EnzOnomy – PhD opportunity at the intersection of business and science

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.

Business and economics evaluations are becoming increasingly important within areas of the bioeconomy, synthetic biology, and molecular biology. Within this context, an interdisciplinary team of researchers is investigating developing cell-free, enzyme-based biomanufacturing platforms for isobutanol production to overcome issues with efficiency, controllability, and toxicity plaguing cell-based biomanufacturing systems. We seek a motivated PhD candidate to investigate the business and economics of developing and commercialising such systems. The project will involve building applied analytical models at technology, firm and industry levels, through the identification and testing of different business and industry models to facilitate efficient technology development towards optimal commercial and translational applications and pathway to market. The predominant methodology will be quantitative research methods, supplemented with qualitative methods for model validation. Further project specifications will be explored during the candidates first year, working towards confirmation.

The ideal candidate will have background knowledge in chemistry or biochemistry and look to expand their knowledge and skills towards business models, innovation, strategy, and/or economics. They will be willing to learn about business and economics theories and apply them to enzyme production systems. They will work alongside other students and staff investigating the specific technical aspects of optimising the enzymatic properties and cell-free enzyme cascades, and their findings will help direct technical strategies towards an optimal pathway to market. Upon completion the candidate will have developed a unique interdisciplinary skill set applying business and economics theories to the exciting and emerging fields of bioeconomics and synthetic biology.

Scholarship value

As a scholarship recipient, you'll receive: 

  • living stipend of $28,854 per annum tax free (2022 rate), indexed annually
  • tuition fees covered
  • single Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)


Professor Gary Schenk

School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences

Email: schenk@uq.edu.au

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 chemistry or biochemistry would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of biotechnology, synthetic biology, or molecular biology, a willingness to apply this knowledge to business and economics, and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of quantitative data analysis is highly desirable.

Latest commencement date

If you are the successful candidate, you must commence by Research Quarter 3, 2022. 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