Each year CTM CRC awards a limited number of scholarships to PhD students through a competitive application process.

CTM CRC is seeking exceptional PhD students to work on projects that support the cell therapy industry.

Applicants for the following PhD projects beginning in 2017 are encouraged to also submit an application for an associated CTM CRC Scholarship, offering a top-up stipend, research funds and enrolment in CTM CRC’s Entrepreneurial PhD Program:

Project TitleSubject AreaInstitution
1. Artificial extracellular matrices for stem cell expansionBiomaterialsUniversity of South Australia
2. Gene transfer directly from cell expansion latticesBiomaterials, T-cell therapy, gene transfer technologiesUniversity of South Australia
3. Recruiting CAR T-cells to solid tumours for effective immunotherapyCancer and CAR T-cell immunotherapy
University of South Australia
4. Investigating ex vivo culture conditions to optimise the manufacture of CAR T-cell products for clinical useCancer and CAR T-cell immunotherapyUniversity of South Australia
5. Bioconjugation strategies for cell therapies and tissue engineeringOrganic chemistry, biomaterials, biochemistry, materials scienceUniversity of South Australia
6. Injectable hydrogel systems for immunotherapiesBiomaterials, cell therapies, polymer chemistry, microbiology
University of South Australia
7. Development of plasma diagnostics for online plasma processingPlasma processing of biomaterialsUniversity of South Australia
8. Development of a stem cell therapy for the treatment of burns and scarsWound healingUniversity of South Australia
9. Molecular engineering of immunotherapeutic cellsBiomaterials, T-cell therapy, gene editing and overexpression technologiesUniversity of Adelaide
10. Investigating CAR T-cell persistence and function in melanoma patientsBiomaterials, T-cell therapy, gene editing and overexpression technologiesUniversity of South Australia
11. Developing an adaptable atmospheric surface engineering process for cell therapy
Biomaterials, biotechnology, material science, chemistry, chemical engineeringUniversity of South Australia
12. 3D bioprinting for cell therapiesOrganic and polymer chemistry, biomaterials, 3D printing, microbiologyUniversity of South Australia

A full list of projects, complete with project descriptions and the contact details of principal supervisors, may be downloaded here.

Applicants for a CTM CRC Scholarship should follow the application process described in the “CTM CRC Scholarships” section below, with applications due by 31 October 2016.

CTM CRC PhD students are provided top-up stipends of $8,000 pa and are also awarded an operational budget of $15,000 pa to cover project costs, travel and attendance at conferences and CTM CRC events. PhD students are automatically enrolled in CTM CRC’s ePhD Program. The duration of CTM CRC support is for up to three and a half years.


Domestic and international candidates may apply. Applicants must fulfil the PhD admission criteria for the relevant university, including English language requirements, and demonstrate excellent capacity and potential for research.


Masters, First Class Honours degree, or equivalent. Candidates are required to obtain an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) or an equivalent competitive award which provides tuition fees and a living stipend. Generally, applicants will have a background in engineering, materials science, molecular biology, biochemistry, biology, or chemistry.

How to Apply

  • Identify a Research Topic – Check the “Current Opportunities” section to find available project positions. Contact the lead supervisor directly to discuss the project and assess your eligibility and interest – informal enquiries are welcome in the first instance. If you have an alternate project idea that you would like to propose, please contact the Education & Training Program Manager, Dr Andrew Milligan, to discuss.
  • Submit CTM CRC Application – Prospective PhD students must apply formally to the CRC by submitting the information below to education@ctmcrc.com by 31st October 2016:
    1. A cover letter addressing the following selection criteria:
      • suitable qualifications
      • an interest in the research topic
      • demonstrated ability to communicate in oral and written form
      • evidence of leadership potential developed either through university, the community, or other extracurricular activities
    2. A one-page summary of the research project
    3. curriculum vitae
    4. An academic transcript
    5. Contact details
  • Enrol with a University – Selected candidates are invited to apply at the nominated university for an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) or equivalent. Candidates need to be aware of closing dates for award applications, generally 31st October for APA applications with earlier deadlines established at most universities for International Postgraduate Research Scholarships (IPRS).
  • Confirm Enrolment – Candidates should provide evidence to CTM CRC of their enrolment with the relevant university and receipt of an APA or equivalent award, fulfilling the requirements for a CTM CRC Scholarship. Students are expected to commence in February or March 2017.

CTM CRC has partnered with the Playford Memorial Trust to offer scholarships to high achieving students from South Australia. Successful CTM CRC/Playford Trust PhD students are provided top-up stipends of $8,000 pa and an additional operational budget of $15,000 pa. The duration of PhD support is for up to three and a half years. CTM CRC/Playford Trust Scholars are automatically enrolled in CTM CRC’s ePhD Program and the Playford Trust Scholars’ Association.


Nominees must be South Australian residents who are likely to spend a significant part of their career in South Australia or are otherwise likely to be providing a benefit to the State.


Candidates must obtain an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) or equivalent award to be considered. Nominees must be high achievers, with an excellent undergraduate academic record. Nominees should be of good character and preference will be given to students that display leadership potential.

How to Apply

Prospective students should follow the standard application process for a CTM CRC PhD scholarship, detailed above. The CRC will then nominate the highest calibre students who meet the eligibility criteria for consideration by the Playford Trust for the award of one its prestigious scholarships.

Applications for PhD scholarships:


General enquiries about scholarship opportunities:

Dr Andrew Milligan
Program Manager, Education & Training
08 8302 3642

*Enquiries about specific projects available should be directed to the listed project supervisor