QBI offers summer and winter research programs for undergraduate, honours, and post-graduate coursework students enrolled at UQ.

No Winter Program for 2022

QBI’s Winter Research Program 2021

UQ’s Winter Research Program provides an excellent opportunity for interested students to work with a researcher in a formal research environment to experience the research process and discover what research is being undertaken in their field of interest.

Students interested in pursuing a research career in neuroscience are encouraged to apply for the UQ Winter Research Program offered at the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI). QBI is looking for exceptional and highly motivated students to spend 4-5 weeks contributing to research projects currently underway in our laboratories while earning a scholarship of AUD$360/per week. The program will run during the University’s inter-semester vacation period from Monday 21 June 2021 through until Friday 23 July 2021.

The program begins 21 June 2021

Benefits

Winter research at UQ provides a range of benefits, including:

  • Experience to ‘test-drive’ research before embarking on future research studies (eg. Honours) or higher degree research projects (eg. master’s, MPhil or PhD);
  • An opportunity to develop new academic and professional skills to enhance employability;
  • Access to research networks and the opportunity to build connections with staff and postgraduate students;
  • Supervision by world-class UQ researchers;
  • Access to world-class facilities and experiences;
  • The possibility of obtaining credit towards your degree or the UQ Employability Award; and
  • A scholarship for qualifying students to receive an allowance of AUD$360/- per week, paid jointly by QBI and the UQ Student Employability Centre (UQ SEC).

Eligibility

To be eligible for the UQ Winter Research Program at QBI, students must:

  • Be currently enrolled in an undergraduate or honours or master’s by coursework degree at UQ at the time of application;
  • Remain an enrolled full-time student at UQ for the entirety of the Winter Program (ie. continuing study in the same degree in Semesters 1 and 2, 2021 and not completing/graduating in July 2021);
  • Be studying for a degree relevant to the research discipline;
  • Have a high level of academic achievement during their degree studies;
  • Have the potential to and an interest in undertaking postgraduate study (Master’s, MPhil or PhD); and
  • Undertake the research program at QBI, located on the UQ St Lucia campus.

Students may be eligible to participate in the Program and receive a scholarship more than once at the discretion of QBI. However, if the number of applicants exceeds available places and funding, preference will be given to first-time applicants.

Selection

Applications for QBI will be assessed by the Institute and placements will be awarded on a competitive basis, taking into account:

  • Student eligibility;
  • The availability of projects and supervisors;
  • The quality of the project;
  • The academic merit of the applicant;
  • Reasons provided for wanting to participate in the Program;
  • Skills and attributes of applicants to meet project requirements; and
  • Available funding.

Scholarship Support

All applicants will be automatically considered for a Winter Research Scholarship and those who qualify will receive funding of AUD$360/- per week, paid jointly by QBI and the UQ SEC.  No scholars are permitted to participate in the program in a voluntary capacity. If a student withdraws from the Program, or their placement is terminated, their scholarship will need to be returned for the equivalent full weeks remaining unworked.  More information about scholarships is available in the UQ Winter Research Program Guidelines for Scholars and Conditions of Participation documents via the UQ SEC website.

What will be my time commitment and obligations?

Scholars are expected to actively participate in an ongoing research project or to undertake a substantial piece of supervised research work. Where appropriate to the project, additional discipline-/project-specific obligations may also be required, such as training in research safety and ethics.

Winter research project work should not conflict with teaching weeks and should not commence prior to completing assessment or semester examination requirements.

At QBI, it is expected that scholars will be available and make a commitment to work on a full-time basis between 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday (up to 36 hours each week) during the Program.

Winter scholars accepted to participate in the Program at QBI will be requested by the Institute to complete a Student Intellectual Property and Confidentiality Deed (SIPCA) for their research project.

Towards the end of the Program, participating students at QBI may be requested by their supervisor to prepare and provide either a short-written report, or oral presentation during a lab group meeting, about their winter project work.

How to apply

Step 1 - Peruse the research projects listed below and choose a project from the list of available projects. Please note that students can submit only one application, but can specify a second QBI project preference option on the Application Form, if desired.

Step 2 – Check your eligibility: carefully read through ALL of the UQ SEC Winter Research Program information, including Guidelines for Scholars document, and Conditions of Participation contained at the UQ SEC’s website: https://employability.uq.edu.au/summer-winter-research

Step 3 – Email the relevant project contact person before applying to express your interest in the project and ascertain if they will support your application (attach your detailed academic CV and complete academic transcripts to your email).

