PhD student, Queensland Institute of Medical Research
Project title: From genotype to phenotype: Molecular photo‐fitting for criminal investigations
Project funding: Australian Research Council Linkage Grant.
PhD scholarship: Australian Postgraduate Award (Industry): $27,222 per annum for three years, to commence by 20 February, 2012.
Project description and objectives of the PhD research
Numerous police investigations rely on eyewitness accounts when standard DNA techniques cannot identify a suspect and additional investigative leads are not available. However, eyewitness recall is notoriously unreliable and inaccurate. In these circumstances, reliable intelligence which provides a description of the physical characteristics of the suspect, and allows a pool of suspects to be narrowed, is crucial to forensic investigators. It enables focussing of valuable police resources at the primary and critical stages of an investigation.
Genetic variants that are strongly associated with phenotypic characteristics, such as eye and hair colour, have been identified. The aim of this project is to identify additional genetic markers associated with other traits that can be used to infer physical characteristics, and to examine the usefulness of these SNPs within forensic contexts.
Competencies of the candidate
The candidate should have an interest in forensic applications of genetics and experience in at least one of the following fields: statistics, genetic analysis, bioinformatics, bio‐medical sciences, physical anthropology,psychology or computer programming. An Honours degree, or equivalent, is a minimum requirement. The project will be predominantly analytic in focus and the candidate should enjoy data‐driven collaborative approaches to problem solving.
The successful candidate would be enrolled at the University of Queensland and based at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (Royal Brisbane Hospital, Herston) see website
Established in 1945, the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) is one of the largest and most successful medical research institutes in Australia, and is recognised worldwide for the quality of its research. Originally established to further the study of tropical diseases in North Queensland, QIMR has broadened the scope of research to include the genetic and environmental influences of a range of diseases including cancer, asthma, HIV, malaria, endometriosis and dengue fever. QIMR is home to more than 700 scientists, students and support staff in six research departments (in 50 separate laboratories). QIMR is a not‐for‐profit organisation and an equal opportunity employer.
University of Canberra,Queensland Institute of Medical, Victoria Police Forensic Services Centre, Australian Federal Police, Unisys Australia Ltd,Erasmus MC University Medical Centre, Identitas Inc.
Please submit a full CV (including the contact details of two academic and two personal referees), academic transcripts and a covering letter by email to Sarah.Medland@qimr.edu.au .
Applications should be received by 10 December, 2011. Applicants will be ranked in a competitive selection process and will be required to undergo an interview process.
Contact details for further information
Dr Sarah Medland
Queensland Institute of Medical Research