Study at the Garvan Institute

We actively seek high calibre PhD and MRes candidates who demonstrate initiative and independent thought.

Why choose Garvan?

  • We offer a competitive salary top-up on eligible scholarships
  • Garvan boasts state-of-the-art research facilities which incorporate a range of cutting-edge equipment and expertise
  • Students at Garvan (SAG) — the student representative group within the Garvan Institute — provides both academic support and social activities in our off-campus environment.

Applications Open: PhD scholarships with Omico (3 available)

Closes 31st October

Omico: the Australian Genomic Cancer Medicine Centre

Omico is a non-profit, government-funded company, whose mission is to create an infrastructure to support precision oncology research and implementation nationally. Omico comprises eight leading cancer centres representing all states and territories in Australia, as well as the National Health and Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Centre, and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. Omico has two major domains of activity, the Molecular Screening and Therapeutics (MoST) program, and the personalised risk management program, the Genetic Cancer Risk in the Young (RisC) study.

We are currently searching for outstanding applicants for three PhD scholarships funded by Omico via the NSW Department of Health. These highly competitive scholarships comprise of a $30,000, tax free stipend, and additional $2,500 research support funding per year for three years.

In collaboration with an outstanding research team, the successful PhD Candidates will undertake one of the following:

  1. Germline cancer genetics 
  2. Biomarker discovery in cancer clinical trials
  3. Bioinformatic aspects of tumour genomic profiling

A background in genetics, biochemistry, bioinformatics, health sciences, or a related discipline is essential for this role. The successful candidate must also fulfil the entry requirements for admission to candidature for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at the University New South Wales. The successful candidates will be based at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.


How to apply for Omico scholarships:
Please submit a cover letter outlining your project of interest and suitability for the position to .

Please also include a CV and academic transcript.

Applications close October 31, 2020.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us (


Further details on the projects :

1. PhD project focused on germline cancer genetics (supervised by Dr Mandy Ballinger, The ability to recognise individuals and families with an inherited cancer predisposition is an important initial step in reducing mortality and morbidity by introducing potentially preventative or risk reducing measures.  This project aims to improve our ability to identify these families and may identify novel genomic variations imparting risk that is currently unrecognised.

2. PhD project focused on biomarker discovery in cancer clinical trials.  The discovery and validation of biomarkers is essential for the development of anti-cancer therapeutics, allowing improved and informed clinical trial design through indicators of target engagement. These may stratify patients into better responders prospectively and retrospectively, evaluate the therapeutic intervention on disease progression or recurrence. Although biomarker discovery is a very active field, few have been validated in clinical trials. The focus of this PhD is correlative science in cancer trials to identify biomarkers of treatment response (supervised by Dr Maya Kansara,

3. PhD project focused on bioinformatic aspects of tumour genomic profiling. Genomic profiling of tumours using targeted capture sequencing is well established, detecting small variants and gene level copy number alterations from DNA and gene fusions from RNA. However, there are opportunities for deeper analysis, including RNA expression profiling, mutational signature and homologous recombination defect detection, improved copy number detection of intra-gene deletions, and accurate purity and ploidy estimation and germline variant classification, as well as practical applications to augment molecular diagnosis using clinical sequencing data. The focus of this PhD is the development of a suite of tools to accompany the standard genomic profiling of tumours with the aim of improving both cancer diagnosis and treatment stratification in the upcoming revolution of cancer care informed by genomics (supervised by Dr John Grady,

Other PhD projects available at Garvan:

Contact us

For more information please email:

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How to submit an expression of interest in Garvan PhD projects

Garvan is an affiliate of UNSW.  Students at Garvan are enrolled in Doctor of Philosophy (Medicine) through UNSW Sydney. 

Before expressing an interest in our available projects, you should first ensure you meet UNSW eligibility criteria for admission to a PhD.

UNSW admission and scholarship application requirements can be found at Research Higher Degree Programs.

UNSW also has English language requirements. All applicants, whether domestic or international, must provide evidence their English ability meets the minimum UNSW English Language Requirements

If the self-assessment tool suggests you’re likely to be eligible for admission and are likely to be competitive for a UNSW scholarship, then please submit an expression of interest to Garvan by selecting the relevant project (above), and filling the online form. 

Shortlisted applicants will be contacted by Garvan and we will assist you in lodging an application for admission to UNSW online

Closing date for expression of interest

  • October 31st 2020 (for those who wish to start their studies in Term 1 or 2 2021).

As Garvan is a not-for-profit organisation, it is unlikely that a research program would have the funds to take on a postgraduate student without scholarship funding for the duration of their PhD. It would therefore be helpful to upload the result from the UNSW HDR Self-Assessment Tool.

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