Important Note: scholars accepted for the program at QBI are strongly encouraged to commence on Monday 21 June 2021 to participate in the compulsory UQ SEC Winter Research Welcome event and QBI’s compulsory student induction activities and requirements organised for that day including OHS training.

Step 4 – Submit an online application via the StudentHub and upload supporting documentation (CV, complete academic transcripts, supporting statement from a QBI supervisor) by Sunday 18 April 2021.  Reminder:  applicants can submit only one application, but can specify a second QBI project preference option on the Application Form, if desired.  Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

All applicants will be notified if they will be invited to participate in the Program by Friday 21 May 2020.

If you have any questions regarding the 2021 UQ SEC Winter Research Program at QBI, please email collaborators@qbi.uq.edu.au.

Available projects

Dr Matilde Balbi: Closed-loop joystick navigation for mice

DESCRIPTION: Refined forelimb movements are a distinctive feature of the mammalian motor system. Goal directed limb movements allow us to perform most tasks of daily living and to manipulate objects in our environment. These highly coordinated voluntary movements integrate relevant sensory inputs and motor command.  Sensorimotor integration is often disrupted in neurological disorders, such as stroke. Mice are very dexterous with their forelimbs and share many kinematics features with humans.

This project aims to:

  1. Further develop a miniature robotic joystick for applying force to guide or perturb mouse forepaw movements and integrate it to our automatic system
  • program system for applying force perturbation
  • Integration of miniaturized hardware and implementation of microprocessors (Arduino, Raspberry pi)
  • Program a real-time processing routine and a GUI
  1. Develop a system for high-speed videos to track and quantify forelimb movements of mice, combined with simultaneous calcium imaging recordings
  • Adapt the system for online tracking and closed loop applications
  • Program a real-time processing routine and a GUI

EXPECTED OUTCOMES AND DELIVERABLES: Scholars will be expected to build and test the apparatus, making sure that the method reaches high sensitivity of detection. Scholars will be responsible to modify/ generate codes that are accessible to any user.  Scholars will be expected, with the help of the supervisor, to find new innovative solutions that can improve the system.   

SUITABLE FOR: The project is suitable for students with knowledge of Phyton and experience with creative problem solving.

DURATION: 5 weeks

CAMPUS: St Lucia

For further information on the project please contact Dr. Balbi  by email (m.balbi@uq.edu.au). For general info on the lab have a look at our website: balbilab.com. Students can contact the supervisor to ask more info about the project prior applying.


Dr Matilde Balbi: Automated string-pulling task

DESCRIPTION: Rodent models of neurological disease are often characterized by motor deficits. Behavioural tests like the tapered beam test or the cylinder test provide sensitive measures of motor function. However, manual frame-by-frame scoring of the video recordings, necessary to obtain test results, is time consuming and prone to human bias.

The aim of the project is to build an automated string-pulling task and video recording systems to process and store results.

EXPECTED OUTCOMES AND DELIVERABLES: Scholars will be expected to build and test the apparatus, making sure that the method reaches high sensitivity of detection. Scholars will be responsible to modify/ generate codes that are accessible to any user.  Scholars will be expected, with the help of the supervisor, to find new innovative solutions that can improve the system.

SUITABLE FOR: The project is suitable for students with knowledge of Matlab and experience with creative problem solving.

DURATION: 5 weeks

CAMPUS: St Lucia

For further information on the project please contact Dr. Balbi  by email (m.balbi@uq.edu.au). For general info on the lab have a look at our website: balbilab.com. Students can contact the supervisor to ask more info about the project prior applying.


Professor Geoffrey GoodhillGraphical user interface design for visual stimuli

DESCRIPTION: We aim to understand the computational principles by which stimuli in the world are represented by patterns of neural activity, and how these representations emerge during development. To do this we are recording the activity of thousands of neurons simultaneously, at single-cell resolution, in the brain of the larval zebrafish, and also recording zebrafish behaviour. While recording neural activity, we present visual stimuli to the fish by playing movies of artificially generated spots and shapes designed to mimic prey and other environmental cues that the fish might encounter in its natural environment. We are seeking a skilled software engineer, computer scientist or programmer to develop a new user-friendly graphical user interface for fast and flexible generation of a wide range of these artificial visual stimuli using Python.

