Research Internships

Apply for a Summer Research Program at AIBN

Applications are now open for the 2021/22 Summer Research Program. This opportunity is offered over 10 weeks during the summer university vacation period (November to February) and all selected students will receive a scholarship.  Participation is open to undergraduate (including honours) and postgraduate coursework students who are currently enrolled and will maintain ongoing enrolment in a program at UQ. Please check back for more details on AIBN projects on offer. 

Applications close Sunday 26 September 2021.

AIBN research internships provide an opportunity for high achieving science and engineering students interested in a career in research to experience the unique environment of one of Australia’s leading research institutes. Your AIBN research internship is an authentic research project that provides:

  • Valuable research skills
  • Access to some of the best facilities in Australia
  • Remuneration
  • Publication potential
  • Career mentoring
  • Academic credit toward to your undergraduate or masters degree in approved circumstances.

Available Projects for Summer 2021/2022

Project title: 

Separating signal from noise - benchmarking bioinformatics methods to identify biology from big data!

Project duration, hours of engagement & delivery mode

8-10 weeks;
30-36 hrs per week.

COVID-19 considerations: Project can be completed remotely if required. 

Description: The promise of big data is to reveal compelling insights into medical biology. But a major challenge for realizing this goal is the intractable presence of noise. This project focuses on benchmarking different kinds of bioinformatics methods to understand the optimal ways to handle noise in the data to obtain concrete results in biology.
Expected outcomes and deliverables: This is a wonderful opportunity to gain hands on experience in computational biology and bioinformatics research. It is also the chance to develop key employability skills in data science, quantitative modelling, team work, communication and project management. At a minimum, the student will be expected to produce a report at the end of the project that may lead to a publication and/or software package.
Suitable for: We are looking for students with any background in statistics, data science, computer science, mathematics, genetics, molecular & cell biology who are excited to be part of biomedical research! This project is most suited to a 3rd or 4th year student who may be considering Honours or a PhD project in the future.

Primary Supervisor:

A/Prof Jessica Mar

Further info: Please contact me for further information at


Project title: 

Guiding wound healing through biophysical control

Project duration, hours of engagement & delivery mode

6 –10 weeks
20-36 hrs per week

COVID-19 considerations: on-site attendance is required.

Due to UQ occupational health and safety, Hepatitis B vaccination is required to work with human derived substances and cells.


Wound healing is a dynamic process requiring a coordinated response to repair the damage. The extracellular matrix assists in providing an interconnected network contributing to both the biochemical and biophysical cues to bring about biological responses in cells/tissues. We have both defined natural and synthetic biomaterials to establish 3D cell model systems to study these activities using live confocal microscopy to investigate the role of matrix biophysical properties driving wound repair, with a focus on skin cells. This project will involve growth of human skin cells working with 2.5D and 3D culture systems, live confocal imaging, wound healing assays, gene expression and immunostaining.

Expected outcomes and deliverables:

Depending on experience, initially assisting/supporting to learn new techniques then more independently establishing hypotheses, planning and executing experiments and having the opportunity to contribute to publications from their research. Working within a team focused on expediting wound repair for burns and trauma patients employing biomaterials with specific biophysical characteristics shown to not only be conducive to tissue driven repair but regulate it.

Students may also be asked to produce a report or oral presentation at the end of their project.

Suitable for: Particularly suitable to final year students (3rd and 4th year) with some lab experience but others would be considered.

Primary Supervisor:

Dr Amanda W. Kijas, in Professor Alan Rowan's Group based at AIBN, UQ, St Lucia.

Further info:

Please contact me, Amanda W. Kijas for further information by email As part of this process we would like to meet any candidates to see they are suitable.

Project title: 

New cathode design for Aluminium-Sulfur batteries

Project duration, hours of engagement & delivery mode

This is an 8-10 weeks project for students, who are interested to work on developing next generation battery technologies. 

Hours of engagement will be between 30-36 hrs per week

COVID-19 considerations: Applicant will be required on-site for the project.
Description: Effective energy storage system plays an important role in the renewable energy utilisation and electric vehicles. Aluminium-sulfur batteries has been recognised as promising candidates for next generation energy storage devices. The electrochemical performance of Al-S batteries is beset by poor stability and sluggish charge-storage properties. This project aims to develop new sulfur-based cathodes for high-capacity Al-S battery with high capacity and long cycling life.
Expected outcomes and deliverables:

In this project, scholars will gain skills in battery materials synthesis, battery device fabrication, testing and data collection and analysis, be involved in specific tasks, and also have an opportunity to generate publications from their research.  Students may also be asked to produce a report or oral presentation at the end of their project.

Suitable for:

This project is open to applications from students with a background in physical chemistry, materials engineering, chemical engineering, electrochemistry, and for 3rd – 4th year students only.

Primary Supervisor:

Dr Bin Luo, Prof Lianzhou Wang

Further info: Please contact Dr Bin Luo at for more details about this project.

Project title: 

Precise Engineering of Mesoporous Metals for Electrochemical Sensing of Biomolecules

Project duration, hours of engagement & delivery mode

10 weeks

 9:30am - 3:30pm

 Onsite unless there are lockdown restrictions


Advances in nanoarchitectonics have enabled a wide variety of nanostructured electrodes with tuneable shapes and surface for constructing sensitive and selective biosensors for detecting biomolecules, such as microRNA. Mesoporous metals have attracted significant interest for biosensing applications because of their large number of active/adsorption sites, enhanced diffusion path, and high inherent activities. This project will involve the precise structural, compositional and pore engineering of mesoporous metals (including alloys) for the sensitive and selective detection of biomolecules.

Expected outcomes and deliverables:
  • Prepare a series of mesoporous metal alloys using template-assisted electrochemical deposition
  • Perform characterization of mesoporous metals using XRD, SEM, TEM, FT-IR, BET surface area analyzer, etc.
  • Evaluate the sensing performance of mesoporous metals towards biomolecules in terms of sensitivity, selectivity and stability.

Students will be trained the synthesis of mesoporous metals as well as different characterization methods for analyzing the structural, compositional, and morphological features of mesoporous metals. They will also learn how to design high performance sensors for detection of biomolecules using mesoporous metals.

It is expected that 1 research article can be produced from this project.
Suitable for:

This project is open to applications from students with a background in chemistry, materials science and engineering or nanotechnology, 3rd – 4th year students only. Applicants with previous experience in nanomaterials synthesis and characterization are preferred.

Primary Supervisor:

Yusuf Valentino Kaneti and Yusuke Yamauchi

Further info:

Please contact and for further details.