PhD Scholarship in Brain Sciences
University of Queensland

PhD Scholarship: Thornton Foundation

Job No:509701
Area:Queensland Brain Institute
Salary (FTE):Externally Funded Res Scholar BAND
Work type:Full Time - Scholarship
Location: St Lucia


The Queensland Brain Institute

The Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) works to understand the development, organisation and function of the brain.

Established in 2003, QBI is housed on the St Lucia campus of UQ. It is home to more than 450 staff and students, including 41 group leaders.

Over the past decade QBI has become known as one of the world’s leading neuroscience research institutes. It played a key role in contributing to UQ attaining the highest possible score of 5 for neuroscience, in both the 2010, 2012, and 2015 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) reviews, one of only two universities in Australia to achieve this.

Neural Migration Laboratory

The Neural Migration Laboratory is headed by Professor Helen Cooper. Professor Cooper’s research focuses on the molecular signaling systems (guidance receptors and their ligands) governing neural stem cell activity, neuronal differentiation and axon pathfinding in the embryonic brain. A major research theme, and the focus of this PhD project, is understanding the molecular mechanisms underpinning synapse formation and synaptic activity. The goal of the Cooper laboratory is to identify the molecular mechanisms contributing to cortical malformations and neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism and schizophrenia

About the Project

Abnormal synapse formation leads to diminished synaptic transmission and impaired cognitive function. The goal of this project is to identify the molecular pathways that govern synaptic connectivity. This research will not only provide key insights into the fundamental principles guiding the establishment of complex neural circuits, but will also shed light on the aberrant processes contributing to autism and schizophrenia.

To address these questions the successful candidate will utilize the following experimental tools:

  • developmental mouse models
  • in vitro neuronal culture systems
  • state-of-the-art molecular and imaging approaches
  • including super-resolution microscopy.

Selection Criteria

The scholarship is open to Domestic candidates who intend to undertake a Doctor of Philosophy with the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI).

For the Scholarship, applicants will be ranked on the basis of:

  • Academic achievement and experience and the potential for scholastic success;
  • Any other matters the selection committee see fit.

To be eligible, you must meet the entry requirements for a higher degree by research.

What's On Offer?

$30,000 per annum for three years with the possibility of two 6-month extensions in approved circumstances


To discuss this scholarship please contact Professor Helen Cooper at 

Want to Apply?

Please apply directly through the UQ Graduate School Scholarships website


Advertised: 12 Feb 2020
Applications close: 11 April 2020 (11:00 PM) E. Australia Standard Time

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Psychoneuroxy


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