EXPECTED OUTCOMES AND DELIVERABLES: You will be embedded in an interdisciplinary team of neuroscientists, engineers, mathematicians and physicists. While in the lab you will gain exposure to cutting edge experimental neuroscience and state-of-the-art computational analysis techniques from machine learning, applied mathematics and statistical physics.

Project aims:

  • Develop an extensible modular package for the generation of movies of artificial visual stimuli in Python.
  • Develop a graphical user interface for users to specify the design of the stimuli (i.e. shape, size, position, speed, direction etc.) and various optical corrections.

Project devlierables are source code and comprehensive package documention.

SUITABLE FOR: 

  • Strong skills in coding in Python and demonstrated experience in GUI design are essential.
  • Experince with version control (GitHub) and creation of software documentation is required.
  • A background in mathematics and experience with standard Python scientific packages such as numpy and scipy are also highly desirable.
  • Previous knowledge of neuroscience is not essential.

DURATION: 4-5 weeks on site

CAMPUS: St Lucia

Please contact Professor Goodhill (g.goodhill@uq.edu.au) prior to submitting an application. Further background can be obtained from the following article: goodhill.org/pub/avitan20.pdf


Dr Susannah TyeWhy does deep brain stimulation (DBS) work for some and not others?

DESCRIPTION: Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a therapy in which electrodes are implanted into the brain and are used to deliver electrical stimulation alter activity. This technology is used for an increasingly diverse set of neurological and psychiatric disorders, but not all patients response. In the Tye laboratory, we are interested in why some groups responde, and not others.

In this project you will help identify in preclinical animals models what does DBS do to the brain, and how this relates to treatment response. The overarching goal would be to identify the most important biological correlates of treatment response.

EXPECTED OUTCOMES AND DELIVERABLES: Scholars will learn how to analyse behavioural and microscopy data, and perform stastical analyses to identify new patterns in data. By the end of the project scholars should have an appreciation of quantitative methods in behavioural neuroscience and biological psychiatry.

SUITABLE FOR: Suitable for any undergraduate student with an interest in neuroscience. Basic statistics and computer skills preferable.

DURATION: 5 weeks on site

CAMPUS: St Lucia


Professor Fred Meunier: Applying artificial intelligence to analyse super-resolution large datasets

DESCRIPTION: Super-resolution techniques are gaining momentum and are now opening new avenues for biologists, allowing direct visualisation of molecules in both fixed and living cells for the first time. In the last 5 years, my laboratory has focused on establishing single molecule imaging at The University of Queensland. Using this super-resolution technique, we have been able to track single molecules in their native environment and reveal critical changes in their behaviour associated with key physiological or pathological processes. The goal of this project is to apply artificial intelligence to analyse large dataset of stemming from single molecule imaging experiments.

EXPECTED OUTCOMES AND DELIVERABLES: Scholars will gain skills in single molecule imaging data analysis, be involved in analysing the data, and have an opportunity to generate publications from their research.  Students will be asked to produce a report or oral presentation at the end of their project.

SUITABLE FOR: This project is open to applications from students with a background in Math/Physics and/or Biology. Matlab or Python experience would be a plus.

DURATION: 5 weeks

CAMPUS: St Lucia

Please contact Prof Fred Meunier (f.meunier@uq.edu.au) and Ms Rachel Gormal (r.gormal@uq.edu.au) for application and send your CV.

QBI’s Summer Research Program 2022-2023

UQ’s Summer Research Program provides an excellent opportunity for interested students to work with a researcher in a formal research environment to experience the research process and discover what research is being undertaken in their field of interest.

Students interested in pursuing a research career in neuroscience are encouraged to apply for the UQ Summer Research Program offered at the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI). QBI is looking for exceptional and highly motivated students to spend 6-10 weeks contributing to research projects currently underway in our laboratories while earning a scholarship of AUD$360/ per week. The program will commence from Monday 28 November 2022 and run through until Friday 17 February 2023 with a holiday break from 23 December 2022 to 3 January 2023.

