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 scholarship program assists one PhD candidate each year for the duration of the project. The successful candidates 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 the facilities of both institutions. Four potential research projects are available.

  • Blue tongue virus virulence factors
  • Understanding Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) pathogenesis and transmission
  • Protecting Australia’s biosecurity: preventing and rapidly responding to incursions of African swine fever (ASF) virus through improved vaccination strategies
  • Host response to lumpy skin disease virus - a systems approach
  • Project 1: Blue tongue virus virulence factors

    Interrogation of Australian Blue Tongue Virus whole genomes for improved understanding of reassortment combinations and virulence factors.

  • Project 2: Understanding Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) pathogenesis and transmission

    A novel strain of Japanese encephalitis virus that emerged in southeast Australia in 2022 is causing widespread outbreaks in humans and animals. This project will study the pathogenesis and transmission of this virus in the domestic amplifier host (pigs) and vector mosquitoes.

  • Project 3: Protecting Australia’s biosecurity: preventing and rapidly responding to incursions of African swine fever (ASF) virus through improved vaccination strategies

    In this project, the ASF virus-host- interactions will be studied to (i) further understand ASF virus pathogenesis and (ii) provide information for the development of novel antiviral and vaccine approaches. This integrated state-of-the-art screening approach, combined with our expertise in immunology, bioinformatics and virology, and our access to high containment facilities (allowing the study of ASF) provides a unique opportunity to develop this cutting-edge area of research to advance novel control strategies against this emerging viral threat.

  • Project 4: Host response to lumpy skin disease virus - a systems approach

    Lumpy skin disease is a major disease of cattle and is a threat to Australian biosecurity.  In this PhD we propose to use a systems approach to understand the host-response to the virus and identify key markers that cause the clinical signs and immune response.  Such a study will enable us to design novel vaccines and therapeutics.

  • Eligibility

    To be eligible to receive the scholarship applicants must be:

    1. Commencing a PhD in 2023
    2. Conducting their research on a full-time basis only.
  • Award value

    The scholarship provides the following benefits:

    Stipend: This scholarship is valued at $39,863 per annum (2023 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 timelines

Applications will remain open until successful candidates have been selected

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

Jade Forwood: jforwood@csu.edu.au