Applications for this PhD have now closed.
Location University of Newcastle, Faculty of Science and Information Technology
App. deadline 21/12/2016
  • Scholarship available
Eligibility Australian and New Zealand residents

Exploring electrophysiological biomarkers of schizophrenia in animal models: focus on pharmacology and impact on cognitive performance

A PhD scholarship is available to investigate electrophysiological biomarkers for schizophrenia such as reduced mismatch negativity and aberrant oscillatory activity in animal models under the leadership of team including Dr Lauren Harms, Prof Deborah Hodgson, A / Prof Juanita Todd, A / Prof Paul Tooney and Emeritus Prof Patricia Michie.


A PhD position with a living allowance scholarship is available for students to investigate the role of electrophysiological biomarkers for schizophrenia in behaviour and their neurobiology. The projects will be focused on using animal models to understand how environmental risk factors for schizophrenia alter brain development to produce long-term changes in neurobiology and behaviour that relate to schizophrenia, with a particular focus on electrophysiological biomarkers of schizophrenia such as aberrant oscillatory activity and mismatch negativity. The projects will utilize behavioural, electrophysiological, and pharmacological techniques to examine the impact of risk factors for schizophrenia and to evaluate the effectiveness of potential treatments for the disorder. The successful applicant will develop a broad range of technical skills including: behavioural assessment in rodents, in vivo electrophysiology, assessment of protein and mRNA levels, immunohistochemistry, and surgical procedures, administration of substances and handling of laboratory rodents. Previous experience in any of these techniques will be highly valued in applicants. Projects will be supervised by an interdisciplinary team including Dr Lauren Harms, Prof Deborah Hodgson, A/Prof Juanita Todd, A/Prof Paul Tooney and E/Prof Patricia Michie. The student will receive support for conference attendance, exceptional mentoring opportunities, and access to the rich research environment within the university and the Priority Research Centre for Brain and Mental Health.


$26,288 per annum (2016 rate), 3 years plus 6 month extension. Relocation allowance up to $1,520 and establishment allowance up to $500. For international candidates, overseas health cover will be provided.


Candidates must have an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science, Psychology, Neuroscience, Medicine or equivalent with first class honours and preferably Masters. Strong proficiency in English is essential - scores 7 or above on IELTS; or 94 overall or above on TOFEL.

This scholarship is available to domestic and international candidates.


Interested applicants are advised to send an email expressing their interest.

Contact: Dr Lauren Harms


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Further Information / Application Enquiries

Dr Lauren Harms
+61 2 49215664