In vivo measurement of neuropeptide release

Novel approaches to measure oxytocin and AVP release in freely behaving animals

Degree type


Closing date

7 March 2022



Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International Onshore

About the research project

The project is part of the funded NHMRC grant (2021-2023) aims utilise a novel fluorescent sensor to measure the release of neuropeptides in vivo during a rodent model of learning and memory. The peptides of interests, oxytocin and AVP, are known to associate with the emotional response associated with learning and formation of memory. Using a GPCR-based fluorescent sensor from a collaborator, Professor Yu-long Li and a custom-built fibre photometry system, the project will measure the release of oxytocin and AVP in real-time in freely moving animal as they undergo fear-conditioning learning. A second aim of the project is to develop an alternative system of measuring neuropeptide release using releasable fluorescent protein fragments as a surrogate for amount of neuropeptide release. This second aim was part of a grant previously funded by NIH in which the amount of fluorescence from complemented fluorescent proteins will inform us the amount of neuropeptide release during the behaviour in post-mortem histology. These projects will both develop and validate novel technologies for neuroscientific researches and also uncovers important roles of neuropeptides in neurophysiological functions.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr John Lin


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.

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.

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • The applicant should have strong backgrounds in physics/engineering and chemistry
  • The applicant should have achieved >80% marks in half of their units (or equivalent) in the last 2 years of their undergraduate studies

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, Dr John Lin, 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 contact details of two 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.

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