Skip to main content
University_

Scholarship in AAV based Gene Therapies for Neurological Disorders

A postgraduate research scholarship

$140,000 scholarship for a PhD student in the Faculty of Medicine and Health to undertake research into AAV-based gene therapies.

Highlights

Value Eligibility Open date Close date
$40,000 p.a. (up to 3.5 years)
  • PhD student
  • Conduct research into the development, optimisation and manufacturing of novel bespoke technologies for AAV-based gene therapies for neurological disorders
4 November  2021 31 December  2021

How to apply

Apply here.

Benefits

This scholarship is valued at $40,000 per annum and is tenable for up to 3.5 years.

Who's eligible

You must:

  • be an Australian Citizen, Australian Permanent Resident or hold an appropriate visa that provides residency status and the right to work in Australia until the later of the 30 August 2023 or the projected conclusion of your PhD candidature
  • be willing to apply for admission, applied for admission, have a conditional or unconditional offer of admission to commence or be currently enrolled in a full-time PhD within the Faculty of Medicine and Health
  • conduct research into the development, optimisation and manufacturing of novel bespoke technologies for AAV-based gene therapies for neurological disorders
  • be able to demonstrate you hold an undergraduate degree with at least a credit average or equivalent and have either:
  • research experience through an honours program (First Class or Second Class, Division I), or
  • a Masters Degree by Research in a relevant subject.

Preference will be given to applicants who can demonstrate they have experience in one or more of the following:

  • molecular cloning
  • tissue culture
  • animal handling
  • vector production, and/or
  • immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry.

Background

This scholarship is funded by New South Wales (NSW) Health and the University of Sydney as part of the NSW Health Gene and Cell Therapy PhD Program.

1. Background 

a. A unique opportunity is available for an outstanding PhD scholar to conduct research into the development, optimisation and manufacturing of novel bespoke technologies for AAV-based gene therapies for neurological disorders.

b. This scholarship is funded by New South Wales (NSW) Health and the University of Sydney as part of the NSW Health Gene and Cell Therapy PhD Program.

2. Eligibility 

a. This Scholarship is offered subject to applicants having an unconditional offer of admission to commence or being currently enrolled in a full-time PhD within the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney.

b. Applicants must be willing to conduct research into the development, optimisation and manufacturing of novel bespoke technologies for AAV-based gene therapies for neurological disorders.

c. Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they:

I. hold an undergraduate degree with at least a credit average or equivalent, and
II. have research experience through an honours program (First Class or Second Class, Division I), or
III. hold a Masters Degree by Research in a relevant subject.

d. Applicants must be either:

I. an Australian Citizen,
II. an Australian Permanent Resident, or
III. hold an appropriate visa that provides residency status and the right to work in Australia until the later of the 30 August 2023 or the projected conclusion of the recipient’s PhD candidature.

3. Selection Criteria

a. The successful applicant will be awarded the Scholarship on the basis of: 

I. academic merit,
II. one page cover letter detailing interest in the subject area, and
III. two references from referees.

b. Preference will be given to applicants who can demonstrate they have experience in one or more of the following:

I. molecular cloning,
II. tissue culture,
III. animal handling,
IV. vector production, and/or 
V. immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry.

c. Shortlisted applicants will be required to attend an interview.

d. The successful applicant will be awarded the Scholarship on the nomination of a selection committee that consists of:

I. Professor Tracy Bryan (Chair),
II. members of the Children’s Medical Research Institute Scholarship committee, and
III. a Faculty of Medicine and Health Academic Leader from the Westmead Campus.

4. Value

a. A successful recipient will receive a stipend allowance valued at $40,000 per annum for up to 3.5 years, subject to satisfactory academic performance.

b. No extension will be allowed.

c. The Scholarship recipient must commence the scholarship between the 1 July 2021 and 31 March 2022.

d. The Scholarship cannot be transferred to another area of research. 

e. The recipient must receive written approval from NSW Health to receive any additional funding to support their PhD research unless the source of funding is the University of Sydney. 

f. The recipient is not to receive any additional scholarships (primary and/or supplementary) whilst they hold this Scholarship.

g. The Scholarship will be offered subject to the availability of funding. 

5. Eligibility for Progression 

a. Progression is subject to attending and passing the annual progress evaluation.

6. Leave Arrangements

a. The Scholarship recipient receives up to 20 working days recreation leave each year of the Scholarship and this may be accrued. However, the student will forfeit any unused leave remaining when the Scholarship is terminated or complete. Recreation leave does not attract a leave loading and the supervisor's agreement must be obtained before leave is taken.

b. The Scholarship recipient may take up to 10 working days sick leave each year of the Scholarship and this may be accrued over the tenure of the Scholarship. Students with family responsibilities, caring for sick children or relatives, or experiencing domestic violence, may convert up to five days of their annual sick leave entitlement to carers leave on presentation of medical certificate(s). Students taking sick leave must inform their supervisor as soon as practicable.

