Joint PhD opportunities
We are currently recruiting joint PhD candidates to join the KU Leuven - Melbourne Joint PhD program. Each supervisory team oversees a pair of joint PhD projects on related, but separate research topics. One project’s home institution is the University of Melbourne and the other home institution
is KU Leuven.
Candidates spend a minimum of 12 months at both universities, providing a multidisciplinary cohort experience with other KU Leuven - Melbourne Joint PhD candidates.
Joint PhD candidates will benefit from the collective resources, networks and expertise of supervisors at the University of Melbourne and KU Leuven.Funding for each candidate will include tuition fees, a full living allowance (stipend), health insurance and travel allowance. At the successful completion of the program, each candidate will be eligible to receive a PhD, recognised by testamurs from each of the two universities.
To apply, decide on which projects below pique your interest and head to the how to apply page for details on the next steps.
Available joint PhD opportunities
Safety learning, avoidance behaviour, and ventromedial prefrontal circuits
A research project to study the generation and regulation of fear responses, with a goal of developing novel experimental models of conditioned inhibition, with direct translatability to brain functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
Safety learning, reward-prediction error and midbrain-striatal circuits
A research project to study the generation and regulation of fear responses, with a goal of developing and validating a novel behavioural paradigm to study the role of reward prediction error (RPE) in the learning of safety.
A functional artificial cell stabilized by a biomimetic cytoskeletons
A research project in bioengineering which will adapt droplet-based microfluidic strategies for the formation of giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) to integrate them with a “3D nano-printed” biomimetic cortex.
A high-definition approach for quantitative experimental measurements of membrane protein mechanosensitivity
A research project in bioengineering which aims to develop a fundamentally new approach for the experimental investigation of mechanosensitive membrane proteins.
Micromechanical analysis of load transfer across the bone-cartilage interface in osteoarthritic knees
A research project using novel mechanical, computational and bioimaging approaches to study the onset and progress of arthritis, specifically the bone-cartilage interface of the musculoskeletal joint and its role in the progression of osteoarthritis.
A microstructural model of osteochondral remodelling in an arthritis mouse model (in vivo)
A research project to develop a microstructural finite element analysis of osteochondral remodelling in murine knees, to further understand the onset and progress of arthritis.
The crucial role of the sleep-wake system in Alzheimer’s Disease pathophysiology
A research project exploring the sleep-wake cycle of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), drawing on emerging evidence that dysregulation of the sleep-wake cycle could be fundamental in Alzheimer’s Disease, with the goal of improving treatment for AD patients.
Density Functional Theory (DFT) for unusual electronic structures
A research project focusing on density functional theory, combining theoretical developments with the implementation into computer code and applications to chemistry. The candidate will acquire in-depth knowledge of TD-DFT and non-Hermitian quantum mechanics and will get acquainted with programming in a major quantum-chemical software package.
Failure prognosis for complex offshore structural systems through ultrasound and vibration measurements
A research and training program to investigate if UV measurements (both aerial and underwater) can provide accurate damage identification capability to large offshore structures, or if the additional measurement uncertainty implied by the nature of removable sensors destroys valuable information in data.
Reliability-based life cycle offshore concrete structures protection and management strategies
A research project focussed on predicting the residual service life of critical offshore structures through theoretical modelling in conjunction with experiments involving unmanned vehicles and advanced non-destructive techniques such as ultrasound, infrared thermography and IBIS-S radar.
Understanding heterogeneity in pre-schoolers at risk for mathematical learning difficulties via latent profile analysis
A research project using a combination of functionally defined samples with person-centered analyses, such as latent profile analysis, which has been suggested as a novel way to map the heterogeneity associated with poor school performance, especially children at risk for struggling with mathematics learning.
Understanding children’s mathematical competence through assessing their learning potential
A research project to understand the variability in the learning potential of 60 preschool learners (aged 4-5) as they transition from preschool into the first year of formal schooling.
Youth TikTok production as public pedagogy towards liveable climate futures
A research project to analyse youth social media productions (via the digital platform TikTok), as well as survey and interviews with youth in both Australia and Europe on their experiences and intentions regarding TikTok as public pedagogy on climate change.
Experiential futuring as co-creative methodology to help youth respond to social media outage in (un)liveable climates
A research project exploring how experiential futuring methodology might help develop a realistic scenario of how society and civilization is currently built in relation to disaster management and political sensitivities, and what our global society would look like under the conditions of a climate-related digital power apocalypse.
Glial-immune interactions protecting against formation of glioma
A research project will use data from preliminary studies to investigate whether the hypothesise that glial-immune interactions in the gut play an important role in protecting against glioma formation.
Glial-immune interactions in the gastrointestinal tract: protection against inflammation and cancer
A research project to help understand how the molecular mechanisms by which mucosal immune cells and the enteric glia crosstalk in health and disease, which will facilitate novel therapeutic strategies to treat intestinal immune-mediated diseases.
Mechanisms of action of anabolic osteoporosis therapy: functional studies using genetically modified mouse models and lineage tracing
A research project investigating whether the skeletal vasculature and stromal cells are involved in drug-induced bone formation and required for the therapeutic outcome in osteoporosis.
STAT3 signalling and the role of stromal-vascular communication in the development of cortical bone
A research project which seeks to identify how vasculature and osteoblasts communicate to facilitate the development of cortical bone, the toughened outer shell of all skeletal elements.
Calcium signalling and regulation of heart cell function and growth
A research project to test how calcium can act in a selective manner to precisely control heart muscle cell growth and gene expression.
Stem cell therapy for the treatment of achalasia and gastroparesis
A research project to investigate stem cell therapy as a potential treatment for achalasia, a condition resulting from damaged nerves in the esophagus.
First published on 25 August 2022.
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