The Bionics Institute is passionate about developing the careers of researchers and engineers of the future. We provide opportunities for both short term student research projects and internships, and major graduate research projects for PhD and MSc degrees. We are able to accept students who are enrolled in any of Melbourne's universities. All of our projects are multi-disciplinary, so whether you come from a life sciences, physical sciences, engineering or clinical background, we have projects that will suit your interest.

Further Information

Click here to view all of our student projects

To read more on why you should study with us click here to download our student brochure. 

Short research projects that are undertaken as part of coursework degrees

Examples of these degrees are BSc(hons), Masters in Audiology, Masters in Biomedical Science, Capstone projects (Engineering), and MD research projects. If you are interested in completing a research project at the Bionics Institute, please check out the projects available on your course website or internal communications. You should then contact the specific supervisor listed for the project you are interested in for further information, providing a CV and a copy of your university subjects with results so far.

For general enquiries about these courses, please email [email protected]


Students seeking a placement for research or professional experience should email [email protected], providing a cover letter, CV, and university subjects with results so far. We will then match you with potential projects and supervisors. Please note that students doing an internship at the Bionics Institute work on a voluntary basis and must fully cover their own expenses.

PhD RMIT University Scholarships

RMIT University and the Bionics Institute offer scholarships to highly motivated individuals to complete a PhD in the field of medical bionics. 2021 scholarship applications will open late 2020 and will be advertised on this website. 


The following supervisors are currently offering PhD projects for new students. Please visit their profile page (links below) to read about their research areas. If you are interested in a specific project or working with a particular supervisor, please email the supervisor directly and cc the student coordinator [email protected]. When sending your enquiry please include a cover letter, CV, official university transcripts, and contact details of three academic referees.

Prof Hugh McDermott leads our Parkinson’s disease research program, which aims to improve deep brain stimulation treatment for this disorder. This program also develops new clinical tools to accurately measure movement in Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders.

Prof Colette McKay leads our clinical hearing research program, which aims to improve the benefits that hearing impaired people of all ages obtain from their hearing instrument. This program is currently developing a new clinical system that uses brain imaging to provide detailed diagnostic and prognostic information to clinicians.

A/Prof James Fallon leads our pre-clinical hearing research program, which aims to improve the performance of cochlear implants by understanding how the nervous system responds to electrical stimulation, and by exploring new electrode materials and stimulation strategies. He also leads our inflammatory bowel disease research, which is developing a bionic device to treat gut inflammation.

A/Prof Rachael Richardson leads our optogenetics research program, which is exploring the use of light in combination with electrical stimulation to improve the performance of cochlear implants and other bionic devices.

A/Prof Andrew Wise leads our hearing therapeutics research program, which is developing novel ways of introducing therapeutic agents into the inner ear to reverse neural damage and restore hearing.

Dr Thushara Perera leads our monitoring movement research program, which is developing novel clinical instruments to detect and objectively measure the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders.

Dr Matt Petoe leads the bionic eye psychophysics team, which is investigating the relationship between the visual perceptions experienced by bionic eye recipients and the electrical stimuli being applied to the electrode array implanted within the retina.

Dr Sophie Payne is a key member of the inflammatory bowel disease research team that is developing a bionic device to treat gut inflammation.