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A joint venture between The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital

H & L Hecht Trust Clinician Scientist Support Fund at the Doherty Institute

Thanks to the generous support of the H & L Hecht Trust, a new opportunity for infectious diseases clinicians in training has been established at the Doherty Institute.  

Have you considered doing a PhD at the completion of your Advanced Training? Does the need to step back from clinical work while doing a Research Higher Degree deter you from considering this?

This is a new scheme for integration of research training with ongoing clinical practice, commencing from mid 2024. This structured pathway will offer mentorship and support tailored to the needs of early career clinician researchers in infectious diseases. The roles – for up to three appointees, each for a period of 3 years – will combine higher degree training in the broader discipline of infectious diseases at the Doherty Institute within one of our University of Melbourne departments, while maintaining clinical practice in infectious diseases at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, or at Austin Health.

Applications are encouraged from advanced trainees in infectious diseases who are keen to pursue an exciting career as a clinician scientist. Applicants will have completed or be near completion of their relevant vocational training program approved by the relevant Specialist College or equivalent.  

Appointees will have a PhD scholarship offer from a funding agency such as the NHMRC (or an equivalent) and an agreed research project with a PhD supervisor based in the Doherty Institute (either in the Department of Infectious Diseases or Department of Microbiology and Immunology, at the University of Melbourne). There will be an opportunity for trainees to undertake clinical practice over the course of the support period of 3 years, while undertaking full-time PhD study at the University of Melbourne. The clinical training time may be recognized as a component of vocational training requirements as required.  

Your graduate research experience will be enhanced by being part of the vibrant and multidisciplinary environment of the Doherty Institute, and will be combined with formal mentoring, networking opportunities and other professional development activities.  

Learn more about the clinician researcher pathway at the Doherty Institute here

Key details

Opens: Monday, 4 March 2024 
Closes: Friday, 31 May 2024 
Study level: Graduate Research 
Enrolment status: Future student  
Study Area: Infectious diseases and immunology
Origin: Philanthropic Gift 
Fund source: Expendable Gift 


To be considered for this award, applicants must: 

  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Registerable to practice with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency
  • Recognised as a specialist, or specialist-in-training in infectious diseases (eg FRACP in Infectious diseases)
  • Have applied for admission as a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne and be based at the Doherty Institute
  • Have applied for/received an NHMRC scholarship or equivalent training award
  • Have an agreed research project and supervisor within a department of the Doherty Institute
  • Have submitted an Expression of Interest of 1000 words or less using the pro-format application form that highlights their research plan


The selection panel will include representatives of the Doherty Institute, Royal Melbourne and Austin Hospitals. Applications will be ranked by the Selection Committee taking into account: 

  1. Research proposal: scientific merit and clinical relevance
  2. Research methodology: innovation and feasibility
  3. Applicant: curriculum vitae and referee reports

When determining the level of funding from the H & L Hecht Trust Clinician Scientist Support Fund, other support already received (e.g. in the form of student awards) by all eligible applicants will be taken into account. 


Application for funding from the H & L Hecht Trust Clinician Scientist Support Fund must be made on the Application Form.

Submit applications as a PDF attachment to:

Please include 'H & L Hecht Trust Clinician Scientist Support Fund’ in the subject line of the email. 


All applicants will be advised the outcome of their application for funding from the H & L Hecht Trust Clinician Scientist Support Fund by email within 6 weeks of the closing date. 


For enquiries contact:

Professor James McCarthy

Professor Jason Trubiano

Please include ‘H & L Hecht Trust Clinician Scientist Support Fund’ in the subject line of the email. 

Conditions and Reporting: 

Funding from the H & L Hecht Trust Clinician Scientist Support Fund will commence from the appointee’s enrolment date.

Applicants will be required to provide a brief written report and/or presentation to the donors at various times during their support period, demonstrating the impact and benefit of this funding to both their research and career.

Recipients will be expected to acknowledge the support of the H & L Hecht Trust in oral and written presentation of their research work (particularly at their submission seminar and in their thesis) and in demonstrating impact to the donors as required.

Award Management Faculty

Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences

Department: The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity