Submit your expression of interest for a Student Research Project

Mater Research offers research project opportunities across biomedical or medical research, nursing, midwifery or allied health for university students interested in undertaking an undergraduate, honours, masters by research, PhD or MPhil project. 

Our current student research opportunities are listed below.

If you are unable to find a project in the list of current student opportunities that is in the your area of interest, please email us to discuss your options.

How to submit your expression of interest  

Step 1: Find a project
Review the current project vacancies listed below to find a project that matches your area of interest, and ensure you meet the eligibility requirements. 

Step 2: Submit your expression of interest application online 
Click the apply now button at the bottom of the project listing to and complete the online Expression of Interest application form. As part of your expression of interest application, you are required to provide an up to date copy of your CV as well as your most recent academic transcript. 

Step 3: Your expression of interest application will be reviewed by the project supervisor.
If your application is then shortlisted, then the project supervisor will contact you directly to advise next steps.

Current Student Opportunities

This project aims to provide a better understanding of the crosstalk between distinct NK cell and DC subsets. Specific interactions between human cell subsets in response to different stimuli will be investigated in vitro and in vivo. By addressing an important knowledge gap in the field, this project will lay the foundation for preclinical research in a wide range of pathologies including cancer, infectious diseases and autoimmune disorders.


Positions available for:
Bachelor, Masters

Contact Person: Camille Guillerey

Are you ready to expand your research knowledge? Download the information flyer (PDF, 70KB)

Mucosal epithelial cells in the lung, are uniquely positioned at the interface between the host immune system and an environment teeming with antigens. We are interested in looking at the pathways that regulate epithelial cell antigen presentation, their role and whether this is disrupted with age, making the elderly more susceptible to infection.


Positions available for:
Highly motivated individual with an interest in immunology and a willingness to progress work with further studies (PhD) after completing the Honours.

Contact Person: A/Prof Sumaira Hasnain

Join the team and use state-of-the-art lab facilities. Download the information flyer (PDF, 62KB).

Macrophages are specialised phagocytic cells that are present in all mammalian tissues, where they play critical roles in homeostasis and host defence. A PhD opportunity is available on an Australian Research Council-funded Discovery Project for a student with an honours/master’s degree in immunology, physiology, molecular biology or a related field to join the Macrophage Biology research group at Mater Research.


Positions available for:
Graduate

Contact Person: Dr Katharine Irvine

Expand your research skills with this diverse team. Download the information flyer (PDF, 69KB)for more information.

This is an inter-disciplinary project involving research in multiple fields. Candidates can expect to gain knowledge and learn technique in areas including material science, drug formulation, immunological assays and animal studies.



We expect to generate novel data with commercial interest and produce high-quality publications.


Positions available for:
Potential PhD candidates with experience in biology, immunology, or drug formulation are welcome to apply.

Contact Person: Dr Ran Wang

Want to take part in this research project? Download the information flyer (PDF, 63KB) and find out how.

Most organs contain Stem cells—yet we still do not fully understand how Stem Cells are normally controlled in the body, or what stops them from becoming malignant.

Our team’s focus is on how the micro-environment (or niche) tells stem cell what they can and cannot do in the body.


Positions available for:
These research projects involve preclinical mouse models of disease and treatment. Although preclinical research is highly rewarding and clinically relevant, they also require commitment to ensuring your animals are fine as well as strong creative thinking and critical evaluation skills.

Contact Person: A/Prof Ingrid Winkler

Is this your niche? Find out more from the information flyer (PDF, 73KB).

This project will investigate immune responses to leukaemia in order to develop new immunotherapies. We will focus on Natural Killer (NK) cells, a population of lymphocytes that owe their name to their ability to recognise and kill tumour cells. Early studies suggested that NK cells could protect against leukaemia. However, leukaemia tumours have developed an arsenal of mechanisms to escape from NK cell killing. A better understanding of these immune escape mechanisms is a prerequisite to the design of effective NK cell-based therapy.


Positions available for:
This project is suitable for Honours or Master students. A good knowledge of Immunology is required.

Contact Person: Camille Guillerey

Interested? Download the information flyer (PDF, 64KB) now.

Most organs contain Stem cells—yet we still do not fully understand how Stem Cells are normally controlled in the body, or what stops them from becoming malignant.

Our team’s focus is on how the micro-environment (or niche) tells stem cell what they can and cannot do in the body. We believe the identification and targeting of such niche factors will lead towards the discovery of novel therapeutics to further enhance the efficacy of cancer therapy and alleviate cancer therapy side-effects.


Positions available for:
These research projects involve preclinical mouse models of disease and treatment. Although preclinical research is highly rewarding and clinically relevant, they also require commitment to ensuring your animals are fine as well as strong creative thinking and critical evaluation skills.

Contact Person: A/Prof Ingrid Winkler

Want to help alleviate cancer therapy side effects? Grab your copy of the information flyer (PDF, 74KB) and join the team today.

Photobiomodulation (PBM) therapy (light therapy) is a safe, non-invasive, non-pharmacological method of treating / preventing symptoms such as pain and fatigue, promoting healing and reducing inflammation. Photonic energy stimulates mitochondrial activity (mitochondria are the powerhouse of cells). Depending on the targeted cells, different effects have been identified. There are five projects currently in various stages of development at the Mater.


Positions available for:
Please read flyer for study relevant qualifications

Contact Person: Prof Liisa Laakso

Find out more from the information flyer (PDF, 78KB).

Sulfate is an essential nutrient for healthy growth and development. During pregnancy sulfate is supplied from mother to fetus via the placenta. Babies born very or extremely preterm (<32 weeks gestation) lack the capacity to generate their own sulfate and rapidly become sulfate deficient. Understanding the consequences of sulfate deficiency, particularly adverse neurodevelopment, and the genes that maintain sulfate supply to the developing brain is of great interest for A/Prof Dawson and his team.


Positions available for:
Honours students or graduates with a background in biomedical sciences. or Medical students with an interest in neonatology.

Contact Person: A/Prof Paul Dawson

Download information flyer (PDF, 66KB) and find out more about this project.

People with intellectual and developmental disability experience numerous barriers to accessing hospital based healthcare. As a result, people with intellectual and developmental disability experience poor health outcomes and die earlier.  This project aims to gain an in-depth understand the barriers people with intellectual and developmental disability experience using qualitative methods. Using a co-design approach we will develop of tools, resources and training aimed at improving the accessibility of the health system. We will implement the tools, resources and training and evaluate their effectiveness.


Positions available for:
Individuals wanting to improve health for marginalised population and develop qualitative research skills

Contact Person: Dr Katie Brooker

Download your copy of the information flyer (PDF, 64KB) and find out more about this project.

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gut. It is associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer (colitis associated cancer – CAC). Our group has previously demonstrated that a medication called thioguanine, which is sometimes used in the treatment of ulcerative colitis, can prevent CAC in a murine model by inhibition of B-catenin, a transcription factor commonly activated in colon cancers. Molecular modelling indicated that there may be a direct interaction between thioguanine and B-catenin. This project will determine if this interaction can be observed in vitro and in vivo. If the interaction is confirmed this will be mapped and potentially confirmed using structural biology.


Positions available for:
This project would be suitable for an Honours candidate who has taken lab based courses and is familiar with basic laboratory techniques. Prior experience with protein biochemistry is a plus but not required. This project could easily be expanded into a PhD project in the future.

Contact Person: Jakob Begun

Join the project now. Find out more from the information flyer (PDF, 89KB)

The bacteria within the gut microbiome produce a variety of metabolites and bioactives with untapped biologic activity.



Colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer in Australia with significant morbidity and mortality. It has been associated with an altered microbiota. My group has successfully identified multiple anti-inflammatory bioactives from cultured gut bacteria. We now wish to expand this program to identify potential bacterially derived anti-cancer bioactives that could be used as future therapeutics.


Positions available for:
This project would be suitable for an Honours candidate who has taken lab based courses and is familiar with basic laboratory techniques. Prior experience with cell culture work is a plus but not required.

Contact Person: Jakob Begun

See yourself here? Why not download the information flyer (PDF, 74KB) and find out more.

Mounting evidence supports a central role for the gut-brain axis in development of Parkinson’s disease (PD). We are analysing in-house and publicly available genomic datasets, including spatial and single cell transcriptomics from mouse models and human samples to progress understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in gut-to-brain spread of cellular pathology in PD.


Positions available for:
Students with strong quantitative skills (programming, statistics, HPC) and an interest in human genetics and neurodegeneration are encouraged to apply.

Contact Person: Dr Jake Gratten

Want to take part in this research project? Download the information flyer (PDF, 64KB) and find out how.