Strong Enough To Live Research PhD Scholarship


Strong Enough To Live Research PhD Scholarship (being the equivalent funding to the current Research Training Program (RTP) base scholarship; currently $28,854 p.a


Applicants must be Australian citizens or have permanent resident status and be currently residing in Australia. Evidence is to be submitted at the time of application.

Conditions of award

Term of the scholarship is up to 3 years. Scholars are encouraged to apply for other external funding during their first year of scholarship. A six month extension of the term of the scholarship may be permitted if delays in progress of the project occur that are outside the control of the student.

Application Guidelines

Please use the 2023 Application Form provided with these guidelines. Please do not send hard copies: the Application Form must be submitted as a searchable pdf document.

The applicant must provide:

  • Doc A CV- A full CV with current details: full name, title, position, current employer, department, address, telephone and e-mail. Include qualifications, awards and prizes, professional experience (not exceeding three pages), start and end date PhD and specialised training program.
  • Doc B 2023 NRF Application Form
  • Doc C Letter Head of Dept - A signed letter of certification from the Head of Department/Division certifying that appropriate general facilities will be available to the investigator if successful, and that the project will be carried out strictly in accordance with NHMRC Ethical and Scientific Practice Guidelines and,
  • Doc D Proposed Supervisors Report Form plus A signed letter of approval and assessment from the nominated supervisor(s) indicating their willingness to carry out such supervision.
  • Doc E Honours Result - The applicant must provide the NeuroSurgical Research Foundation with their Honours result immediately as soon as it is available.
  • Doc F Honours Supervisors Report Form - The applicant’s Honours supervisor should complete the assessment form provided and forward to the NeuroSurgical Research Foundation by the closing date.

Full Guidelines can be found here

Submitting the Application

Applications to be submitted by email to − The application may be submitted either as one “Application” document with all relevant documents within the one pdf or as separate documents. If submitting the application documents separately, all documents must be pdf’s and appropriately labelled.

APPLICATIONS CLOSE 4PM Monday 31st October 2022

BTRSA Lab Opportunites

Prof Stuart Pitson: Molecular Therapeutics Laboratory, Centre for Cancer Biology (University of South Australia and SA Pathology)

List of current research projects:

  1. Developing a living glioblastoma biobank for the evaluation of new and existing therapies
  2. Evaluating new approaches to open the blood-brain barrier to anti-neoplastic drugs for brain tumour therapy
  3. Developing clinically relevant models of recurrent glioblastoma
  4. Developing preclinical models of medulloblastoma and assessment of a novel therapeutic target in these models
  5. Improving immunotherapy for brain tumours by enhancing CAR-T cell persistence

Dr Guillermo Gomez: Tissue architecture and Organ Function Laboratory, Centre for Cancer Biology (University of South Australia and SA Pathology)

List of current research projects:

  1. Development of new AI and bioinformatics methods for the analysis of patient-derived diagnosis information to identify new molecular targets for glioblastoma and its functional test in patient-derived organoids.
  2. Development of a multidimensional atlas with single-cell resolution of gene, protein and metabolite expression for glioblastoma in patient-derived tumour tissue and matched organoids for identification of tumour-microenvironment interactions that drive glioblastoma progression.
  3. Harnessing brain tumour cell-blood vessel interactions as new therapeutic targets for recurrent glioblastoma. (in collaboration with Prof. Stuart Pitson).

Prof Michael Brown: Translational Oncology Laboratory, Centre for Cancer Biology (University of South Australia and SA Pathology)

List of current research projects:

  1. LEVI’S-CATCH Clinical Trial of GD2-CAR-T cell Therapy in children with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. Soon to be opened at Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network.
  2. KARPOS Clinical Trial of GD2-CAR-T cell Therapy in adults with recurrent glioblastoma. In preparation for opening at Royal Adelaide Hospital.
  3. Dual targeting of brain tumours using (i) CAR-T cells and bi-specific T-cell engager molecules for glioblastoma antigens and (ii) genetically engineered invariant NKT cells for diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma.
  4. Improving homing and persistence of CAR-T cells for glioblastoma therapy using single cell RNAseq and gene editing techniques.
  5. Detailed profiling of brain tumour patient tissue and blood samples using single cell RNA sequencing, spatial transcriptomics, immunostaining and multi-parameter flow cytometry.

Dr Nirmal Robinson: Cellular Stress and Immune Response Laboratory, Centre for Cancer Biology (University of South Australia and SA Pathology)

List of current research projects:

  1. STING (Stimulator of Interferon Genes): A potential target for glioblastoma.
  2. Targeting Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Responses to treat glioblastoma.

Assoc Prof Cedric Bardy: Laboratory for Human Neurophysiology and Genetics, SAHMRI

List of current research projects:

  1. Minimising the neurotoxicity of chemotherapies
  2. Drug screens for glioblastoma in a human brain microenvironment

Assoc Prof Simon Conn: Circular RNAs in Cancer Laboratory, Flinders Health and Medical Research Institute (FHMRI, Flinders University)

List of current research projects:

  1. Fundamental understanding of cancer-causing mutations in glioblastoma
  2. Personalised molecular therapy for glioblastoma
  3. Liquid biomarkers for the earliest diagnosis of glioblastoma

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