Become a clinician-scientist

Dr Simon Chatfield is a clinician and PhD student in the institute's Inflammation divisionA clinician-scientist engages professionally in research, but also sees patients, usually in a clinical specialty connected to his/her research.

The clinician-scientist career is challenging, rewarding, and offers opportunities to advance knowledge through combining research and clinical expertise leading to better understanding of diseases and outcomes for patients.

Clinician-scientists have a solid foundation in scientific process, and may have expertise in the application of discovery science to clinical research and translation into clinical practice. These skills are beneficial to clinician-scientists in their approach to patients in the clinic.

Read about clinician-scientists at the institute.

How do I become a clinician-scientist?

There are a numerous pathways to becoming a clinical researcher at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.

If you are interested in becoming a clinician-scientist, start your planning early. You must take into account procedures for entrance into the PhD program and deadlines for funding applications.

Clinicians undertaking a laboratory based PhD are expected to spend at least 80 per cent of their time on studies with up to 20 per cent of their time available for clinical work. This is a general guideline with exceptions and flexibility based on the nature of the project, and a person’s specific circumstances.

Opportunities forum

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute runs an annual PhD Opportunities Forum for clinicians who are interested in undertaking a research PhD to improve their career prospects or move into a career in translational research.

Thursday 1 May 2014, 6pm
See the PhD Opportunities Forum for information and registration.

Please email the Clinical Translation Centre for more information

How to apply for a PhD (clinician)

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute offers postgraduate training as the Department of Medical Biology of the University of Melbourne.

The institute offers the facilities for medical students and medically-qualified clinicians to undertake a PhD at the institute in a range of disciplines.

How to apply for a PhD (clinician) and available scholarships.

How does the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute support clinician scientists?

The institute encourages interested medical graduates to engage in basic or translational research within an institute laboratory as a PhD project.

A Clinical Translation Centre (CTC) has been established to increase the institute’s capacity and resources for clinical translation by providing physical and people infrastructure.

The CTC comprises:

  • a laboratory and tissue culture room dedicated for human sample processing
  • FACS Aria and Verse for sorting and analysis of human tissue samples
  • microscope and freezer storage facilities
  • clinical contact rooms for interviews and blood and non-invasive tissue collection from participants of ethically-approved research projects
  • personnel to assist with all translational and clinical institute needs
  • basic laboratory skills induction program

The aims of the CTC are to maximise the application of the institute’s scientific discoveries to human health and enable the institute to be the preferred choice for clinicians to train or work in the translation of fundamental research into clinical medicine.


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