APPLICATIONS OPENING SOON
Applications open from 15 August 2022 and close on 18 September 2022

Benefits

Summer research at UQ provides a range of benefits, including:

  • Experience to ‘test-drive’ research before embarking on future research studies (eg. Honours) or higher degree research projects (eg. Master’s, MPhil or PhD);
  • An opportunity to develop new academic and professional skills to enhance employability;
  • Access to research networks and the opportunity to build connections with staff and postgraduate students;
  • Supervision by world-class UQ researchers;
  • Access to world-class facilities and experiences;
  • The possibility of obtaining credit towards your degree or the UQ Employability Award; and
  • A scholarship for qualifying students to receive an allowance of AUD$360/- per week, paid jointly by QBI and the UQ Student Employability Centre (UQ SEC).

Eligibility

To be eligible for the UQ Summer Research Program at QBI, students must:

  • Be currently enrolled in an undergraduate or honours or master’s by coursework degree at UQ at the time of application;
  • Remain an enrolled full-time student at UQ for the entirety of the Summer Program (ie. continuing study in the same degree in Semester 1,  2023 and not completing/graduating in December 2022);
  • Be studying for a degree relevant to the research discipline;
  • Have a high level of academic achievement during their degree studies;
  • Have the potential to and an interest in undertaking postgraduate study (Master’s, MPhil or PhD); and
  • Undertake the research program at QBI, located on the UQ St Lucia campus.

Students may be eligible to participate in the Program and receive a scholarship more than once at the discretion of QBI. However, if the number of applicants exceeds available places and funding, preference will be given to first-time applicants.

Selection

Applications for QBI will be assessed by the Institute and placements will be awarded on a competitive basis, taking into account:

  • Student eligibility;
  • The availability of projects and supervisors;
  • The quality of the project;
  • The academic merit of the applicant;
  • Reasons provided for wanting to participate in the Program;
  • Skills and attributes of applicants to meet project requirements; and
  • Available funding.

Scholarship Support

All applicants will be automatically considered for a Summer Research Scholarship and those who qualify will receive funding of AUD 360/- per week, paid jointly by QBI and the UQ SEC.  No scholars are permitted to participate in the program in a voluntary capacity. If a student withdraws from the Program, or their placement is terminated, their scholarship will need to be returned for the equivalent full weeks remaining unworked. More information about scholarships is available in the UQ Summer Research Program Guidelines for Scholars and Conditions of Participation documents via the UQ SEC website.

What will be my time commitment and obligations?

Scholars are expected to actively participate in an ongoing research project or to undertake a substantial piece of supervised research work. Where appropriate to the project, additional discipline-/project-specific obligations may also be required, such as training in research safety and ethics.

The period of eligibility for scholarship payments for the Program is from 6 weeks up to 10 full weeks between the time period of 28 November 2022 to 17 February 2023. The research period is normally offered in two parts to allow for the Christmas/New Year holidays when the University is officially closed.

Summer research project work should not conflict with teaching weeks and should not commence prior to completing assessment or semester examination requirements.

At QBI, it is expected that scholars will be available and make a commitment to work on a full-time basis between 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday (up to 36 hours each week) during the Program.

Summer scholars accepted to participate in the Program at QBI will be requested by the Institute to complete a Student Intellectual Property and Confidentiality Deed (SIPCA) for their research project.

Towards the end of the Program, participating students at QBI may be requested by their supervisor to prepare and provide either a short-written report, or oral presentation during a lab group meeting, about their summer project work.

How to apply

Step 1 - Peruse the research projects listed below and choose a project from the list of available projects. Please note that students can submit only one application, but can specify a second QBI project preference option on the Application Form, if desired.

Step 2 – Check your eligibility: carefully read through ALL of the UQ SEC Summer Research Program information, including Guidelines for Scholars document, and Conditions of Participation contained at the UQ SEC’s website: https://employability.uq.edu.au/summer-winter-research

Step 3 – Email the relevant project contact person before applying to express your interest in the project and ascertain if they will support your application (attach your detailed academic CV and complete academic transcripts to your email).

Important Note: scholars accepted for the program at QBI are strongly encouraged to commence on Monday 28 November 2022 to participate in the compulsory UQ SEC Summer Research Welcome event and QBI’s compulsory student induction activities and requirements organised for that day including OHS training.

Step 4 – Submit an online application via the Student Hub and upload supporting documentation (CV, complete academic transcripts, supporting statement from a QBI supervisor) by 18 September 2022. Reminder: applicants can submit only one application, but can specify a second QBI project preference option on the Application Form, if desired. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

All applicants will be notified if they will be invited to participate in the Program by 24 October 2022.

