Study As
Full Time

Principal Supervisor
Associate Professor Thuc Le

Main Campus
Mawson Lakes

Applications Close
09 Oct 2023

Study Level

Applications Open To
Domestic Candidate or International Candidate

Tuition Fees:

All domestic students are eligible for a fee waiver. Find out more about fees and conditions.

Project Stipend:
No stipend available

Discover new methods for addressing long COVID 

About the project

If you are seeking to launch your career in artificial intelligence (AI) and interested in applying AI solutions to medical problems, the University of South Australia – Australia’s University of Enterprise – is offering a hands-on project-based PhD within the Industrial AI Research Centre. 

The COVID-19 infection affects almost all body systems and organs, causing wide-ranging symptoms and disease severities. Medical systems are still trying to stem the tide of ongoing acute disease and manage the chronic conditions which have developed either directly or indirectly due to COVID.  

Long COVID (symptoms beyond 4 weeks) can affect up to half of those infected with COVID, with 1 in 20 people likely to experience symptoms beyond 3 months. These symptoms can vary in severity and include weakness, fatigue, breathlessness and brain fog.  

We urgently need to understand how and why some patients infected with COVID develop long COVID. We can then establish biomarkers/disease signatures for timely diagnosis and implement effective treatments to improve patient outcomes. Early intervention and targeted treatment are critically important to reduce the disease burden both now and in the future. 

Our project will integrate novel data analysis methods within a web platform for rapid knowledge transfer. Our aim is to identify the genetic causes of and potential treatments for long COVID. A web-based platform will make computational strategies/tools widely available so that decision-makers can swiftly analyse multi-omic data, improving molecular insights into the rapidly emerging and ever changing global COVID research landscape.  

Ultimately, our work will inform future clinical trials for diagnostic biomarkers, treatments and disease causation with the aim of benefiting affected individuals and the current and future health care systems. 

You will be based in the Industrial AI Research Center, joining the AI for Biomedicine and Bioinformatics stream. Your supervision team is a multidisciplined group of researchers that can offer you world-leading expertise and mentorship. This project will give you a suite of in-demand skills and knowledge to address contemporary issues around COVID.  

What you’ll do

In this project-based research degree, you will carry quantitative data collection and analysis. You will lead the development of new computational methods to identify the causes of and treatments for long COVID. You will have a chance to work with researchers from computer science and genetics/biology research areas.  

This project will give you the opportunity to present your research to both academia and industry, helping you build a sound professional reputation and network. You will have the opportunity to contribute to papers for academic and industry journals to disseminate findings and there may be opportunities for you to attend and present at conferences.  

Upon completion of the project, you will have a greater understanding of the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the medical, health and care industry. You will be uniquely positioned to advance your unstoppable career with skills and knowledge in computer science, data science and bioinformatics. 

Where you’ll be based

You will be based in the Industrial AI Research Centre. The Centre brings together experts from across computer sciences to develop solutions for autonomous and augmented intelligence systems. We are a part of the global revolution in artificial intelligence, machine learning, Industry 4.0 and Internet-of-Things (IoT) technologies.  

Our researchers work with organisations around the world to develop solutions that cater to their specific needs. We have worked with Siemens, BP Australia, Yokogawa Electric and more, growing these partnerships over time to continually design sophisticated AI-driven solutions. 

Supervisory team

Financial Support 

This project is funded for reasonable research expenses. A fee offset for the standard term of the program is available to Australian and New Zealand citizens, and permanent residents of Australia, including permanent humanitarian visa holders. Additionally, any Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander applicant who holds an offer of admission without a living allowance will be eligible for the Aboriginal Enterprise Research Scholarship. This scholarship is to the value of $46,653 per annum (2023 rates). Any Aboriginal Enterprise Research Scholarship recipient will also receive a fee waiver. Where an international applicant holds an external scholarship or sponsorship a full or partial fee waiver may apply in some circumstances for exceptional applicants.  Other international applicants will be required to pay full tuition fees of approximately $39,700 per annum (2023 rates).  

Eligibility and Selection 

This project is open to application from both domestic and international applicants.

Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria for entrance into a PhD.  Additionally applicants must meet the projects selection criteria:

  • Strong background in Computer Science / Data Science 
  • Strong programming skills 
  • Knowledge in Biology/Bioinformatics

All applications that meet the eligibility and selection criteria will be considered for this project. A merit selection process will be used to determine the successful candidate.

The successful applicant is expected to study full-time and to be based at our Mawson Lakes Campus in the north of Adelaide. Note that international students on a student visa will need to study full-time.

Essential Dates 

Applicants are expected to start in a timely fashion upon receipt of an offer.  Extended deferral periods are not available. Applications close on Monday, 9th October.

How to apply:

Applications must be lodged online, please note UniSA does not accept applications via email.

For further support see our step-by-step guide on how to apply , or contact the Graduate Research team on +61 8 8302 5880, option 1 or email us at You will receive a response within one working day.

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