Vitamin D supplementation: is it beneficial or even safe?

About this scholarship

This is an exciting opportunity for an individual with an interest in nutrition, epidemiology and/or genetics to work with a leading team on a multidisciplinary project examining the benefits and safety of vitamin D.

The PhD student will have an opportunity to use data from two large scale data resources; the Northern Finland Birth cohort, a unique population based birth cohort with over 10,000 participants and prospective follow-up extending over 46 years;  and  the UK Biobank, which includes genome-wide information, metabolic profiling and disease outcomes for over 500,000 participants. This project is part of a larger program of work in part funded by the National Health and Medical Council (NHMRC). The project is available to a student in receipt of a RTPd or USAPA awarded from the University of South Australia (2018 RTPd rate $27,082). The additional top-up funding will provide $6,000 for per year for up to 3 years for a student who has been awarded a USAPA, or, $20,000 per year for up to 3 years if the student is awarded an RTPd.

The successful applicant will join the Nutritional and Genetic Epidemiology Group, which is based at the University of South Australia Centre for Population Health Research (CPHR), South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) in Adelaide. The primary supervisor for the project is Professor Elina Hypponen (Head, NGE and Director CPHR), supported by a supervisory team formed based on the needs of the student. Additional support will be available from a larger group of clinicians, statisticians and epidemiologists, as well as fellow students based in CPHR and SAHMRI.

The focus of the project can be modified according to the interests of the successful applicant, based on the following focus areas:

Nutritional epidemiology focus: Modelling long-term effects of infant vitamin D supplementation on cardiovascular health or motor function, including mediating pathways.

Genetic epidemiology focus: Using large scale genetic data to examine causal networks mediating the effects of vitamin D and calcium on cardiovascular outcomes or motor function.

Statistical genetics focus: Expanding the genetic epidemiology analyses to include novel applications utilising shared patterns of genetic variance and covariance based on genome-wide data from independent samples.

The position would be suitable for a nutrition, pharmacy, health or medical sciences, public health or statistics graduate.

Value

The project is available to a student in receipt of a RTPd or USAPA awarded from the University of South Australia (2018 RTPd rate $27,082). The additional top-up funding will provide $6,000 for per year for up to 3 years for a student who has been awarded a USAPA, or, $20,000 per year for up to 3 years if the student is awarded an RTPd.

Eligibility

The successful applicant must be in receipt of an RTPd or USAPA scholarship awarded by the Division of Health Sciences at the University of South Australia. Eligibility requirements for these scholarships include:

Additional application requirements: Due to the context and requirements of the project, it is expected that the successful applicant will have an academic background from one of the following areas: nutrition, pharmacy, health or medical sciences, public health or statistics.

How to apply and closing date

Application closing date: 31 October 2017

Please contact Professor Elina Hypponen

Email: elina.hypponen@unisa.edu.au

Telephone number:  08 8302 2518

Areas of study and research

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