Brain Activity that underpins learning and memory formation

Project opportunity

This Earmarked Scholarship project is aligned with a recently awarded Category 1 research grant. It offers you the opportunity to work with leading researchers and contribute to large projects of national significance.

The brain is the most complex machine we know, and its activity shapes every aspect our lives. Studies over decades using tools from molecular and cellular neuroscience and behavioural experiments have discovered the parts of the brain involved in learning and memory formation. Much is understood about the neural circuits that mediate learning but how memories are formed and stored are not understood. The aim of this project is to understand learning and memory formation using a simple learning paradigm, fear conditioning. Using cutting-edge molecular tools we will label the circuits in the amygdala that mediate this learning and the nature of the memory trace. We will record and analyse neural activity using electrophysiological techniques. This project will help understand how memories are formed , stored and retrieved.  It will also tell us how information is stored in the mammalian brain.

Scholarship value

As a scholarship recipient, you'll receive: 

  • living stipend of $32,192 per annum tax free (2023 rate), indexed annually
  • tuition fees covered
  • single Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)


Professor Pankaj Sah

Queensland Brain Institute


Preferred educational background

Your application will be assessed on a competitive basis.

We take into account your

  • previous academic record
  • publication record
  • honours and awards
  • employment history.

A working knowledge of statistical techniques and good computational expertise in platforms such as Matlab or Python would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of biology, computational analytical techniques and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of statistics, computational analysis, Matlab and / or Python is highly desirable.

Latest commencement date

If you are the successful candidate, you must commence by Research Quarter 3, 2024. You should apply at least 3 months prior to the research quarter commencement date.

If you are an international applicant, you may need to apply much earlier for visa requirements.

How to apply

You apply for this project as part of your PhD program application.

View application process