Careers at Children's Cancer Institute
PhD Student

Randwick - Sydney, Australia  
Employment Type:
Brain Tumour 3 (BT3)
PhD Stipend $40k P.A.
Closing Date:
Supporting Documentation:

What’s in it for you?

  • Work with purpose – help us find a cure for childhood cancer
  • Access to our ‘FlexBEST’ program – true flexibility from day 1 - options include hybrid working, school-friendly hours, and 9-day working fortnight
  • Investment in leadership development and career advancement opportunities
  • Convenient Randwick location, across the road from UNSW Light Rail stop
  • THRIVE – Wellbeing initiatives to support “life balance”
  • REDI – Respect, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion initiatives
  • Social Committee – Fun, engaging events to foster connection
  • Personal Best – Structured Individual and Team goal setting to achieve Personal & Career development


The Children’s Cancer Institute is the only independent medical research institute in Australia dedicated to research into the causes, prevention, better treatments and ultimately a cure for childhood cancer.  More than 40 years on, our vision remains unchanged – to save the lives of all children with cancer and improve their long-term health, through research.

Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Gliomas (DIPG) are the most aggressive and devastating of all childhood cancers. Due to their location in the brainstem the tumours cannot be surgically removed, do not respond to chemotherapy and are highly resistant to radiotherapy. Consequently, almost all children with DIPG die within one year of diagnosis, highlighting the desperate need for new and innovative treatment strategies for this devastating disease.

Epigenetic dysregulation is recognised as a driver of DIPG pathogenesis, with the majority of patients exhibiting the main responsible histone mutation (H3K27M). While >80% of DIPG have this key genomic driver, the precise mechanism by which this leads to DIPG development remains undefined.

We are seeking a PhD candidate to undertake an exciting project in the field of paediatric brain tumour research investigating the mechanism of action of inhibitors targeted at epigenetic processes that drive Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) tumorgenicity.

Funded through the NSW Health PhD Partnership Program, the PhD candidate will employ a range of in vitro techniques including DIPG neurosphere culture, cytotoxicity assays, qPCR, western blotting and mass spectrometry in order to determine drug mechanism of action. The in vivo effectiveness of treatment will be ascertained using established PDX mouse models of DIPG. Partnering with a pharmaceutical company as industry supervisor, the candidate will additionally be expected to complete the NSW Health Commercialisation Training Program during their candidature.


Experience and requirements


  • The candidate must hold an undergraduate degree with at least a credit average (or equivalent). Candidates must also have research experience through an Honours program (first class or second class, division one) or Master’s degree by research in a relevant subject.
  • The candidate must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.


  • Experience in cell culture techniques, particularly primary neurosphere culture.
  • Prior experience in qPCR, western blotting, mass spectrometry and mouse brain tumour models looked favourably upon, but full training in all techniques will be provided.


Join a group of dedicated people in a performance-driven environment to achieve success and discover what it's like to look forward to coming to work every day and make a real difference.

A detailed job description and additional information about Children's Cancer Institute can be found on our website at: . We embrace diversity and encourage applications from people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

To apply, please click the 'APPLY' link and forward both your resume AND cover letter (mandatory) clearly addressing the qualifications, experience and skills required.

Note: Applications will be reviewed prior to the closing date; which is dependent on the status of the recruitment process. Only successfully shortlisted candidates will be contacted.