Menopause as a critical window of opportunity to reduce dementia risk in women. | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Menopause as a critical window of opportunity to reduce dementia risk in women.

Application open until filled

This project will form part of the LIFE Study (Lifestyle factors for chronic disease risk in women across the menopause transition), and will contribute to developing novel, codesigned approaches to reducing mental health challenges and dementia risk in women across the menopause transition. The successful applicant will be involved across the project lifespan and will develop a wide range of research skills set in women’s health, dementia prevention and risk reduction and mental health and wellbeing. Hands on data collection and participant and community interaction will be integral elements of the position. There is scope to contribute within a larger study team and develop independent research questions to align with the vision of the Manna Institute and Active Ageing Research at UniSC.

The under-representation of women in health and medical research contributes to poorer health outcomes across the lifespan. This includes a greater risk and prevalence of cognitive decline and dementia in later life, with almost 70% of dementia cases occurring in women. The midlife transition (i.e. menopause) is critical for future health outcomes of women, and lifestyle behaviours greatly influence mental and physical health. At mid-life, hormonal changes with menopause lead to vasomotor irregularities, sleep disturbance, anxiety, hot flashes, weight gain and cognitive complaints, which have all been linked to an increased risk of dementia. It is important to consider the interdependent effects of lifestyle behaviours on physical and mental health, and the changes that occur across menopause. An integrated approach addressing lifestyle behaviours in women across menopause is needed to inform public health approaches to disease risk reduction, including dementia in women. In addition, poor mental health is a significant risk factor for cognitive decline, particularly in the cognitive domains of memory and attention and is an emerging modifiable risk factor for the development of dementia.

The ideal candidate will possess an Honours or Masters level qualification in a related field, have a research interest in women’s health and/or mental health and/or dementia prevention, and preferably have a relevant track record in research and publishing. Undergraduate training in psychology, biomedical science, exercise physiology, nutrition and dietetics, nursing, social work, public health/health promotion will be highly regarded. This outstanding opportunity would suit a highly motivated individual with excellent communication skills, a strong work ethic, a willingness to continually learn, and the ability to work effectively independently and as part of a cross-disciplinary team. Excellent attention to detail, demonstrated organisational skills and record-keeping skills, and a passion for health and wellbeing are highly desirable. Individuals residing in regional Australia are encouraged to apply.

  • Be accepted into a Higher Degrees by Research program at the University of the Sunshine Coast
Selection criteria
  • Criterion 1: Academic Achievement
  • Criterion 2: Research Capability
Eligible programs
Number available
1 Full time

1 - Stipend value of $33 446.56 p/a paid in fortnightly instalments. Payment is is for 3 years to align with thesis submission (possible extension in line with relevant policies and procedures)    


2 - Tuition offset scholarship for 3 years to cover cost of tuition fees, also aligned with thesis submission (possible extension in line with relevant policies and procedures) - approximate value of $87 000  


3 -  $2000 Allowance (Standard with a RTPS for relocation, Publication and thesis costs as per scholarship conditions


4- Overseas Student Health Cover for single person (international applicants) 


This will be a two-stage application process:

Stage 1 - Expression of Interest: Reference/Scholarship code USCRS2219-SCHAUMBERG

Contact Person - Mia Schaumberg (

  • Download and complete the USC Research Scholarship (USCRS) application form.
  • Email your Expression of Interest (EOI) to the contact person and attach:
    • USCRS application form
    • Cover letter
    • Current CV
  • The scholarship panel will review the EOI. If shortlisted, you will be invited for interview.
  • The preferred applicant will be invited to formally apply for HDR program and Scholarship.

Stage 2 - Formal application (only if you have been invited to apply)

  • Read the important information on How to Apply for a HDR Program at USC.
  • Submit your USCRS application form as a supporting document when submitting your HDR Program application.

*scholarship offer is subject to applicant meeting the eligibility requirements for entry into a higher degree by research program at USC.