CIBIT PhD Top-Up Scholarship – Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) metabolic pathways using dissolution dynamic nuclear polarisation (DNP) molecular contrast agents


Enrolment status New students
Student type Domestic students, International students
Level of study Higher Degree by Research
Study area Engineering and Computing, Health and Behavioural Sciences, Science and Mathematics
HDR funding type Top-up Scholarship
Scholarship value Up to $5,800 per annum, tax free
Scholarship duration Three years with the possibility of two 6-month extensions in approved circumstances
Opening date 27 July 2020
Closing date 17 August 2020


Methodologies for studying in vivo metabolic pathways in the brain following traumatic brain injury or neurodegenerative disease have the potential to significantly improve diagnosis and treatment of these conditions.  13C magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging has shown significant potential for the non-invasive imaging of key metabolites in the brain. However, the technique is limited by the low natural abundance of 13C (~1%), which results in poor signal intensities.  Labelling metabolites with 13C can artificially increase this signal by 100 times, although the signal intensity remains low due to degrees of nuclear polarisation that are achieved at typical imaging field strengths. 

Dissolution dynamic nuclear polarisation (dissolution DNP) is a new technology that can overcome this problem by increasing the nuclear polarisation which can improve the MRI signal by >74000 fold.  This increased signal allows real time in vivo imaging and quantification of metabolic rate of glucose, lactate, glutamate, etc, as biomarkers of diseases.

This project is a collaboration between the ARC Training Centre for Innovation in Biomedical Imaging Technology (CIBIT) at The University of Queensland and the Technical University Denmark (DTU) and will involve the inventor of dissolution DNP, Professor Ardenkjaer-Larsen from DTU and Professor Reutens, Associate Professor Blakey and Associate Professor Chuang from UQ. Successful students will have the opportunity to undertake internships with our industry partners.

Applicants should have a background in the physical sciences, including disciplines such as biomedical engineering, engineering, information technology, physics and mathematics or a related field. Applicants should possess analytical and computational skills, including working with equations, simulations and computer programs and an interest in Imaging Modalities or Healthcare IT Solutions.

The Australian Research Council Training Centre for Innovation in Biomedical Imaging Technology (CIBIT) is a multidisciplinary collaboration between researchers at The University of Queensland’s Centre for Advanced Imaging and partners in the Medical Technologies and Pharmaceutical industry. Students will undertake industry-driven research to overcome bottlenecks in the development and application of novel imaging methods and to inform changes in regulatory policy that support industry growth. Scholarships will include an industry placement for one year. Further details can be found on the CIBIT website.

The Centre for Advanced Imaging

The Centre for Advanced Imaging (CAI), a strategic initiative of The University of Queensland, is a leading imaging research facility in Australia, and one of a handful in the world. It brings together the skills of a critical mass of researchers and state-of-the-art, world- or Australian-first imaging research instruments including NMR, EPR, MRI, PET, CT, optical imaging and an on-site cyclotron and radiochemistry facilities. CAI hosts the largest Node of the National Imaging Facility (NIF).

CAI conducts research across the spectrum from development of new imaging technologies, analysis of molecular structure, synthesis of MRI and PET biomarkers targeting fundamental biological processes to studies of major diseases affecting a range of organ systems, through to imaging economically significant agricultural animals and plant material, minerals and construction materials.

A multidisciplinary, cohesive student community have come together from all over the globe to CAI to undertake research training.  The Centre has an active student association (STAC) that provides many opportunities for networking and professional development, a supportive mentoring structure that will enhance personal and professional growth, an annual symposium and a well-attended weekly seminar program which attracts high profile National and International speakers.

Further details on the Centre for Advanced imaging and ongoing research can be found on CAI’s website.

CAI is committed to supporting the career growth of female researchers and have a number of initiatives to support females in developing and achieving a fulfilling research career at the institute. For more information, please visit our CAI Women in Imaging website.


To be eligible, you must meet the entry requirements for a higher degree by research.

Applicants must be in receipt of or apply for and be awarded a living allowance scholarship of at least the Research Training Program rate ($28,092 for 2020, indexed annually) to be eligible to receive this top-up.

Applications are closed.

Before you get started

If this scholarship has rules, download and read them.

How to apply

To be considered for this scholarship, please email the following documents to Professor David Reutens (

  • Cover letter
  • CV
  • Academic transcript/s
  • Proof of meeting English Language requirements

Please note the following: Submitting the above documents does not constitute a full application for admission into The University of Queensland's PhD program. If you are selected as the preferred applicant, you will then be invited to submit a full application for admission. You can familiarise yourself with the documents required for this process on the Graduate School's website.

Applications are closed.


Professor David Reutens
Applications are closed.

Terms and conditions

Read the policy on UQ Research Scholarships.

A domestic part-time student with carer’s responsibilities, a medical condition or a disability, which prevents them from studying full time may be eligible for scholarship consideration, on a case by case basis.

Applications are closed.