NICM PhD Scholarship in Bush Medicine

As an Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 5 ranking institute, NICM Health Research Institute is recognised globally for its world-class research and innovations in complementary and integrative medicine.

An exciting opportunity is available for a highly motivated and dynamic PhD candidate in the field of Bush Medicine to join NICM's team of world-class researchers. The candidate will undertake a laboratory-based project investigating the chemical and pharmacological basis of Aboriginal traditional plant medicines and contribute towards the growing body of knowledge in this area. NICM invites applications for the project described below.

PhD: Bush Medicine

Chemical and pharmacological investigation of traditional bush medicines

A Postgraduate Research Scholarship (opens in a new window) is available for a highly motivated PhD candidate who is technically skilled with a strong organic chemistry background. The successful candidate will work with a diverse group of researchers including, chemists, pharmacologists and botanists. Background knowledge of inflammation including key biochemical processes and the role these play in initiation and progression of chronic disorders including Alzheimer’s disease is desirable. This project will unravel the biomolecular mechanisms and identify the chemical constituents that can explain the therapeutic effects of traditional plant medicines, while seeking to translate these technologies into novel, efficacious medicines.This project is proposed to be supervised by Professor Gerald Muench. The successful applicant will commence the course in 2018.


We welcome applicants from a range of backgrounds, and strongly encourage applications from people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent. In particular, the project is suitable for candidates with strong interests in organic chemistry, pharmacology/pharmaceutical science and natural products.

The successful applicant should:

  • 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 per cent research component, (iii) Research Masters degree, or (iv) equivalent overseas qualifications.
  • Demonstrate strong academic performance in subjects relevant to chemistry.
  • Have an understanding of inflammation and its role in disease initiation and progression.
  • Be willing to learn techniques applicable to molecular biology.
  • Be enthusiastic and highly motivated to undertake further study at an advanced level.
  • International applicants must hold a current Visa and also meet  English language proficiency.(opens in a new window)

What does the scholarship provide?

  • Domestic students will receive a tax-free stipend of $30,000 per annum to support living costs, supported by a Research Training Program (RTP) Fee Offset.
  • International students will receive a tax-free stipend of $30,000 per annum to support living costs. Those with a strong track record will be eligible for a tuition fee waiver.
  • International students are eligible for Overseas Student Health Cover.
  • Support for conference attendance, fieldwork and consumable costs as approved by the Institute.
  • Unsuccessful candidates will also be considered for other NICM Scholarships becoming available during 2018.

How to apply

Applicants should:

  1. Contact Professor Gerald Muench ( to discuss your eligibility, the project requirements and your intention to apply.
  2. Complete the scholarship application form (PDF, 222.11 KB).(opens in a new window)
  3. Compile your CV, contact information for two referees, academic transcript, list of research outputs (e.g. publications) and a one-page proposal stating how your research interests align with the project aims
  4. Ensure all documentation is certified according to Western Sydney University requirements (opens in a new window).
  5. All applications and supporting documentation must be submitted directly to the Graduate Research School as follows:
    • 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.

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.

View the information in pdf format (PDF, 88.13 KB) (opens in a new window)

Applications will be accepted until the scholarship is awarded.