Synthetic Biology: Engineering of bacteria to convert sugars into hydrogen gas

Synthetic Biology: Engineering of bacteria to convert sugars into hydrogen gas

Programs Available


Reference Number

2019023 and 2019024 

Opening Date

14 Sep 2018 12am AEST 

Closing Date

30 Nov 2018 11pm AEDT 

Scholarship available to



TWO full-time postgraduate scholarships, funded through the ARENA R&D Program "Renewable Hydrogen for Export”, are on offer to undertake research studies leading to a PhD. The research project will be focused on the engineering of bacteria to efficiently and rapidly convert sugars from various renewable sources into hydrogen gas. The PhD candidates will be responsible for experimental design and execution; including, design of genetic componentry, genetic reprogramming/metabolic engineering of bacteria; and the genomic, proteomic and metabolomic analysis of new strains.

The scholarship opportunities are available to suitably qualified candidate with a background in synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, molecular biology, biochemistry, microbiology, or a related field.

About Us:

The Department of Molecular Sciences (MolSci@MQ) is a research intensive department of academics and students who study and teach chemistry and molecular cell sciences. The focus of our academics is at the exciting molecular science interfaces with chemistry, biology and materials. Our students gain cross-disciplinary perspectives while developing discipline specific skills in chemistry and biomolecular science.

We apply this philosophy of studying “molecules to cells” to achieve a sustainable environment, understand health and disease, develop materials and advance new molecular technologies.

Research and teaching strength in molecular science includes analytical chemistry, biochemistry, biotechnology, cellular biology, medicinal chemistry, microbiology, molecular biology and genomics, synthetic biology, organic/inorganic synthesis, proteomics, protein chemistry, physical chemistry.

Department: Chemistry and Biomedical Sciences - Molecular Sciences


This scholarship is available to eligible candidates to undertake a direct entry 3-year PhD program.

Applicants can be International or Domestic (Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents or New Zealand citizens).

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 Macquarie University Research Excellence Scholarship (MQRES) Tuition Fee Scholarship and Stipend.

The value and tenure of the scholarship is:

  • MQRES Tuition Fee Scholarship; and
  • MQRES Stipend (living allowance)

This scholarship provides a stipend currently valued at AUD $27,596 per annum (2019 rate, tax exempt). The scholarship has been approved for a maximum of 3 years.

Contact Details

Name: Robert Willows & Louise Brown
Email: &

How to Apply

New applicants to Macquarie University will need to complete the Online HDR Candidature and Scholarship Application via the Online Application System and arrange for two academic referee reports to be submitted to the Higher Degree Research Office. Further information can be found on the How to Apply page.

Applicants who are currently enrolled in an MQ HDR program or applicants who hold a Macquarie University candidature offer LESS than 12 months old:

  • Complete and submit the HDR Application for Scholarship Only form (available on the HDRO Forms) and include supporting documentation, such as:
    • any additional information or research output since original application and commencement
    • updated CV
    • offer letter and/or research student profile
  • Indicate the reference under the scholarship details question
  • Email the application to in ONE pdf document and MUST indicate in the subject line the MQ ID, full name and reference
  • Request their referees to send the Academic Referee Reports directly to

While current candidates are eligible to apply, any consumed prior enrolment will be counted as advanced standing and will reduce the maximum scholarship duration offered.

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