).

See advert on Seek here.

Applications close: 30th September 2018 




Senior Executive Officer - Mindgardens Alliance

The Mindgardens Alliance is a newly established partnership organisation comprising the Black Dog Institute, Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD) and UNSW Sydney (UNSW). The aim of the Alliance is to create a centre of excellence in research, education and care for brain disorders, mental health and drug and alcohol problems.

Reporting to Prof Helen Christensen and Prof Peter Schofield, the Co-CEOs of the Mindgardens Alliance, the Senior / Executive Officer will be required to work with stakeholders of the Alliance to establish, develop and implement strategic and operational plans and policy for the Mindgardens Alliance. A presence at each of the partner organisations will form an important part of this exciting and challenging inaugural role.

The position will provide effective general management of operational and administrative systems, processes and projects ensuring compliance with both partner and external legislative/regulatory policies and procedures and will provide administrative support to the Executive Committee and Board of the Alliance.

Main duties include:

  • Coordinating the executive work plan, key performance indicators and budget
  • Coordinate and prepare reports on Alliance activities
  • Provide high-level advice and executive support and assistance to the Co-CEOs, including providing secretariat support
  • Manage the flow of material, correspondence and information to and from the Co-CEOs Office
  • Maintain knowledge of internal and sector wide issues affecting management of the Alliance
  • Draft planning and discussion documents for the Co-CEOs when required
  • Prepare submissions to other parties within and external to the organisation on behalf of the Co-CEOs
  • Liaison with external stakeholders to further the goals and objectives of the Alliance
  • Draft internal communications and briefings for external meetings on behalf of the Co-CEOs
  • Manage and communicate business establishment and change

Essential criteria:

  • Relevant tertiary qualifications and extensive previous experience in a senior executive support role
  • Demonstrated skills in strategic and operations planning to achieve organisational strategic objectives
  • Excellent interpersonal, consultation and negotiation skills
  • Previous experience as a change agent, proven ability to motivate and persuade others, to identify the need for change and to lead new initiatives, including externally generated changes
  • High level administration, organisational and management skills
  • Demonstrated capability in the management of financial, budgeting and reporting systems
  • Experience providing strategic and operational secretariat support to senior level committees, boards or other executive meetings.

Desirable criteria:

  • Experience in the independent medical research institute, university or health sector is highly desirable

Position description here.

To apply for this position, please forward your resume and a letter addressing the essential criteria and Apply Now via seek.com.au.

Candidates will be shortlisted until the application closing date and interviewed on a rolling basis.

For enquires only please contact Dr Kate Johnston k.johnston@neura.edu.au or Nicole Cockayne n.cockayne@blackdog.org.auPlease do not send applications directly to either contact person.

Closing: 20 August 2018