Orygen PhD Scholarship Research Opportunity

Project Details

This PhD project is supported by the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Optimising Early Interventions for Young People with Emerging Mood Disorders (Optymise). The Optymise collaboration brings together key researchers in the area of youth mental health to generate new knowledge that leads to improved health outcomes in youth mental health;

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 candidate 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 candidate 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 candidate will write scientific papers on the above topics, and incorporate the research into a thesis.

Who Can Apply

We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic student with a strong interest in psychopathology who has the 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, computer science, (medical) informatics or technology, biomedical engineering, or related discipline;
  • Some experience with neuroimaging analysis and/or with computational statistics, machine learning, and/or pattern classification is desirable;
  • Excellent statistical skills are necessary, and strong computer programming skills (LINUX, scripting, and Matlab) are desirable;
  • Excellent communications skills in English, both written and verbal;
  • Experience in writing (international) publication(s) is a plus but not required.
  • It is essential that applicants meet the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Science’s requirements for Graduate Research candidature.

Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences PhD course information: http://mdhs-study.unimelb.edu.au/degrees

How to Apply

For more information about the position you can contact Dr. Lianne Schmaal, via telephone number: +61477550490 or email: lianne.schmaal@orygen.org.au

Applications close: 15th December 2016

To apply, please send an electronic copy of following to research@orygen.org.au with the title: Optymise Orygen PhD.

  • Curriculum Vitae listing any degrees, awards, prior publications, and work experience.
  • Copies of academic transcripts (please include reference key for explaining grade results, i.e. the range of grades)
  • A letter explaining applicant’s interest in the position
  • A sample of applicant’s written work (academic writing)

Full applications close: 4th February 2017. Potential applicants assessed as eligible after stage 1 will be informed and are required to submit their scholarship and UoM Graduate Research candidature applications by this date.


  • Applicants will be advised of the outcome by 28th February 2017.
  • The successful applicant will be invited to submit an online University of Melbourne application form.
  • Applicants should note that the offer of a PhD place must be taken up by 5th July 2017 on a full-time basis.
ProjectOrygen Optymise Neuroimaging in Mood Disorders
Scholarship $26,288 p.a. for 3.5 years to support a PhD position
Lead Supervisor Dr. Lianne Schmaal
Co-Supervisor Dr. Chris Davey
Project Duration 3.5 years full time commencing 2017


Closing Date Expression of Interest closes 5pm, Thursday 15th December 2016