We want to hear from you if observing the molecular arms race between host cells and pathogens – using advanced fluorescence microscopy and structural approaches – excites you.
Applications are encouraged from creative and open-minded students with a degree in biochemistry, molecular or cell biology, biophysics, or virology – BSc or equivalent 4-year degree with at least 9 months research project and thesis.

We value thinking outside the box, and finding a common language to communicate across disciplines. We are a team of scientifically and culturally diverse researchers embedded in the dynamic and supportive culture at the EMBL Australia Node in Single Molecule Science (SMS), which fosters collaborations between research group.

Benefits of the position

  • Scholarships covering tuition fees and living allowance.
  • Access to cutting-edge fluorescence microscopy, X-ray crystallography, (cry)EM, and proteomics facilities.
  • Travel to attend conferences and to visit our international collaborators.
  • Fun and collegial work culture, with ongoing training and developmental workshops.
  • We embrace equity, diversity and inclusion.

Our group specialises in assembling molecular machines from the bottom-up and observing them in action, using single-molecule imaging, to work out how they operate. We then test how these operating principles play out in cells.



Projects available

Project 1. How do viral capsids subvert host defences and deliver viral genomes into the host nucleus?

We offer different PhD projects to discover how the HIV capsid assembles and disassembles, and how the capsid co-opts cellular machinery to move along microtubules, traverse the nuclear pore complex, and copy its genomic RNA into DNA.


Project 2. How do pore-forming proteins, used in infection and immunity, assemble to puncture membranes of target cells and elicit cell killing?

PhD projects are available to understand specificity and control of pore formation, and how to exploit this class of proteins for applications in nanotechnology.


UNSW SMS research project infographic
SMS research - Project 2. How do pore-forming proteins

How to apply

Please send a cover letter detailing your research experience, which project you are interested in and why, your CV, and contact details for two referees to till.boecking@unsw.edu.au

For more details contact A/Prof Till Böcking (he/him) or Dr David Jacques (he/him).

Follow us on Twitter: @SingMolSci and @Mol_Machines