PhD Scholarship: Understanding chronic inflammatory changes through lifestyle intervention in sedentary Type 2 Diabetes patients to prevent dementia - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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PhD Scholarship: Understanding chronic inflammatory changes through lifestyle intervention in sedentary Type 2 Diabetes patients to prevent dementia

We have a scholarship available to enrol an outstanding PhD student in the School of Health and Sports Sciences at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Enrolment status

 Prospective students

Open to

Domestic applicants

Degree program


Research area

Health and Sports Science

Scholarship value

$28,092 per year​

Number available


Closing date

05 June 2020

The Project

Understanding the biological basis for how lifestyle intervention impacts the brain is key in preventing dementia. People with type 2 diabetes (T2D) have a 73% increased risk of developing dementia, with T2D in midlife associated with an increased long-term risk of dementia. Dementia and T2D share common underlying risk attributes – hyperglycaemia, insulin resistance and inflammation, which are all related to poorer cognitive function. There are a number of mechanisms likely to underlie dementia risk in people with T2D, one of which is elevated chronic inflammatory status. Elevated inflammatory markers in mid-life are associated with lower cognitive performance, and chronic low-grade inflammation is a risk factor for the development of lifestyle-related diseases, including both T2DM and dementia. Excessive pro-inflammatory cytokines activate inflammatory signalling pathways which, in turn, disturb glucose uptake and lead to prolonged insulin resistance. This project will investigate inflammatory status in this high-risk population and contribute to efforts to reduce dementia risk in T2D patients.

The Position

In examining the role of chronic inflammation in T2D and dementia risk, longitudinal assessment of inflammatory markers will be undertaken over the duration of an 18-month lifestyle intervention to reduce sedentary behaviour in office-based workers with T2D. The successful applicant will play a key role in completing biochemical analyses through the development, validation and execution of inflammatory marker analysis, and will primarily work in a wet-lab environment. This project provides the opportunity for an outstanding candidate to work within a collaborative multi-site NHMRC-funded project.

The Person

We are seeking a candidate who is a highly motivated individual who possesses a strong work ethic, willingness to learn, and has:

  • an Honours or Research Masters degree in an area of Science, Biomedical Science, Physiology (or equivalent) or will have by mid-2020; or relevant work and/or research experience
  • relevant research experience and publications (very highly desirable)
  • laboratory skills, including handling of human blood samples (very highly desirable)
  • excellent communication skills and the ability to work independently and within a team
  • excellent attention to detail and an ability to think laterally
  • demonstrated organisational ability and good record-keeping skills

Applicants must fulfil the PhD admission criteria for the University of the Sunshine Coast, including English language requirements.

Remuneration (the scholarship)

The successful application will receive a living allowance stipend rate of $28,092 per annum (index annually in-ine with RTP rate). The scholarship is only available to Australian/New Zealand Citizens and Permanent Residents. Further information on the scholarships including terms and conditions can be found here.


For further information about the research project or to discuss the position, please contact Dr Mia Schaumberg ( ).

  • Be accepted into a Higher Degrees by Research program at the University of the Sunshine Coast
  • Not have an equivalent qualification to the one for which they are currently applying
  • Have a First-Class Bachelor Honours Degree, or show equivalent level of achievement with other academic qualifications or professional research experience
  • Applications can only be accepted from Domestic students
Selection criteria
  • Undergraduate degree
  • Research training degree (First Class Honours or equivalent)
  • Research publications
  • Professional research experience
Eligible programs
Number available