Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

Scholarship in metabolism and exercise biochemistry


The Centre for Exercise and Nutrition based at the Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research is seeking applicants for a PhD Scholarship to undertake innovative research studying the biochemistry of metabolism and exercise.

Exercise is essential in regulating metabolism and remains the most promising therapy for obesity and associated metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, which has reached epidemic proportions in the developed world. The regulation of whole-body metabolism by exercise involves a coordinated network of molecular, cellular and tissue physiological adaptations. Professor John Hawley leads an internationally renowned multidisciplinary team conducting translational exercise and nutrition research using human subjects, animal models and cellular systems. Using experimental animal models, a major research theme of this group is how energy-sensing proteins within this network regulate metabolism and how manipulating protein-nutrient interactions impact the health-promoting effects of exercise.

The successful PhD Scholarship recipient will be supervised by Professor John Hawley (Director, Centre for Exercise and Nutrition) and Dr Nolan Hoffman (Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Centre for Exercise and Nutrition). The recipient’s research projects will also involve interaction with expert researchers and health professionals in the fields of metabolism, exercise and nutrition.

The Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research provides a dynamic, multidisciplinary environment for PhD students to pursue an academic and/or industry research career. It has a large academic and support staff dedicated to its research program, substantial research funding, a vibrant PhD program, and world leading national and international collaborative partners. For more information visit:

Scholarship criteria:

  • Australian First Class Honours degree or Research Masters degree in any of the fields of biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, physiology and exercise science
  • Academic excellence, including, but not limited to, academic awards and grants
  • Professional experience, relevant training and/or research experience in rodent handling and experimentation, biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, physiology and/or metabolism
  • Academic publications and/or conference presentations, especially in the area of the PhD Scholarship, relative to their career to date

Study mode: Full-time only

PhD Scholarship provides: Tax-free stipend of A$26,288 per annum and A$5,000 per annum top-up for three years, subject to satisfactory progress

Please note: This scholarship is only open to domestic research candidates.


For information on the scholarship and ‘how to apply’ contact:

Dr Nolan Hoffman

Postdoctoral Research Fellow – Centre for Exercise and Nutrition


Phone: +61 (0)3 9230 8277


Scholarship applications should be forwarded to:

Graduate Research

Australian Catholic University

PO Box 968

North Sydney NSW 2059



Applications close: 28 February 2017

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