If you have any questions regarding the 2022/2023 UQ SEC Summer Research Program at QBI, please email collaborators@qbi.uq.edu.au.

Available projects

 
Dr Margreet RidderExploring the neuroanatomical connections involved in Parkinson’s disease

DESCRIPTION: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurological disorder that results from loss of dopaminergic neurons in the midbrain. Freezing of gait (FOG) and postural instability are often seen in patients with advanced PD.  In FOG patients experience brief, episodic absences or marked reduction of forward progression of the feet despite having the intention to walk. Deep brain stimulation of the pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN) offers relief of FOG for some patients, yet its mechanism is unknown. The PPN is a nucleus in the brain stem and contains different neuronal cell types with ascending and descending connections to a range of brain areas, including many motor related areas.

Aim: This project aims to reconstruct neurons in specific motor related areas and quantify the synaptic connections they receive from different classes of PPN neurons in rodents. 

Approach: Specific neuronal population and synapses will be fluorescently labelled using state-of-the art technology delivered using viral vectors. (https://science.sciencemag.org/content/360/6387/430/tab-figures-data). After labelling of cells and their synaptic connections, histological techniques will be used to create fluorescent images of individual neurons. Finally, Imaris software will be used to reconstruct neurons and their connections, and obtain quantitative data on the types of neurons and their synapses.

EXPECTED OUTCOMES AND DELIVERABLES: Scholars will be involved in neuronal labelling, tissue fixation, immunohistochemistry and fluorescent microscope. They will obtain skills in neuroanatomy, anatomical data analysis, scientific writing and presenting of scientific data. Students will be asked to produce a brief report and oral presentation at the end of their project.

SUITABLE FOR: This project is open to life sciences students with a strong interest in neuronal anatomy. Experience with MATLAB or other programming language preferred but not required.

DURATION: 8-10 weeks with the applicant working onsite for 20-24hrs a week, with the option of working the remaining 8-12hrs remote.

For further information, please contact Dr Margreet Ridder m.ridder@uq.edu.au


 

Dr Matilde Balbi and Montana SamantzisInvestigating the effects of longitudinal brain stimulation following stroke

DESCRIPTION: Stroke is the leading cause of disability in Australia and has very limited treatment options. Direct brain stimulation is a promising strategy to promote functional recovery after stroke. However, previous research has identified that recovery after brain stimulation is highly variable and may depend on both the timing and duration of stimulation.

For this project the student will perform mesoscale brain imaging following stroke in awake mice. They will investigate whether there are changes to neuronal activity and connectivity depending on the duration of brain stimulation given following stroke.

EXPECTED OUTCOMES AND DELIVERABLES: The student will gain skills in mouse handling, brain imaging, and brain stimulation. They will also learn how to perform basic analysis of brain imaging data. The student will be expected to participate in lab meetings and will have practice presenting their data.

SUITABLE FOR: This project is open to applications from students with a background in biomedical sciences, psychology or engineering. Previous experience with mouse handling or analysis of brain imaging data is a bonus.

DURATION: Duration is 10 weeks during the Summer Vacation. The student is expected to be on-site at QBI for 36 hours per week. No remote working is possible for the project.

Students are highly encouraged to contact the lab before applying. For further information on the project please contact Dr Balbi by email (m.balbi@uq.edu.au). For general info on the lab have a look at our website.


 

Dr Reuben RideauxBehavioural and neural investigations of multisensory perception

DESCRIPTION: The project will investigate the neural basis for multisensory perception in humans. To investigate these neural mechanisms, we will use machine/deep learning, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and spectroscopy (fMRS), electroencephalography (EEG), eye tracking, and/or psychophysics. 

The research will be conducted at the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) within the Mattingley Lab group (on the St Lucia Campus). QBI is an exciting place to work, and our group has a reputation for being inclusive and friendly, with weekly meetings where we discuss research on a broad range of topics. 

EXPECTED OUTCOMES AND DELIVERABLES: The student will gain skills in machine/deep learning, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and spectroscopy (fMRS), electroencephalography (EEG), eye tracking, and/or psychophysics. They will also learn how to perform basic analysis of behavioural and/or brain imaging data. I always endeavour to publish the results of summer projects in a peer-reviewed journal. Students may also be asked to produce a report or oral presentation at the end of their project.

