Garvan is collaborating with UNSW Sydney to provide support to more than 100 Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Master of Research, and Honours students who are conducting research for their respective degrees.
A team of Garvan researchers, highly skilled in their fields, act as supervisors and guide the students. These researchers also hold a conjoint appointment with UNSW Sydney.
Research at the Garvan Institute, including our student projects, aims to comprehend the impact of genes, molecular and cellular processes on health and disease. This understanding serves as the foundation for developing preventive measures, treatments, and cures in the future.
Our research students have access to Garvan’s state-of-the-art sequencing technology and facilities to pursue their research questions. Additionally, they have access to the abundant resources provided by our partner institution UNSW Sydney www.unsw.edu.au.
Our goal is to attract student candidates who exhibit initiative and original thinking, and who aspire to a student experience characterized by superior research and teamwork.
The Garvan Institute is an affiliate of UNSW. Students at Garvan are enrolled through UNSW Sydney and are approved to conduct research at the Institute, under the guidance of a panel of supervisors who have been approved by both UNSW and Garvan.
As a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) candidate, you’ll complete a substantial program of independent and original research in your chosen field of study. The duration of the degree is 3–4 years (full time).
As a Master by Research candidate, you will complete a shorter 1.5 - 2 years of full time study focused on the completion of independent and original research.
Why choose Garvan?
- Garvan welcomes students as valuable members of its research community, with a vital role to play in the intellectual growth of the Institute.
- Garvan is committed to fostering independent thought, critical analysis and the acquisition of expert knowledge among students.
- Student research projects draw upon Garvan’s state-of-the-art research facilities, which incorporate a range of cutting-edge equipment and expertise.
- Each student is assigned a research expert who also serves as a knowledgeable supervisor specialising in higher degree research.
- Students actively engage in daily research training by immersing themselves in their supervisor's research lab environment.
- Research projects are collaborative and students are encouraged to draw upon staff expertise across Garvan.
- Students are encouraged to gain insight in to how their research fits within an international context and students are supported to attend conferences.
- The Institute helps prospective candidates apply for Australian Government, UNSW, and other relevant scholarships schemes prior to starting their studies and once enrolled, provides an Institute-funded top-up allowance to eligible scholarship holders.
Explore your options
Finding a supervisor with compatible research interests is critical to your success as a higher-degree research candidate.
You can explore the research profiles on our website and reach out to the staff members whose research interests align with yours. By contacting them, you can inquire about the possibility of them taking on a higher degree candidate.
In addition, browse the research projects advertised below and submit an expression of interest.
PhD projects available at Garvan
Garvan will contact the applicants who have been shortlisted and provide assistance in submitting their application for admission to UNSW through the UNSW online platform.
Closing date for expression of interest
- (for those who wish to start their studies in Term 1 2024).
Before expressing an interest in our available projects, you should first ensure you meet UNSW eligibility criteria for admission to a PhD. Application requirements can be found at Research Higher Degree Programs, including the UNSW English Language Requirements
Honours students at Garvan receive first class research training and access to our state-of-the-art facilities.
Students who wish to undertake Honours at Garvan are invited to contact in the first instance a supervisor from the list below to discuss available projects.
- Associate Professor Marina PajicProgram Director - Translational Oncology / Laboratory Head - Personalised Cancer Therapeutics
- Associate Professor David CroucherLaboratory Head
- Associate Professor Thomas CoxLaboratory Head
- Associate Professor Christine ChafferProgram Director - Cancer Plasticity & Dormancy / Laboratory Head - Cancer Cell Plasticity
- Dr Ann McCormackGroup Leader
- Associate Professor Liz CaldonLaboratory Head
- Dr Maya KansaraGroup Leader
- Professor Elgene LimLaboratory Head
- Professor Paul TimpsonProgram Director - Cancer Ecosystems / Laboratory Head - Invasion and Metastasis
- Associate Professor Elissa DeenickProgram Director - Precision Immunology / Laboratory Head - Lymphocyte Signalling and Activation
- Professor Cindy MaLaboratory Head
- Associate Professor Owen SiggsProgram Director - Rare Disease / Laboratory Head - Genomic Medicine
- Dr Etienne Masle-FarquharResearch Officer
Bone biology supervisors
- Professor Mike RogersLaboratory Head
Genomics and epigenetics supervisors
- Associate Professor Robert WeatherittLaboratory Head
The Dean's Award formally recognises the high-quality PhD theses produced at UNSW. To receive this award, candidates must produce a thesis that in the opinion of both examiners is in the top 10% of PhD theses examined.
2022 Garvan recipients
Molecular engineering of antibody and superantigen interactions
Canonical and non-canonical DNA methylome dynamics during vertebrate development
Wnt-Targeted Therapy to Treat Myeloma-Induced Bone Loss and Prevent Disease Relapse
Molecular and Cellular Regulation of Human TH9 Cell Differentiation
"Rogue" B cells: An investigation into B cells that break tolerance in autoimmune disease
2021 Garvan recipients
New insights into the link between protein prenylation and inflammation using models of mevalonate kinase deficiency (MKD)
An investigation into the impact of dysregulated PI3Kδ signalling on B cell development and autoimmunity
Andre Martins Reis
The development of reference standards for genomics
Elucidating the functional diversity of stromal cells in breast tumours using single-cell and spatial transcriptomics
Development and implementation of multimodal single cell technologies for human immune profiling
2019-2020 Garvan recipients
Investigation into immune tolerance
Targeting the androgen receptor in breast cancer
DNA replication timing: impact on the cancer genome and epigenome
BRG1 ATP-Dependent Chromatin Remodelling in Prostate Cancer: Epigenetic Consequences
Designing synthetic spike-in controls for next-generation sequencing and beyond
Yolanda Colino Sanguino
Dissecting the role of histone variant H2A.Z acetylation in transcription regulation
Stuart Furler Travel Awards
Stuart Furler was a long serving and highly respected scientist in Garvan’s Diabetes and Metabolism Division who died of pancreatic cancer in 2007. His family established the Travel Award in his memory, as a way of nurturing early career scientists.
Third year PhD students are eligible to apply for the Stuart Furler Travel Award, with winners receiving $5,000 to attend a major international conference relevant to their field of research, as well as to visit labs of potential collaborators.
2022 Allegra Angeloni and Abigail Grootveld
2021 Alex Corr and Cecilia Chambers
2020 Marija Simic and Michael Papanicolaou
2019 Andrew Law and Oliver Skinner
2018 Etienne Masle-Farquhar and Ghamdan Al Eryani
2017 Deborah Burnett and Simon Hardwick
2016 Claire Vennin and Ira Deveson
2015 Qian Du and Robert Shearer
2014 Jackie Lau and Louise Cottle
Garvan Thesis Prize
The Garvan Thesis prize formally recognizes one PhD graduate for their high quality PhD thesis and their research achievements during candidature.
2022 Oguzhan Begik and Clara Young
2021 Sunny Wu
2020 Jordan Hastings
2019 Deborah Burnett
2018 Imogen Moran
2017 Claire Vennin
2016 Christoph Jandl
2015 Elisabeth Malle
2014 Saul Bert