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CSIRO Industry PhD Scholarship: Development of protein biomarker assays for Alzheimer's disease

Date: 15-Nov-2022

Location: Adelaide, SA, AU

Company: CSIRO


Acknowledgement of Country 
CSIRO acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land, sea and waters, of the area that we live and work on across Australia. We acknowledge their continuing connection to their culture and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. View our vision towards reconciliation. 


The Opportunity

  • Gain experience working with industry to solve real-world problems while you earn your PhD 
  • Develop transferable professional skills 
  • Get access to specialised expertise, equipment and training 

The CSIRO Industry PhD Scholarship (iPhD) Program is an industry-focused, applied research scholarship and training program that brings together an industry partner, the university and CSIRO. 

You will undertake a co-designed research project that will develop your ability to translate research into commercial outcomes.  

You will get real-world experience and access to specialised expertise, equipment and training.

Our graduates develop transferable professional skills and are well positioned to work at the cutting edge of industry focussed research.  


Scholarship details 

The Program includes:

  • admission to the university PhD program  
  • a four-year scholarship package of approx. $45,000 per annum  
  • a four-year Project Expense and Development package of up to $13,000 per annum  
  • an in-business component with an industry partner of at least 3 months 
  • professional development training to enhance your applied research skills  
  • supervision by CSIRO, the industry partner, and the university  


Project Title:  Development of protein biomarker assays for Alzheimer's disease in the SAND and ADNeT cohorts.


Project Description:   Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease and is projected to increase by 300% over the next thirty years. AD has become a global concern in terms of social and economic impact and there is a current need for accurate biomarkers for early detection of AD. Some of the existing biomarkers for AD are either very expensive or invasive; e.g. brain imaging (CT, MRI, PET), cerebrospinal fluid and blood biomarkers and genetic testing. Our team is investigating non-invasive protein biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease (from saliva) to help detect early brain changes leading to AD, better understand how risk factors are involved, and identify participants who meet requirements for clinical trials and studies. We aim to track participants' responses to a test drug or other intervention, such as physical exercise.


Project supervisors:   

    CSIRO supervisor: Wayne Leifert
    Business Unit: Health and Biosecurity 
    Research program: Human Health 
    Email address:

    University supervisor: Tara Pukala 
    The University of Adelaide (UoA)
    Email address:
    Faculty: Sciences, Engineering and Technology
    School: Physical Sciences 

    Company name: Biosensis Pty Ltd



  • Primary location of the student: CSIRO Health & Biosecurity, Adelaide, S.A.
  • Other potential locations: The University of Adelaide
  • In-business component with Industry partner: Biosensis (Thebarton, SA)


Overview of who we are looking for 

The ideal student will have:

  • a keen interest in molecular biology techniques; namely Western blot, ELISA, proteomics, protein purification antibody manufacture, biostatistics, human samples/cohorts and biomarker analyses; and
  • be able to present their results well in a team environment, communicate effectively and engage in group discussions, as well as write manuscripts for journals and have some understanding of commercialisation processes such as patenting.
  • A keen interest in Alzheimer's disease would be advantageous.



To be eligible to apply you must:

  •     be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or a New Zealand citizen 
  •     meet host university PhD admission requirements 
  •     meet university English language requirements 
  •     not have previously completed a PhD 
  •     be able to commence the program in the year of the offer 
  •     enrol as a full-time PhD student 


Applications will be assessed on:

  1. Experience relevant to the field of research, including any research experience
  2. Suitability for the project
  3. Academic excellence
  4. Motivation for undertaking an Industry PhD project


At CSIRO Australia's national science agency, we solve the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology. We put the safety and wellbeing of our people above all else and earn trust everywhere because we only deal in facts. We collaborate widely and generously and deliver solutions with real impact. 

Further information about the CSIRO Industry PhD Program can be found at:  


How to Apply:

Applicants are required to submit an expression of interest (EOI) to the University supervisor ( of The University of Adelaide).

For details on how to apply, please see The University of Adelaide website at  Industry-engaged PhD opportunities with the University of Adelaide and CSIRO | Adelaide Graduate Research School | University of Adelaide 


Applications close:   13 January 2023, 5:00pm AEDT