PhD scholarship: Engineering cerebrovascular models for surgical decision-making


Enrolment status New students
Student type Domestic students
Level of study Higher Degree by Research
Study area Engineering and Computing, Medicine
HDR funding type Living stipend scholarship, Tuition Scholarship
Scholarship value $28,597 per annum (2021 rate), indexed annually
Scholarship duration 3.5 years with the possibility of 1 extension in line with UQ and RTP Scholarship Policy
Opening date 27 July 2021
Closing date 27 September 2021


Supervisor – Dr Mark Allenby

Clinical Supervisor: Dr Craig Winter (Royal Brisbane & Women's Hospital, Neurosurgery)

Surgical treatments of cerebrovascular conditions, such as intracranial aneurysms, are difficult to optimise for patient-specific conditions due to the variety of presentations and low margin for error. The ability to trial different medical, endovascular or surgical approaches on patient-specific presentations prior to open craniotomy could develop better therapies, but no models recapitulate cerebrovascular: (1) anatomy (2) mechanics and (3) biology simultaneously, all of which influence long-term treatment success rates. These cerebrovascular models would help solve fundamental questions of whether to operate, when to operate, and how to operate.

This project will develop a manufacturing framework to generate a soft material macro/microfluidic cerebrovascular mimicry from patient images which in its first design is able to incorporate endothelial cells and medium perfusion to simulate physiological mechanobiology. Cerebrovascular surgery (stent, coil implants) will be simulated in the brain model, which aims to act as a preoperative testbed to compare surgical approaches and engineer better implant designs.

A working knowledge of cell culture, 3D printing or engineering, mathematical modelling or data science would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

Research Environment

Our emerging laboratory includes experimentation (stem cell and tissue culture, biomaterials fabrication) and computation (image analysis, mathematical modelling) in direct contact with surgeons and clinicians. What you can expect from us: weekly availability for supervision, funds for experiments, world-leading resources, encouragement and excitement from a friendly lab. What we expect from you: a driven passion to learn and perform biomedical research, a professional and mature approach to work, a healthy presence and social engagement with our lab.

Read about the BioMimetic Systems Engineering (BMSE) Laboratory online.

The UQ School of Chemical Engineering is home to UQ's biomedical engineering program, and is entering an exciting growth phase catalysed by our move to the eleven story state-of-the-art Andrew N. Liveris Building. Worldwide, UQ Chemical Engineering was ranked 33rd in the QS World University Rankings 2019 for Chemical Engineering.


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

This scholarship is open to Australian citizens, permanent residents and International students who are currently in Australia at the time of application and commencement.

Before you get started

If this scholarship has rules, download and read them.

How to apply

To apply for admission and scholarship, follow this link. There is no separate application for scholarship because you will have the opportunity to request scholarship consideration on the application for admission.

Before submitting an application you should:

When you apply, please ensure that under the scholarships and collaborative study section you:

  1. Select ‘My higher degree is not collaborative’
  2. Select 'I am applying for, or have been awarded a scholarship or sponsorship'.
  3. Select ‘Other’, then ‘Research Project Scholarship’ and type in ‘SURGICAL-ALLENBY’ in the 'Name of scholarship' field.

See an example of what you have to do

Learn more about applying for a higher degree by research at UQ

Selection criteria

Applications will be judged on a competitive basis taking into account the applicant’s previous academic record, publication record, honours and awards, and employment history.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field/s of chemical and biomedical engineering or biomedical sciences and data science and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of cell culture, 3D printing or engineering, mathematical modelling or data science is highly desirable.


Dr Mark Allenby
+61 3346 1233

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.