Applications for this PhD have now closed.
Location University of Technology Sydney, ithree Institute
App. deadline 19/01/2018
  • Scholarship available
Project ID ICHDR4 (UTS)
Eligibility Open to international applicants

Strategies to inhibit biofilm formation on orthopaedic implants

ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Innovative BioEngineering PhD scholarship


The short lifespan of orthopaedic implants is a major clinical problem, where failure often occurs within a few months as a result of infections that are often associated with the formation of antibiotic resistant biofilms.  In this project, the student will work closely with clinicians and orthopaedic implant developers to identify the micro-organisms that are commonly present in orthopaedic implant infections and determine which features of the implants are prone to biofilm formation. This project will also examine anti-microbial and anti-biofilm properties of novel biomaterials for orthopaedic implants and determine their mode of action.


The project will utilise advanced techniques applicable to both microbiology and biomaterials including microbiome analyses, optical and electron microscopy, in vitro and in vivo models of biofilm formation, and manufacture of biomaterials and orthopaedic implants.


Prof Cynthia Whitchurch (University of Technology Sydney), Prof Hala Zreiqat (The University of Sydney)


The scholarship is open to both domestic and international students with a Masters and/or Bachelor Hons I (or equivalent) in biomedical, or biological sciences to undertake a PhD degree in the Faculty of Science at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). The applicants are expected to have background and experience in some of the following areas: biomedicine, microbiology, biological science, microscopy and biomaterials.

Deferment of the Scholarship is not permissible.



The research supervisor will award the Scholarship on the basis of an applicant’s academic record, curriculum vitae, research proposal and statement that their interest and experience is in the area of microbiology, biofilms, and biomaterials. The supervisor may also speak with up to two referees per applicant when making their decision.

AMOUNT AWARDED AND DURATION: The ARC ITTC stipend is $32,304 pa and cannot be used to cover international student tuition fees. The scholarship will be tenable for the 3 years and may be renewed for an additional six months subject to satisfactory progress. Extension of the scholarship will only be considered subject to satisfactory progress and funding.


Further information about the field of research can be obtained from Professor Cynthia Whitchurch in the ithree institute, University of Technology Sydney at:, or by phone +61 2 9514 4144.

Students need to apply online via:

Applications should include a copy of the applicant’s curriculum vitae, statement demonstrating interest in the area of biofilms and biomaterials research, and contact details of at least two referees.

Please Note: Should this listing mention details of an available scholarship, it is your responsibility to confirm the specifics with the university / institute prior to applyiing. Terms and conditions are in some cases subject to change and are not always reflected immediately within listings.

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Further Information / Application Enquiries

Prof Cynthia Whitchurch
+61 9514 4144