Development of a Chinese herb-drug interaction database: insight into literature, high-throughput screening and applications

NICM Health Research Institute

Lead Researcher:  Dr Phoebe Zhou

About the project

The NICM Health Research Institute (NICM HRI) is offering a research scholarship to a highly motivated PhD candidate to work within a research group advancing the IMgateway drug-herb interaction platform and related research for Chinese herbal medicines. The project is funded through the 2023 National Industry PhD Program - Industry Linked Postgraduate by Australian Government Department of Education, UnityHealth Pty, Ltd and Western Sydney University Graduate Research School.

This project aims to develop an online Evidence-Based Chinese Herb-Drug Database by utilising laboratory technology and literature reviews. The project expects to generate an advanced digital tool for health care and service in integrative medicine, thereby improving health outcomes and addressing the government’s science and research priorities. Expected outcomes of this project include strengthening existing collaboration between WSU and UnityHealth Pty Ltd. This platform will provide easy access to and reliable information on the integrative use of Chinese herbs, benefiting healthcare professionals, industry, customers, and the public utilising Chinese herbal medicines across Asian Pacific countries.

NICM HRI is a research institute within Western Sydney University. NICM is Australia’s global leader in integrative and complementary medicine research and policy. As an Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 5 ranking institute, NICM HRI is globally recognised for our world-class research and innovations in integrative and complementary medicine. From the bench to the bedside, preclinical, clinical and translational, NICM HRI advances the evidence-base, focusing on quality, safety, efficacy and how medicine works.

What does the scholarship provide?

  • Domestic candidates will receive a stipend of $47,210 (AUD) per annum for up to 4 years to support living costs, supported by the Research Training Program (RTP) Fee Offset. The candidate need to check if they are tax exempted.
  • International candidates will receive a stipend of $47,210 (AUD) per annum for up to 4 years to support living costs.
  • 2023 National Industry PhD Program provide fee waiver to all candidates.
  • Support for conference attendance, fieldwork and additional costs as approved by School/Institute. International candidates are required to hold an Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) insurance policy for the duration of their study in Australia. This cost is not covered by the scholarship.

Eligibility criteria

We welcome applicants from a range of backgrounds, who are keen to apply their skills to key issues in Chinese herb-drug interaction. In particular, the project is suitable for candidates with strong interests in experimental and clinical pharmacology and toxicology, including concepts of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics; mode of action of pharmaceutical drugs and natural products.

The successful applicant should:

  • 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.
  • demonstrate strong academic performance in subjects relevant to experimental pharmacology, clinical pharmacology and toxicology.
  • have high-level skills in conducting literature review, utilizing critical thinking abilities, and monograph writing. be willing to learn interpreting literature and research data accurately and make correct judgments of and conclusions for the likelihood of drug interactions.
  • be enthusiastic and highly motivated to undertake further study at an advanced level.
  • International applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency.

How to apply

Follow the step-by-step instructions on the how to apply for a project scholarship (opens in a new window) page.

  • Note: You do not need to complete 'Step 5: Submit an online application for admission' when applying for this scholarship. You must complete 'Step 6: Submit an online application for a project scholarship'.

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

For questions and advice about the research project, please contact the Lead Researcher;
Dr Phoebe Zhou:

Applications close 29 February 2024

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

Scholarship reference code: PS2023_092_NICM