Returning Raw Genomic Research Results Issues for Clinicians and Researchers

Degree type


Closing date

29 October 2021



Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International Onshore

About the research project

Increasingly, individuals, particularly cancer patients, are undergoing genomic sequencing. Genome sequencing data is presenting new opportunities for diagnosis, treatment and research. A significant amount of genomic data is generated in a research context, and the divide between the clinical and research settings is becoming increasingly blurred. There has been recent debate around obligations to return raw genomic data to patients and research participants, both legal and ethical. The legal position around the return of raw genomic data is not clear, and ethical obligations add a layer of complexity. Although there are good reasons to return genomic data, there may also be associated risks and liabilities. These risks and liabilities must be balanced against the benefits of prioritising patient autonomy and data sharing.

This project begins to unpack these risks and liabilities, and maps the legal landscape across a number of jurisdictions. It incorporates a comparative, doctrinal analysis, to attempt to find common ground in developing an international framework for the return of raw genomic data. This project will supplement work being undertaken on a Medical Research Futures Fund, Genomics Health Futures Mission grant, Returning Raw Genomic Data: Patient Autonomy or Legal Minefield? It will add an international dimension to the work, and fill a gap in the literature by taking a global, holistic approach to resolving a fundamental issue confronting clinicians and researchers.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Prof Margaret Otlowski


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $28,597 per annum (2021 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.


The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international applicants who are already in Australia (onshore) at the time of submitting their application.

Due to current Australian COVID-19 travel restrictions the University cannot accept applications from international applicants who are currently overseas.

Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements and the following additional eligibility criteria specific to this project:

  • Successful candidates must have qualifications in Law or a related degree

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select the project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Prof Margaret Otlowski, if you have any questions about the project; and
  3. Click here to submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including 2 x referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email.

Apply now Explore other projects

Why the University of Tasmania?

Worldwide reputation for research excellence

Quality supervision and support

Tasmania offers a unique study lifestyle experience