NICM HRI Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander PhD Scholarship

About the project

(Scholarship code: 2020_027)

NICM Health Research Institute (NICM HRI) at Western Sydney University is Australia's leader in complementary and integrative medicine research and policy. Established in 2007 by the Commonwealth and NSW State Governments, the Institute provides leadership and support for strategically directed research into integrative medicine, to promote the translation of evidence into clinical practice and develop relevant policy to benefit the health of all Australians. As an Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 5rating institute, NICM HRI is globally recognised for its world-class research and innovations in complementary medicine.

An exciting opportunity is available for a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) candidate to join NICM HRI’s team of world-class researchers for Indigenous-led research, driven by the indigenous interests of First Nations communities in Australia and worldwide.

Situated within one of the most culturally diverse regions in Australia, with campuses across Western Sydney, we acknowledge the Eora, Darug, D'harawal, and Wiradjuri Peoples who are the traditional owners of the land on which our University's campuses are located. We recognise value and respect traditional and contemporary histories, values, languages, culture and knowledge, and are committed to creating partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, staff and communities that ensure a culturally rich, relevant and engaged learning experience with embedded Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples heritage and culture. We proactively support First Nation students through a learning environment of co-creation, collaboration, consultation and inclusion.

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to develop preclinical, clinical, health and community based research projects, or a combination of these, in one or more of the following NICM HRI research streams:

  • Bush Medicines, Australian traditional and indigenous medicine
  • Healthy Hearts, preventing and treating cardiovascular and metabolic disorders
  • Healthy Minds, neurocognitive and mental health disorders
  • Healthy Women, promoting sexual and reproductive health in women
  • Healthy lives through the cancer journey
  • Herbal analysis and pharmacology
  • Policy and evidence translation
  • Emerging areas, such as mind and body therapies (yoga and meditation), and medicinal cannabis

The successful candidate will have opportunities to connect with Indigenous leaders, educators, researchers and other postgraduate students from numerous disciplines across Western Sydney University. In addition, the successful candidate will have access to state-of-the-art facilities, with a friendly, collaborative and innovative environment, gaining hands-on experience for future careers in natural and traditional medicine, pharma, biotechnology and academia.

Funded by Western Sydney University and NICM HRI, this PhD scholarship will be based at NICM HRI at the University’s Westmead campus in Sydney. Westmead is one of the largest highly specialised health, research and education precincts in the world, in addition to boasting the largest concentration of biomedical, scientific and healthcare focused minds in the nation.

*Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) is a national evaluation of research quality in Australian universities conducted by the Australian Government. It is administered by the Australian Research Council (ARC). ERA5 is the highest rating, characterised by evidence of outstanding performance well above world standard presented by the suite of indicators used for evaluation. NICM HRI has rated 5 for each of the last three trienniums: 2012, 2015, 2018.

What does the scholarship provide?

  • Domestic candidates will receive a tax-free stipend of $50,000 per annum for up to three years to support living costs, supported by the Research Training Program (RTP) Fee Offset.
  • Support for conference attendance, fieldwork and additional costs as approved by the Institute.

Eligibility criteria

We welcome applicants with varied academic backgrounds and with an interest in Australian Indigenous medicine and/or complementary medicine.

The successful applicant must:

  • identify as being an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person*
  • hold qualifications and experience equal to one of the following (i) an Australian First Class Bachelor (Honours) degree, (ii) coursework Masters with at least 25% research component, (iii) a Research Masters degree, or (iv) equivalent overseas qualifications.
  • demonstrate strong academic performance in the applicant's area of interest.
  • be enthusiastic and highly motivated to undertake further study at an advanced level.

*Being an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander is a genuine occupational qualification as authorised under Section 14 (D) of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act, 1977 NSW.

International applicants are not eligible to apply for this scholarship.

How to apply

1. Contact Dr Mike Armour ( to discuss your eligibility, the project requirements and your intention to apply.

2. Review the research scholarships frequently asked questions.(opens in a new window)

3. Submit an online application for admission.(opens in a new window)

4. Complete the project scholarship application form (PDF, 89.74 KB).(opens in a new window)

5. Compile your CV, contact information for two referees and a one-page proposal stating how your research interests align with the project aims.

6. Submit your scholarship application form and any supporting documentation to the Graduate Research School as follows:

  • Use the email subject line: Application_2020_027_NICM
  • Submit to
  • All attached documents must be submitted as PDF.
  • In the body of your email, include your full name, your student ID (if you are a current or previous Western Sydney University student) and the full title of the scholarship.

Applicants who do not submit an online application for admission will not be considered.

Incomplete applications or applications that do not conform to the above requirements will not be considered.

Please contact the Graduate Research School via email at for more information.

Applications close 31 July 2020

Applications close at 11.59pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT).