Enrolment statusNew students
Student typeDomestic students, International students
Level of studyHigher Degree by Research
Study areaEngineering and Computing, Health and Behavioural Sciences, Science and Mathematics
HDR funding typeLiving stipend scholarship
Scholarship value$28,597 per annum (2021 rate), indexed annually. Single Overseas Student Health Cover ($3,420) is also available.
Scholarship durationThree years with the possibility of two 6-month extensions in approved circumstances
Opening date13 January 2021
Closing date12 July 2021


This PhD project is available under the supervision of Associate Professor Martijn Cloos and is focused on the de development of Fast fMRI techniques and their application in studies of the human motor cortex.

The world’s most powerful MRI systems, such as the 7 Tesla system in the Centre for Advanced Imaging here at UQ, are uniquely equipped to help decipher the inner workings of the brain. These ultra-high field systems use extraordinarily strong magnets to bring the image resolution down to the size of columns and laminae in the human cortex.

Currently, functional MRI at ultra-high field is the only method that can non-invasively probe columnar and layer-specific activation patterns in humans. As each neuron metabolises oxygen to fuel its computational efforts, the oxygen concentration in the proximal capillary bed is altered, allowing indirect measurements of neural activation through blood oxygenation level dependent signal changes. These minute variations in signal strength can be used to create spatiotemporal maps of neuronal activation, which have revealed profound insights into the innerworkings of the mind.

This PhD project aims to push the limits of this extraordinary technique even further and apply it to study fine motor control in humans. You will be part of an interdisciplinary team that operates at the intersection between physics, computer science, engineering and neuroscience, to create new software (such as, control programs for the MRI system itself) and hardware (such as, motion capturing technology). All working together to probe the limits of fMRI and non-invasively study the human brain.

A working knowledge of MR physics, fMRI, Matlab, C/C++, or Micro controllers would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

The Centre for Advanced Imaging

The Centre for Advanced Imaging (CAI), a strategic initiative of The University of Queensland, is a leading imaging research facility in Australia, and one of a handful in the world. It brings together the skills of a critical mass of researchers and state-of-the-art, world- or Australian-first imaging research instruments including NMR, EPR, MRI, PET, CT, optical imaging and an on-site cyclotron and radiochemistry facilities. CAI hosts the largest Node of the National Imaging Facility (NIF).

CAI conducts research across the spectrum from development of new imaging technologies, analysis of molecular structure, synthesis of MRI and PET biomarkers targeting fundamental biological processes to studies of major diseases affecting a range of organ systems, through to imaging economically significant agricultural animals and plant material, minerals and construction materials.

A multidisciplinary, cohesive student community have come together from all over the globe to CAI to undertake research training. The Centre has an active student association (STAC) that provides many opportunities for networking and professional development, a supportive mentoring structure that will enhance personal and professional growth, an annual symposium and a well-attended weekly seminar program which attracts high profile National and International speakers.

Further details on the Centre for Advanced Imaging and ongoing research can be found on CAI’s website.

CAI is committed to supporting the career growth of female researchers and have a number of initiatives to support females in developing and achieving a fulfilling research career at the institute. For more information, please visit our CAI Women in Imaging website.


To be eligible, you must meet the entry requirements for a higher degree by research.

Before you get started

If this scholarship has rules, download and read them.

How to apply

To apply for admission and scholarship, follow this link. There is no separate application for scholarship because you will have the opportunity to request scholarship consideration on the application for admission.

Before submitting an application you should:

When you apply, please ensure that under the scholarships and collaborative study section you:

  1. Select ‘My higher degree is not collaborative’
  2. Select ‘I am applying for, or have been awarded a scholarship or sponsorship’.
  3. Select ‘Other’, then ‘Research Project Scholarship’ and type in ‘FMRI-CLOOS’ in the ‘Name of scholarship’ field.

See an example of what you have to do

Learn more about applying for a higher degree by research at UQ

Selection criteria

Applications will be judged on a competitive basis taking into account the applicant’s previous academic record, publication record, honours and awards, and employment history.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of neuroimaging / UHF-MRI and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of physics, electrical engineering, neuroscience, magnetic resonance imaging or software engineering is highly desirable.

Apply online

Apply now


Associate Professor Martijn Cloos+61 3365 4250

Terms and conditions

Read the policy on UQ Research Scholarships.

A domestic part-time student with carer’s responsibilities, a medical condition or a disability, which prevents them from studying full time may be eligible for scholarship consideration, on a case by case basis.

For more information please open this link

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