CSIRO/ACDP – CSU Joint PhD Program

The CSIRO/ACDP – CSU PhD Scholarships provide enhanced opportunities in science for outstanding graduates enrolling in a PhD at Charles Sturt University. The program is now looking for applicants for commencement in 2022 and up to two Scholarships are available. The successful candidate will work with an experienced team of researchers from the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness and CSU and will have the opportunity to conduct research at facilities of both institutions. Three potential research projects are available.

  • Novel approaches to One health surveillance systems for zoonotic pathogens
  • Pathogen discovery in northern Australian livestock populations using advanced metagenomics
  • Developing CRISPR diagnostics for Emergency Animal Diseases and animal diseases with zoonotic potential
  • Project 1: Novel approaches to One health surveillance systems for zoonotic pathogens

    The ability to provide early warning of known and emerging pathogens that affect human and animal populations relies on having current understanding of their circulation. This project will explore novel methodologies and approaches for undertaking surveillance for known or potential pathogens using advanced serological and molecular approaches.

  • Project 2: Pathogen discovery in northern Australian livestock populations using advanced metagenomics

    Using a biobank of unidentified virus isolates derived from livestock samples from Northern Australia, this project will employ next generation sequencing technology coupled with advanced bioinformatics to uncover the diversity of viruses infecting animal populations in this region. Selected viruses identified with pathogenic potential will be further characterised through the development of diagnostic assays for surveillance studies and using in vitro and in vivo approaches to investigate replication and virulence.

  • Project 3: Developing CRISPR diagnostics for Emergency Animal Diseases and animal diseases with zoonotic potential

    CRISPR is a powerful gene editing technology that has recently been shown to be useful for the sensitive and specific detection of DNA and RNA in diagnostic applications. The ability to detect DNA or RNA without pre-amplification, or following rapid amplification with ambient temperature techniques such as RPA, lends itself to point-of-care applications. Newly emerging Cas nucleases, such as MAD7, that are not impeded by complex intellectual property issues, might be useful in the development of point-of-care diagnostic platforms for Emergency Animal Diseases and animal diseases with human spill over potential. We would like to investigate the application of different Cas nucleases in the rapid detection of animal pathogen DNA and RNA.

  • Eligibility

    To be eligible to receive the scholarship applicants must be:

    1. Commencing a PhD in 2022
    2. Conducting their research on a full-time basis only.
  • Award value

    The scholarship provides the following benefits:

    Stipend: This scholarship is valued at $38,854 per annum (RTP annual rate plus a $10,000 pa top-up) payable in fortnightly instalments.

    Tuition Fees: Fee exemption for a period equivalent to four years (eight sessions) for PhD at full-time study.

    Operating Funds: Scholarship candidates are allocated an allowance of $12,000 pa to assist with the reimbursement of costs associated with a candidate’s research.

  • Scholarship duration

    The scholarship is tenable for four years for Research Doctorate studies (4 years FTE tuition fee coverage and 3 years FTE for stipend and operating funds allowances) subject to satisfactory progress.

    An extension of up to six months may be granted (stipend and operating funds components only), where the candidate is making satisfactory progress and the grounds for the extension relate to the study and are beyond the control of the candidate.

    Scholarship candidates are entitled to 20 paid annual leave working days per year and 10 paid sick leave days per year, however are not eligible for paid primary parental care leave or additional personal leave.

  • How to apply

    Applicants will need to apply for enrolment.

    Prospective Higher Degree by Research candidates can apply for the CSIRO/ACDP – CSU Joint PhD Program Scholarship when completing their Charles Sturt course admission application. When given the option to apply for a scholarship select 'Yes'; 'Full-time AGRTP' and 'Other'. Under 'Other' enter CSIRO/ACDP – CSU Joint PhD Program.

    In addition to the documentation required as part of the AGRTP Scholarship application, applicants must also submit a brief statement of interest (250 words or less). This statement should provide a short account of why you want to undertake graduate research at Charles Sturt University. This may include, but is not limited to: personal or career goals, course expectations, and previous work, study or life experiences). The statement should also demonstrate why you are the best candidate for conducting a PhD as part of this project.

Application closing date

Applications close 5.00pm AEDT Friday 17 December 2021.

Contacts:

Marta Hernandez-Jover: mhernandez-jover@csu.edu.au

Jade Forwood: forwood@csu.edu.au