Melbourne Scholarships

PhD scholarship in Neuroimaging in Mood Disorders

A full-time postgraduate scholarship is available for a suitably qualified candidate to undertake research into neurobiological mechanisms underlying youth depression at Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health. The successful applicant will be required to enrol in a full-time PhD with the Centre for Youth Mental Health, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry & Health Sciences, University of Melbourne.

This PhD project is supported by the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Optimising Early Interventions for Young People with Emerging Mood Disorders (Optymise);. Research will be conducted at Orygen under the supervision of Dr. Lianne Schmaal and Dr. Chris Davey.

The overall aims of the PhD project are to establish the neurobiological correlates underlying variation in disease profile and disease course of mood disorders in young people and to identify which (imaging) markers distinguish between or cluster across current disease classifications. The PhD student will work with large-scale datasets from the ENIGMA Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)consortium and local datasets acquired at the Optymise collaborating institutes (Orygen, Brain and Mind Centre).

The PhD student will support ongoing ENIGMA MDD work and will apply advanced computational and statistical methods, including the application of supervised and unsupervised machine learning techniques to the ENIGMA MDD datasets and datasets acquired at the Optymise collaborating institutes. The PhD student will write scientific papers on the above topics, and incorporate the research into a PhD thesis.


The base stipend will be equivalent to RTP scholarship rate, which is currently AUD$ 26,916 per annum (2017 rate, indexed annually) tax-free for 3.5 years, subject to satisfactory progress. A top up scholarship may be available for excellent candidates.


A highly motivated and enthusiastic student with a strong interest in psychopathology and with following background and experience:

  • Completed tertiary studies that are at least equivalent to a 4-year honours degree at an Australian university with a minimum result of first class honours in the field of psychology, biomedical sciences, computer science, physics, biomedical engineering, or related discipline;
  • Some experience with neuroimage analysis is desirable;
  • Strong statistical skills are desirable, and computer programming skills (LINUX, scripting, R,and/or Matlab) will be an advantage;
  • Excellent communications skills in English, both written and verbal;
  • Meet entry requirements of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry & Health Sciences, University of Melbourne


To apply, please send an electronic copy of following to

  1. Curriculum Vitae listing any degrees, awards,prior publications, and work experience, 
  2. Transcripts of grades 
  3. Letter explaining applicant's interest in the position and 
  4. Sample of written work (academic writing)


Eligible candidates are selected on the basis of academic merit, strength of supporting documentation and the terms of the CRE Optymise scholarship. Interviews will take place with a selection of applicants for final selection.


Outcome will be notified by 28 August 2017.


More information

For more information please contact Dr. Lianne Schmaal, via telephone number:+61477550490 or email:

Number available


Current round

Opens: 29 June 2017
Closes: 14 August 2017

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