phD Recruitment

The Centre is pleased to offer a number of fully funded PhD positions. These competitive scholarships are specifically aimed at attracting high quality national and international students. Successful candidates will be awarded a research scholarship valued at $24,653 per annum for 3 years (tax exempt, indexed annually) and receive a fee waiver.


The Centre is led by Peter Visscher and Naomi Wray, it comprises over 15 post-doctoral researchers as well as a number of international visiting scientists; and collectively we have expertise in a wide range of fields relating to genetics, genomics, statistics, and programming. The CNSG is based at the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) of The University of Queensland (UQ) in Brisbane, Australia. The student will join a large team of post-doctoral researchers who will provide day-to-day supervision and teaching of the specialised skill set used in quantitative genomics research.

The UQ PhD program is a research-only program with no formal requirements for completion of taught courses. Nonetheless, students are able to attend suitable courses offered by UQ. PhD students are likely to be offered the opportunity to attend specialised short courses such as the Summer School in Statistical Genetics at the University of Seattle, the MRC SDGP Summer School at King’s College London, and the International Workshop On Statistical Genetic Methods For Human Complex Traits at the University of Boulder in Colorado. Students are expected to present their research at a minimum of one national and one international conference during their PhD.


A PhD is about learning new skills and learning how to do research. We recognise that students will come to us from different backgrounds in order to learn these new skills. Projects are fundamentally quantitative and computer-based, so evidence of quantitative aptitude is essential. We will consider students from a wide range of backgrounds including, but not limited to: quantitative genetics, maths, (bio)statistics, epidemiology, computer science, bioinformatics, molecular biology, psychology, and physics.

To be competitive you should have a high-ranking Undergraduate and/or Masters degree in one of the subjects listed above.


There are a variety of projects available across our research themes that can be taylored to a suitable students research interests and academic skill-set. These include investigating the genetic architecture of psychiatric disorders, using gene-expression and DNA methlation data to understand disease aetiology and improve disease risk prediction, examining pleiotrophy between diseases and investigating the reasons for differences in disease penetrance between the sexes.

Our philosophy for PhD projects is that the starting place should be well defined. This allows the student to quickly launch their education and gain skills. It is expected that within the three years of the PhD program the student will have the freedom to make decisions about the direction that their research will follow.


Please send enquiries to Allan McRae, providing your academic CV and a summary of your research interests. Suitable candidates will be paired with a potential supervisor(s) to engage in a discussion concerning the possibility of undertaking postgraduate studies in the Centre. This exchange is likely to involve an interview by Skype.

After you have received confirmation from a supervisor agreeing to be your proposed principal advisor, the next step is to express your interest in a PhD by completing an Expression of Interest form and providing:

  • Your academic CV
  • Academic transcripts
  • Degree award certificates
  • Two references
  • Proof of your English proficiency (if you are not a native speaker)

Enquiries can be received at any time. Start dates are throughout the year with the university allowing registrations commencing January 1, April 1, July 1 or October 1 each year.