PhD scholarship in Synthesis of biomimetic materials
University of Queensland, Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
Australia

The Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology

The University of Queensland's Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) is a dynamic multi-disciplinary research institute dedicated to developing technology to alleviate societal problems in the areas of health, energy, manufacturing and environmental sustainability. AIBN brings together the skills of more than 450 world-class researchers complimented by an extensive suite of integrated facilities, working at the intersection of biology, chemistry, engineering and computer modelling. With a reputation for delivering translational science, AIBN conducts research at the forefront of emerging technologies, and has developed strong collaborations with leading members of industry, academia and government. AIBN goes beyond basic research to develop the growth of innovative industries for the benefit of the Queensland and Australian economies.


AIBN is committed to supporting the career growth of female researchers and have a number of initiatives to support females in developing and achieving a fulfilling research career at the institute. For more information, please visit our AIBN Women in Science web site at http://www.aibn.uq.edu.au/women.


Scholarship description

As a part of Professor Alan Rowan’s ARC Laureate fellowship, the main objective of this project will be to understand how the material properties of biopolymers (collagen, fibrin, etc.) are modified by the presence of synthetic hydrogels with the aim of providing strain-stiffening, tuneable, hybrid biomaterials for controlled cell growth.


For this project, the candidate will examine the properties of these interpenetrating networks as a function of synthetic/biopolymer binding density and investigate the changes in stiffness and strain-stiffening as a function of crosslinking density, interpenetration and altered pore size. The project will also study how these hybrid extracellular matrix materials interact with the cell cytoskeleton, and study these interactions from a mechanistic perspective employing high resolution spectroscopy.


The interdisciplinary nature of the project, and diverse background of researchers within the Rowan group, will provide the candidate with access to cutting edge equipment and training in new research areas such as high-resolution microscopy, tissue culture, cellular mechanics and bioengineering.


The outcomes of this project will be applied in tissue engineering and wound healing research.


To be eligible to apply, you must also meet the entry requirements for Higher Degrees by Research at UQ. Please visit the Graduate School's website.


Remuneration

The 2019 Research Training Program (RTP) living allowance stipend rate is AUD$27,596 per annum (indexed annually), which is tax-free for three years with two possible extensions of up to 6 months each in approved circumstances (conditions apply).  For further information on this scholarship refer to:  https://scholarships.uq.edu.au/scholarship/uq-phd-scholarships-support-category-1-project-grants.


How to apply

To be considered for this scholarship, please email the following documents to Professor Alan Rowan (alan.rowan@uq.edu.au) and/or Dr Jan Lauko(j.lauko@uq.edu.au)


  • Cover Letter that addresses how you meet the requirements for participation in the project
  • Detailed academic CV with a focus on past research and laboratory skills and details of two referees
  • Academic transcript/s

Please note the following: Submitting the above documents does not constitute a full application for admission into The University of Queensland's PhD program. If you are selected as the preferred applicant, you will then be invited to submit a full application for admission. You can familiarise yourself with the documents required for this process on the Graduate School's website.


Selection criteria

Applications are invited from outstanding and enthusiastic, international and domestic graduates of high scholarly calibre as evidenced by a high Grade Point Average (GPA) and will have a First Class Honours degree, Masters degree or equivalent. Past research publication output is desirable.


The candidate should have a background in physical organic and/or polymer chemistry, with experience in structural and material characterisation.


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