Mackenzie’s Mission: The Australian Reproductive Carrier Screening Project

Mackenzie’s Mission: The Australian Reproductive Carrier Screening Project

Programs Available

Mres Year 2 + PhD 

Reference Number


Opening Date

01 Jul 2019 12am AEST 

Closing Date

01 Oct 2019 12am AEST 

Scholarship available to



Genetic conditions are a major cause of death and chronic illness in children. The impacts on families cannot be overstated, with grief and loss due to a child’s death or disability having profound effects on the child’s parents and other family members. Genetic conditions also require substantial input from government, including (but not limited to) hospital care, the costs of specialised treatments, disability services, special education, loss of productivity of parents and income support for carers. Mackenzie’s Mission is a research study of large-scale reproductive carrier screening. The goals of the project are to develop and implement processes for delivering screening, to build capacity towards scaling up to a population‐wide level for the whole of Australia, and to evaluate the psychosocial impacts, ethical issues, possible barriers to successful uptake, and health economic implications of the proposed program. Screening will be conducted on couples, with both partners being tested for mutations in a large number of genes (~500) associated with severe disorders affecting children. Couples will receive a single test result indicating whether they have a high or low risk of a child with a catastrophic genetic defect.

Prof Jeffrey Braithwaite and Drs Stephanie Best and Janet Long are leading the Implementation Research Stream within the grant.

This scholarship will allow a suitable candidate to develop a separate research project to complement the work already being done and may include topics such as:

Research relevant to Mackenzie’s Mission includes but is not limited to:

  • Community attitudes to pre or early pregnancy screening
  • Implementation of screening processes into laboratories, general practices, women’s health clinics or genetic clinics
  • Community education
  • Health professionals’ attitudes and readiness for pre or early pregnancy screening.
  • Access for couples in regional or remote areas to screening services
  • Acceptability of screening for specific conditions or diseases

Specific research questions will be determined by the student and their supervisor. Students can also synergise with research undertaken by the implementation Science Research stream within the Mackenzie’s Mission project.

Successful scholarship applicants may also have access to Research Assistant work to supplement the scholarship stipend (on average for 14 hours per week).

We encourage students with potential research topics relevant to the Mackenzie’s Mission project to apply, regardless of their discipline.

PhD candidates must demonstrate their interest in health services research, and their strong analytical and writing skills reflected in research output (i.e. peer reviewed publications).


This scholarship is available to eligible domestic candidates to undertake either a MRes Year 2 + PhD (4 years total) or a direct entry 3-year PhD program.

To be eligible for a scholarship, applicants are expected to have a record of excellent academic performance and preferably, additional relevant research experience and/or peer-reviewed research activity in line with the University’s scholarship rating guidelines. Refer to the Rating Scholarship Applicants section for more information about these guidelines.

Scholarship Components

The scholarship is comprised of a Tuition Fee Offset and a Living Allowance Stipend. The value and tenure of the stipend scholarship is a MQRES full-time rate of $27,596 (2019 rate p.a), tax exempt for up to 4 years for MRes Year 2 + PhD and for up to 3 years for PhD.

Contact Details

Name: Dr Janet Long
Phone: +612 98502225

How to Apply

For information on how to apply, select the "How to Apply" button below.

Please note, at the start of your application you should select the scholarship type of "HDR Project/Supervisor Specific Scholarship"

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