UOW / UoS Joint Dual Degree PhD Scholarship - Molecular mechanisms of TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) proteinopathies

Closing date: Wednesday 31 July 2024

The purpose of the scheme is to foster international collaboration by enabling PhD students to spend time at Surrey and Wollongong, with supervisors from both institutions.

TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) is vital in controlling mRNA and protein levels in cells. In neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. motor neuron disease/dementia), TDP-43 aggregation (clumping) is prevalent. However, how this causes neuronal death remains unclear.

A multi-disciplinary approach will be used to study the molecular mechanisms underlying TDP-43-diseases, capitalising on unique expertise in quantum biotechnology at UOW and UOS. Biochemical and computational studies will be used to study the factors affecting TDP-43 misfolding and aggregation.

We will leverage the latest developments in quantum microscopy (Ooi, UOW) and quantum enhanced biosensors (Kim, UOS). Expected outcomes include understanding of the structure-function relationship of TDP-43 and will aid in the development of therapeutics for MND/dementia.

The PhD candidate will gain expertise in modern experimental and computational biophysical techniques and will have the unique opportunity to be trained in the emerging high impact field of quantum biotechnology.

Faculty: Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health

Study area: Health

Student type: Domestic students, International students

Student status: Current student, Future Students

Scholarship amount

Candidates will receive a stipend scholarship and fee waiver.

The stipend scholarship will be no less than AUD $34,000, indexed annually for the term of the scholarship.


3.5 years

Application process

Applications should be submitted online, via the application form linked.

Required documents should include:

  • Academic Transcripts
  • A CV detailing educational background, professional experience, awards, prizes and any other achievements relevant to the field of study.
  • Proof of English proficiency (for international students
  • Evidence of Achievements: Documentation of any prizes, awards, or significant research outputs that demonstrate the candidate’s excellence in their field.
  • In place of a research proposal, please upload a document that includes the title of the project you are applying for, the name of the relevant supervisor, and a personal statement (maximum 500 words). This statement should make a compelling case for your consideration by addressing the five eligibility criteria outlined above. It should specifically detail how your previous experiences have prepared you for doctoral research and this particular project, and explain how this PhD will advance your career aspirations.

Eligibility requirements

Open to Australian and international candidates.

Candidates who meet the following criteria are encouraged to apply as these criteria demonstrate their readiness and commitment to advancing knowledge within their chosen area of doctoral study.

  1. Academic Qualifications: Hold a 1st class Honours degree or its equivalent in a discipline relevant to the doctoral research area, or a Masters by Research degree demonstrating advanced knowledge and research capability.
  2. Preparedness for Doctoral Research: Provide a compelling case detailing how their academic and professional training has prepared them for the demands and challenges of doctoral research.
  3. Alignment with Career Aims: Articulate how the doctoral research will contribute to their long-term career aims and professional goals.
  4. Recognition and Achievements: Demonstrate a record of excellence, including multiple prizes, awards, or significant research outputs relevant to their academic field and indicative of their potential for significant contributions to their area of study.
  5. Professional Experience: Outline any professional experience and convincingly argue its relevance to their doctoral project.

Please note that international candidates must also fulfill English language requirements to be admitted to the PhD program. This generally involves achieving an overall IELTS score of 6.5 or its equivalent, with no less than 6.0 in each language domain. Refer to the Course Handbook for specific requirements pertinent to your discipline.

Application closing date

Wednesday 31 July 2024

Contact information

Graduate Research School