STRAPA PhD Scholarship in Biomedicine (4 awards available)

PhD Scholarship: STRAPA (Strategic Australian Postgraduate Award) for Low Cost Smart Devices for Health Monitoring

Number of scholarships available: 4

Four STRAPA scholarships are available for PhD candidates in a multidisciplinary research team with the aim of developing low cost smart devices for health monitoring and rehabilitation. Two positions are reserved targeting cardio vascular ailments and two are reserved targeting stroke analysis.

The successful candidate will work in collaborative projects of ISSNIP with the Department of Neurology of Faculty of Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital, and the Nossal Institute for Global Health on the Parkville campus to develop low cost smart devices for health monitoring and rehabilitation (targeted at cardio vascular ailments and stroke).

In the first stream, we will develop a low-cost and non-invasive abdominal phonogram device using a mobile phone to assist the screening of foetal well being in remote/regional Australia and developing countries. The device will measure sound signals from the mother’s abdomen, and measure the foetal heart rate (and its variability), and foetal breath movements, to suggest the diagnosis of a compromised foetus and prompt further obstetric assessment and/or intervention. The algorithm will be simple enough to run on the processor on a mobile phone, and the phone’s own sound acquisition system can be modified to capture and process the sounds. The successful candidates will also have the opportunity to work on collaborative industry-focussed project with an international medical equipment industry partner and to gain highly valuable skills in a range of in fetal screening methods.

In the second stream, we aim to provide an integrated solution to monitor stroke patients through a wearable body area networks. This is one of the key emerging technologies for unobtrusive health monitoring. The successful candidates will also have the opportunity to work on collaborative industry-focussed project.

The Person: Applicants should have an Honours (H1 (above 80%) or H2A with relevant experience (above 75%)) degree preferably in Electrical Engineering or Computer Science and Engineering, Bachelor of Biomedicine, although applicants with Hons in another mathematical science related discipline are also encouraged to apply. Experience in Biomedical Signal Processing/Instrumentation would be advantageous but not critical.

Remuneration: The scholarship is available to Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents; it pays an annual tax-free stipend of $23,728 (2012 rate, indexed annually) for 3 years.

To apply, send curriculum vitae and covering letter to Professor M Palaniswami, email:, Dept of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010.

Application close: 10th December 2011.

Contact: Professor M Palaniswami

Phone: Email:


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