PhD Studentship in Neurogenomics

St Lucia, Brisbane, Australia
$26,288.00 - $26,288.00
14 Dec 2016
End of advertisement period
07 Apr 2017
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Queensland Brain Institute

Established in 2003, QBI ( is situated on the St Lucia campus of UQ. It is home to more than 450 staff and students, including 41 group leaders, working across a range of disciplines, who are focused on discovering the fundamental mechanisms that regulate brain development and function in health and disease. 

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 the 2010, 2012 and 2015 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) reviews, one of only two universities in Australia to achieve this

The role

The successful candidate will investigate the role of retrotransposons, a class of mobile DNA, in generating genetic variability in neural cells. Retrotransposons mobilise through RNA intermediates which are reverse transcribed and inserted at new genomic locations, resulting in insertional mutagenesis. Alterations in retrotransposon activity have been linked to a range of stress conditions, neurodegeneration and aging.This project aims to understand how retrotransposons activity can change the neuronal genome and impact upon neuronal physiology, potentially contributing to neurodegeneration.The PhD student will make use of reporter mouse lines to visualise retrotransposon activity in specific brain areas, as well as novel sequencing approaches to detect differential retrotransposon integration patterns in neurodegenerative mouse models as well as post-mortem human case-control sample sets.

The candidate will join the newly established lab group of Professor Geoffrey Faulkner at the Queensland Brain Institute, (QBI) University of Queensland.  Professor Faulkner has a joint appointment with QBI and the Mater Research Institute – University of Queensland (MRI-UQ).  PhD candidates will apply through QBI as the enrolling unit and be primarily based at QBI for research project work but may also spend some time at the MRI-UQ.  To know more about Professor Faulkner and the lab group, please go to the following link:

The person

Expressions of Interest are invited from outstanding and enthusiastic international and Australian science graduates ideally with a background in neuroscience, genetics or other relevant scientific discipline. Candidates will have a First Class Honours degree or equivalent and should be eligible for UQ scholarship consideration.  Some expertise in molecular biology, microscopy and mouse genetics is required. Previous experience with animal work would be helpful.

Applicants must fulfil the PhD admission criteria for the University of Queensland, including English language requirements, and demonstrate excellent capacity and potential for research. Demonstration of research ability through publication output in peer reviewed international journals is desirable.

For further information on the Basis of Admission to a UQ research higher degree, please visit  Successful applicants must accept and commence within 6 months of receiving an award.


Selected prospective international and domestic students will receive assistance to apply for University living allowance and tuition fee scholarships.  There may also be an option to offer a lab funded living stipend with a tuition fee (waiver) scholarship.  The 2017 living allowance stipend rate is AUD$26,682 per annum (2017 rate, indexed annually) tax-free for three years plus two possible extensions of up to 6 months each in approved circumstances (conditions apply). A top-up scholarship ($5,000 per annum) may be available to the successful candidate.  For further information on scholarships refer to:


To discuss this role and for further information, please contact Professor Geoffrey Faulkner (

To submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for consideration, ensure you use the UQ Jobs online recruitment system by following the Apply button below.  All applicants must supply the following documents: cover letter; complete official tertiary academic transcripts (with grades/GPA scores, and official grading scale details), and award certificates (testamurs); and detailed academic resume/CV.

Important: please do not send your EOI directly to the contact person listed in this section of the advertisement.  EOIs not received via the UQ Jobs online system will not be considered.

For information on completing the application process click here.

Please note the different EOI closing dates below for international and domestic candidates leading up to the UQ Graduate School research higher degree application and scholarship round timelines as advertised on their website:

Expression of Interest Closing Dates

International candidates:  13 January 2017 – for consideration in relation to the next available UQ international scholarship round with commencement in Research Quarter 3 (July) 2017.

Domestic candidates:  7 April 2017 – for consideration in relation to the next UQ domestic scholarship round with commencement in Research Quarter 3 (July) 2017.