MARCS: Human Performance Research Network Scholarships

MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development

Scholarship code: 2020-006

About the project

The MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development(opens in new window)Opens in a new window studies the scientific bases of human communication. Situated on four campuses, MARCS research on brain, behaviour and development encompasses such areas as: how we combine information from different sensory modalities; how we learn language and handle foreign accents; how to program robots for human interaction; how we can enhance communication with infants, those with hearing impairments, and the elderly; and how music and human movement communicate universally. We apply our work to advanced technology, biomedical engineering, and improving physical and mental health by designing electronics inspired by neural systems, building better biomedical devices, analysing heightened performance in the creative arts, and addressing impaired performance in developmental delay and sensory deficit.

MARCS(opens in new window)Opens in a new window in collaboration with the Defence Innovation Network(opens in new window)Opens in a new window invites applications from highly motivated graduates seeking to undertake a Doctor of Philosophy degree to work with Associate Professor Gabrielle Weidemann and Doctor John Cass on two projects designed to evaluate the perceptual and cognitive demands of Augmented Reality displays on human performance in simulated Defence-relevant tasks. In addition to evaluating human behavioural performance the project will involve measurement of various physiological indices of stress and cognitive load, including pupil-diameter, eye-movements and cortical blood flow (functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy).

There are two scholarship positions and applicants must indicate which project they are applying to:

  • Project 1: Effects of augmented reality and stress on cognitive load
  • Project 2: Visual perception of augmented reality in virtual environments

What does the scholarship provide?

  • Domestic candidates will receive a tax-free stipend of $30,000 per annum for up to 3 years to support living costs, supported by the Research Training Program (RTP) Fee Offset.
  • Support for conference attendance, fieldwork and additional costs as approved by MARCS.
  • Access to the extensive range of MARCS specialised equipment and laboratory facilities.
  • Additional funding to support training and equipment purchases.
  • A rich environment of support and academic expertise via supervisory panels, seminars, colloquia, international and industry collaborations.

Eligibility criteria

We welcome applicants from a range of backgrounds, who are keen to apply their skills to the research areas.

The successful applicant should:

  • be an Australian citizen.
  • hold qualifications and experience equal to one of the following (i) an Australian First Class Bachelor (Honours) degree, (ii) coursework Masters with at least 25% research component, (iii) Research Masters degree, or (iv) equivalent overseas qualifications.
  • have demonstrated research experience in experimental psychology.
  • have a background in quantitative experimental methods and statistical analyses.
  • be enthusiastic and highly motivated to undertake further study at an advanced level.

Demonstrated skills in computer programming are desirable.

International applicants are not eligible for this scholarship.

How to apply

1. Contact Associate Professor Gabrielle Weidemann ( to discuss your eligibility, the project requirements and your intention to apply.

2. Review the research scholarships frequently asked questions.(opens in new window)Opens in a new window

3. Submit an online application for admission.(opens in new window)Opens in a new window

4. Complete the project scholarship application form (PDF, 89.74 KB).(opens in new window)Opens in a new window

5. Compile your CV, contact information for two referees and a one-page proposal stating how your research interests align with the project aims.

6. Submit your scholarship application form and any supporting documentation to the Graduate Research School as follows:

  • Use the email subject line: Application_2020_006_MARCS
  • Submit to
  • All attached documents must be submitted as PDF.
  • In the body of your email, include your full name, your student ID (if you are a current or previous Western Sydney University student) and the full title of the scholarship.

Applicants who do not submit an online application for admission will not be considered.

Incomplete applications or applications that do not conform to the above requirements will not be considered.

Please contact the Graduate Research School via email at for more information.

Applications close 31 March 2020

*Applications close at 11.59pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT).