Haematopoiesis and the epigenome

Manipulating the genome to alter epigenetic control of hematopoietic development

Degree type


Closing date

25 September 2023



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International


$31,500pa for 3.5 years

About the research project

As individuals we have trillions of cells, all of which are programmed to perform a specific function, whether this be in the liver, the heart, or the blood. How each of these cells perform that specific function is dictated by how and when genes are transcribed or turned on. This process of turning on a gene is controlled by the epigenome. We know that the sequence of each individual will alter their epigenome, or how open the chromatin is at each position in the genome. Understanding this at a fundamental level in haematopoietic cells will improve our ability to understand how the epigenome underpins normal growth and development of blood cells, and how this is altered in bone marrow failure syndrome patients.

This project will utilise our bank of cryopreserved BM samples to better understand the epigenetic changes that underpin the conversion from undifferentiated to differentiated cells throughout haematopoietic development. As hematopoietic cells differentiate, they lose their potential to continually replicate, undergoing significant alterations to their chromatin structure. This project will investigate candidate gene loci through techniques such as CRISPR gene editing, HiC chromatin conformation sequencing, and other epigenetic assays to gain a more complete understanding of the mechanisms underpinning chromatin structural changes in haematopoiesis.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Kirsten Fairfax


The successful applicant will receive a scholarship which provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $31,500 per annum (2023 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.

Other funding opportunities and fees

For further information regarding other scholarships on offer, and the various fees of undertaking a research degree, please visit our Scholarships and fees on research degrees page.


Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Applicants must be able to undertake the project on-campus

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:

  • Previous experience with cell culture and culturing primary cells

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact Dr Kirsten Fairfax to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. In your application:
    • 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.
    • Submit a signed supervisory support form, a CV including contact details of 2 referees and your project research proposal.
  4. Apply prior to 25 September 2023.

Full details of the application process can be found under the 'How to apply' section of the Research Degrees website.

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

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