SUITABLE FOR: This project is open to applications from students with a background in biomedical sciences, psychology, or engineering. Previous experience with machine learning, neuroimaging, and/or psychophysics is a bonus.

DURATION: Duration of the project, 6-10 weeks during Summer Vacation.

Hours of engagement must be between 20-36hrs per week

Applicant will be required on-site for the project.

Students are highly encouraged to contact the lab before applying. For further information on the project please contact Dr Rideaux by email (r.rideaux@uq.edu.au). For general info on the lab have a look at our website.


 
Associate Professor Steven ZurynGenome editing to study gene function and neurodegeneration

DESCRIPTION: Our laboratory studies genetics to uncover the functions of genes that regulate processes such as neurodegeneration and mitochondrial function. This project will focus on using new genome editing technologies (CRISPR) to understand how genes function in these processes. You will work with experts in the lab to test whether specific genes contribute to protecting the mitochondrial genome, a requirement for life and correct neuron function. We primarily use the genetic model organism C. elegans to conduct these studies. You will develop new genetic hypotheses and models to explain processes that contribute to disease.

EXPECTED OUTCOMES AND DELIVERABLES: At a technical level, you will learn molecular biology approaches and genome editing technologies used around the world. At a conceptual level, you will gain insight into how genes contribute to disease. More specifically, this project will lead to the development of new hypotheses aimed at understanding the contribution of mitochondrial gene function to neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. You will also learn how to present research and contribute to publications. 

SUITABLE FOR: This project is open to applications from motivated students with a background and/or interest in molecular biology, cell biology, genetics or similar. 

DURATION: 8-10 weeks during Summer Vacation.

Hours of engagement must be between 20-36hrs per week

Applicant will be required on-site for the project.

If you would like to know more information before applying, please contact Steven Zuryn (s.zuryn@uq.edu.au). Also visit our lab’s website (www.qbi.uq.edu.au/zuryngroup) or www.zurynlab.com 


 
Dr Adam WalkerStudying mechanisms and treatments for motor neurone disease (MND) and frontotemporal dementia

DESCRIPTION: Neurodegenerative diseases such as motor neurone disease (MND) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are inevitably fatal and have no effective therapeutics. MND primarily affects the spinal cord and causes paralysis, whereas FTD primarily affects the brain and causes progressive and debilitating changes to behaviour, language and personality. Despite these many differences in disease symptoms, most people with MND and FTD develop similar characteristic pathology in neurons involving a DNA/RNA-binding protein known as TDP-43. Our lab aims to understand how dysfunction of TDP-43 and related proteins causes neurodegeneration. We use various biochemical and imaging techniques to study neuronal cell cultures, genetically modified mice, and human samples.

Recently, using advanced genetic engineering and proteomics approaches, we have identified genes and proteins that likely control neurotoxicity in MND and FTD. The aim of this project is to define how these potential new therapeutic targets contribute to neurodegeneration, to guide future drug development for people living with these devastating diseases.

EXPECTED OUTCOMES AND DELIVERABLES: You will work alongside current lab members and may use a range of techniques including CRISPR/Cas9 genetic engineering, human iPSC-derived neuronal cell culture and transfections, lentiviral production and cell transductions, transgenic mouse motor behaviour assessment, mouse brain and spinal cord surgery and dissection, immunoblotting, and advanced microscopy, depending on the final agreed project aims.

Students will be involved in weekly lab meetings and journal clubs, will present their results in a lab meeting, and will produce a final report that may contribute towards research publications. 

SUITABLE FOR: This project is open to applications from students with an interest in biochemistry, cell biology and neuroscience, and we welcome lab members with a diversity of past experience. 

We encourage applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, LGBTIAQ+ students and others from backgrounds underrepresented in STEMM. 

Applications from students who may be interested in undertaking Honours or Masters research units in our lab in 2022, or future higher degree research (MPhil/PhD), will be viewed favourably.

DURATION: 6-10 weeks, by arrangement between student and lab

Please send expressions of interest to Dr Adam Walker (adam.walker@uq.edu.au), Dr Rebecca San Gil (r.sangil@uq.edu.au), Dr Leon Luan (w.luan@uq.edu.au), Dr Adekunle Bademosi (a.bademosi@uq.edu.au), or Dr Heledd Brown-Wright (h.brownwright@uq.edu.au). 

