Oligodendrocytes support learning

Oligodendrocytes enable life-long learning

Degree type


Closing date

18 July 2022



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

New oligodendrocytes are added to the mature nervous system and produce myelin that is critical for preserving movement and memories.  Furthermore, during spatial learning “old oligodendrocytes” changed the shape of their myelin to dynamically speed up information transfer.  This increased the velocity of action potentials leaving the hippocampus, a brain region critical for learning and memory (Cullen CL et al., Cell Reports, 2021).  We seek two PhD students to undertake in vivo neuroscience research projects that involve applying cutting edge transgenic technology, optogenetics, transcriptomics and microscopy to identify the signalling mechanisms that allow oligodendrocytes to respond to changes in their environement and remain plastic to support life-long learning.

Primary Supervisor

Meet A/Prof Kaylene Young


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 $28,854 per annum (2022 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.


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 essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • A Bachelor of Science degree with honours (or equivalent)
  • Experience working within a research laboratory
  • Experience performing scientific writing in English

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • A background in neuroscience research is desirable
  • Experience working with transgenic models

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select your project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, A/Prof Kaylene Young to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. 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 by the advertised outcome date.

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