Study As
Full Time

Principal Supervisor
Professor Sanjay Garg

Main Campus
City West

Applications Close
29 Jan 2023

Study Level

Applications Open To
Domestic Candidate or International Candidate

Tuition Fees:
All domestic students are eligible for a fee waiver. International students who receive a stipend are eligible for a fee waiver. Find out more about fees and conditions.

Project Stipend:
$29,863 p.a.

About This Project 

Harness 3D technology to develop innovative drug delivery 

If you are seeking to advance your career in pharmacy and interested in developing innovative methods of drug delivery, the University of South Australia – Australia’s University of Enterprise – is offering a unique project-based PhD with community impact within our Centre for Pharmaceutical Innovation.

Inappropriate use of medicines is a safety risk that costs the Australian public hospital system about $1.2 billion per year, representing 2–3% of all hospital admissions costs. Polypharmacy is a prevalent problem that increases patient confusion, adverse drug reactions, non­adherence, and drug interactions. 

3D printing is the only available platform that allows a flexible process for tailored dosing, drug combinations, and all-­in-­one combined polypill. With 3D printing technology, a multi­compartment tablet with selected drugs in required doses can be prepared that releases drugs in a controlled pattern.

Our hypothesis is that an oral delivery system using 3D printing can achieve the required release profiles for multiple drugs with one tablet. The main challenge will be an innovative tablet design containing different medicines within the limited FDA ­approved excipients.

You will join the Pharmaceutical Innovation and Development Group (PIDG), within the Centre for Pharmaceutical Innovation (CPI). PIDG is a highly productive multicultural team of research staff and students, engaged in a range of pharmaceutical discovery and development projects. Our team is known for its excellent research culture and is highly engaged, supportive, and productive. State-of-the-art equipment and labs will also enable you to thrive in your studies.

What you’ll do

In this project-based research degree, you will undertake drugs assay with HPLC and LC/MS, formulation design and 3D printing process optimisation, a controlled-release tablet quality evaluation based on USP requirements, and a PK study in rats and pharmacokinetics modelling.

Your multidisciplinary research team will help to evolve you into a translational pharmaceutical scientist with excellent problem­ solving skills. You will develop expertise in 3D printing, pharmaceutical product development, and analysis, and gain experience in working with animals and undertaking bio-samples analysis. 

We will support and encourage you to attend at least one domestic and one international conference to present the outcomes of this research project. You may also get the opportunity to perform some tests in our collaborating laboratories.

You will have access to and gain valuable experience in using HPLC and LC/MS, 3D printers, DSC, FTIR, NMR, a dissolution tester, a hardness tester, a friability tester, a disintegration time tester, and other relative equipment. Your impressive set of skills and knowledge will position you well for a career in industry, academia or government.

Where you’ll be based

You will be based in the Centre for Pharmaceutical Innovation. We design and develop conventional and novel patient centric pharmaceutical products. We’re known for innovation, impact, quality education and training, and we engage with industry and end-users. We are focused on drug discovery, human and veterinary pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, complementary medicines, and nutraceuticals.

We aim to impact medicine development for the new world via new chemistry; new materials, analytics and modelling; novel drug delivery technologies; pharmaceutical innovation; preclinical optimisation; and clinical and commercial translation.

Supervisory Team
Financial Support

This project is funded for reasonable research expenses. Additionally, a living allowance scholarship of $29,863 per annum is available to eligible applicants. Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander applicants will be eligible to receive an increased stipend rate of $46,653 per annum (2023 rates). A fee-offset or waiver for the standard term of the program is also included. For full terms and benefits of the scholarship please refer to our scholarship information for domestic students or international students.

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.

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 City West campus in the heart of Adelaide.

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 Sunday, 29 January, 2023

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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