So that we can consider your expression of interest, in your initial email you must include:

  • your CV, 
  • academic transcript, and; 
  • a short description of your research interests and future goals. 

If applicable, you are welcome to also provide a brief description of relevant relative-to-opportunity considerations that may have impacted your past record of achievement.

We will invite shortlisted candidates to meet and discuss specific details of available projects prior to final application submission.
 


The Global Change Youth Research Program is usually 4 weeks during the winter vacation and then 1 day a week during semester 2.

Programe timeline

DateAction Item
1 April 2022Youth Forum held at the Global Change Institute
28 April 2022Closing date for Projects from Research Units
3 May 2022Project Selection Panel Meets
9 May 2022Applications Open
29 May 2022Applications Close
30 May - 12 June 2022Shortlisting Period
13 - 15 June 2022Offers Issued
16 June 2022Finalise Acceptances
22 - 25 June 2022Getting Started Week (Welcome Event, Research Skill Sessions)
27 June 2022Research Projects Commence
29 October 2022Research Projects Conclude
9 December 2022Project Report Due to Supervisor
February 2023Research Showcase Event (Combined with Summer Research Program)
April 2023Presentations at the 2023 Youth Forum


•    Positions are fully funded by the grant (no co-funding) which makes this an excellent opportunity for academics that don’t have consultancy funds or operational funding support from their units to submit projects;
•    The projects will run intensively (20-36 hours a week) for 4 weeks in the Winter Vacation period, and then for the equivalent of one day a week during semester 2, 2022; 
•    Scholars will be under the age of 25;
•    Students must be enrolled in a program of study at UQ at the time of application and maintain ongoing enrolment in a program at UQ for the entirety of Semester 2, 2022.

Enquiries pertaining to program dates, events/sessions, eligibility and grievances should be directed to the Student Enrichment and Employability Development Team.

 

Available projects

Dr Dhanisha Jhaveri: Understanding neurobiological mechanisms to promote resilience to stress-related mental health conditions.

DESCRIPTION: Chronic and uncontrollable stress such as that experienced during the current COVID-19 pandemic is a major risk factor for many neuropsychiatric disorders, including anxiety and depression, for which treatment remains a challenge. Therefore, the search for neurobiological mechanisms, specifically those involving defined cell subtype(s) or circuit(s) that confer resilience i.e. the ability to avoid deleterious behavioural changes in response to chronic stress, represents a novel strategy for discovering antidepressant therapeutics. 

The discovery of neurogenesis (i.e. the production and integration of new neurons) in the adult mammalian brain has emerged as an unparalleled mechanism to understand how life experiences shape cellular plasticity, and in turn alter behavioural outcomes. A major focus of our lab is to understand how adult-born neurons contribute to the development of, and recovery from, stress-induced affective behaviour. Using mouse models, our lab has uncovered an important role for adult-born neurons in the regulation of anxiety-like behaviour.  Recently, advanced transcriptomics approaches have identified new molecular candidates that may play critical role(s) in this mechanism of stress resilience. 

The primary aim of the project is to establish whether and how these candidate genes contribute to stress-induced anxiety-like behaviour.

EXPECTED OUTCOMES AND DELIVERABLES: The outcomes of this study will provide a new framework for understanding the role of adult-born neurons in mood regulation and identify potentially new molecular targets for promoting stress resilience.

You will work alongside current lab members and may use a range of techniques including neuronal cell culture, mouse brain dissection, histology, advanced microscopy, animal behaviour.

Students will participate in the lab meetings, journal clubs, QBI seminars and present their data in a lab meeting.  They will also communicate their results via a written final report that may contribute towards research publications.

SUITABLE FOR: This project is open to applications from students with an interest in neuroscience, cell biology, molecular biology, regenerative medicine.

Applications from students who may be interested in undertaking Honours or Masters research units in our lab in 2023, or future higher degree research (MPhil/PhD), will be viewed favourably.

DURATION: 4 weeks during Winter Vacation and 1 day a week during semester 2, 2022. Hours of engagement – 36 hrs per week

CAMPUS: St Lucia - applicant will be required on-site for duration of the project.

Please send expressions of interest to Dr Dhanisha Jhaveri (dhanisha@uq.edu.au) and include copies of your CV and academic transcripts. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to meet and discuss project details prior to final application submission.

Contact

Collaborators Liaison

   +61 7 334 66300

  collaborators@qbi.uq.edu.au

 

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