7. Research Overseas

a. The Scholarship recipient may not normally conduct research overseas within the first six months of award and must comply with Australian COVID-19 travel restrictions and those implemented by the University of Sydney.

b. The Scholarship holder may conduct up to 12 months of their research outside Australia. Approval must be sought from the student's supervisor, Head of School and the Faculty via application to the Higher Degree by Research Administration Centre (HDRAC) and will only be granted if the research is essential for completion of the degree. All periods of overseas research are cumulative and will be counted towards a student's candidature. Students must remain enrolled full-time at the University and receive approval to count time away.

8. Suspension

a. The Scholarship recipient cannot suspend their award within their first six months of study, unless a legislative provision applies.  

b. The Scholarship recipient may apply for up to 12 months suspension of Scholarships for any reason during the tenure of their Scholarship. Periods of Scholarships suspension are cumulative and failure to resume study after suspension will result in the award being terminated. Approval must be sought from the student's supervisor, Head of School and the Faculty via application to the Higher Degree by Research Administration Centre (HDRAC). Periods of study towards the degree during suspension of the Scholarship will be deducted from the maximum tenure of the Scholarship.

9. Changes in Enrolment

a. The Scholarship recipient must notify HDRAC and their supervisor promptly of any planned changes to their enrolment including but not limited to: attendance pattern, suspension, leave of absence, withdrawal, course transfer, and candidature upgrade or downgrade. If the award holder does not provide notice of the changes identified above, the University may require repayment of any overpaid stipend.

10. Termination

a. The Scholarship will terminate:

I. on resignation or withdrawal of the recipient from their PhD,
II. upon submission of the thesis or at the end of the award,
III. if the recipient ceases to be a full-time student and prior approval has not been obtained to hold the Scholarship on a part-time basis,
IV. upon the recipient having completed the maximum candidature for their degree as per the University of Sydney (Higher Degree by Research) Rule 2011 Policy,
V. if the recipient receives any alternative or additional Scholarships. In the circumstance where the recipient accepts an alternative primary stipend scholarship, this Scholarship will be terminated in favour of the alternative stipend Scholarship where it is of higher value,  
VI. if the recipient does not resume study at the end of a period of approved leave, or
VII. if the recipient ceases to meet the eligibility requirements specified for this Scholarship, (other than during a period in which the Scholarship has been suspended or during a period of approved leave).  

b. The Scholarship may also be terminated by the University before this time if, in the opinion of the University:

I. the course of study is not being carried out with competence and diligence or in accordance with the terms of this offer,
II. the student fails to maintain satisfactory progress, or
III. the student has committed misconduct or other inappropriate conduct.  

c. Stipend payments will be suspended throughout the duration of any enquiry/appeal process.

d. Once the Scholarship has been terminated, it will not be reinstated unless due to University error.  

11. Misconduct

a. Where during the Scholarship a student engages in misconduct, or other inappropriate conduct (either during the Scholarship or in connection with the student’s application and eligibility for the Scholarship), which in the opinion of the University warrants recovery of funds provided, the University may require the student to repay payments made in connection with the Scholarship.  Examples of such conduct include and without limitation; academic dishonesty, research misconduct within the meaning of the Research Code of Conduct (for example, plagiarism in proposing, carrying out or reporting the results of research, or failure to declare or manage a serious conflict of interests), breach of the Code of Conduct for Students and misrepresentation in the application materials or other documentation associated with the Scholarship.  

b. The University may require such repayment at any time during or after the Scholarship period.  In addition, by accepting this Scholarship, the student consents to all aspects of any investigation into misconduct in connection with this Scholarship being disclosed by the University to the funding body and/or any relevant professional body.

12. Reporting

a. The successful recipient of the Scholarship must provide the following as outlined in the agreement:

I. an Annual Progress Report which contains input from both the successful recipient and their supervisors,
II. an Annual Financial Report, and
III. a Final Report upon the conclusion of the project.

13. Acknowledgement

a. The recipient of this Scholarship must acknowledge NSW Health and the University of Sydney in their thesis or any publications or presentations arising from the research funded by this Scholarship.

14. Other Requirements

a. The successful recipient must attend the Commercialisation Training Program and Program Evaluation of the NSW Health Cell and Cell Therapy PhD Program when initiated by NSW Health.