Study As
Full Time

Principal Supervisor
Professor Elina Hypponen

Main Campus
City West - SAHMRI

Applications Close
05 Feb 2023

Study Level

Applications Open To
Domestic 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. available to domestic applicants only

About this project 

Identify the role of olfactory receptor genes in treating nutrition diseases

If you’re keen to pursue a career in genetic epidemiology and interested in developing knowledge on nutrition and olfactory receptors, the University of South Australia – Australia’s University of Enterprise – is offering an innovative project-based PhD in our Australian Centre for Precision Health.

Genetic variation affects most aspects of our health. Our food preferences are also, in part, driven by our genes, with recent studies suggesting that genetic variations in olfactory receptors play a key role in influencing our food intake. Olfactory receptor genotypes have also been found to have direct effects on many disease outcomes, including metabolic and cognitive disease. 

This study aims to clarify the role of olfactory receptor genotypes in humans, focusing on influences on food preferences and general health. Findings will inform potential therapeutic approaches targeting these receptors, which have so far been proposed as solutions for treatment of obesity and metabolic health, but which might have broader implications.

You will be based within the Nutritional and Genetic Epidemiology Group, which is part of the Australian Centre for Precision Health (ACPreH), located at SAHMRI. You will benefit from interactions with a world-class supervisory team and enjoy peer support from colleagues. You have the opportunity to attend and contribute to weekly research meetings, and other various events and seminars.

What you’ll do

In this project-based research degree, you will conduct large-scale data analyses and management of genetic epidemiological data using various approaches. With support, you will develop and submit journal articles and other scientific papers. Based on past experience, projects of this kind have led to notable public interest so you may also get the opportunity to develop your communication skills through media engagement.  

The academic goal of this project is to train a health professional who is not afraid of big data or the challenges arising from the need to incorporate genetic information when determining optimal approaches to prevent disease at an individual level.

Strong skills in statistical analyses and big data analyses applied to health sciences are much sought after, so upon completion you will be well-positioned for a successful career in academia or industry.

Where you’ll be based

You will be based in the Australian Centre for Precision Health. We bring together a multidisciplinary group of leading experts in genomics, epidemiology and population health generating evidence for next generation solutions for health and well-being.

Our mission is to improve disease risk prediction and prevention to stop the disease before it strikes. 

We develop cutting edge methods to discover causes of common diseases and translate our findings to pre-emptively prevent onset of disease. Our goal is to stop disease onset for everyone based on personalised health advice that accounts for differences in our genes and environment. 

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 $45,076 per annum. 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. International applicants are not invited to apply at this time.

Eligibility and Selection

This project is open to application from domestic applicants only. 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 City West Campus – South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute 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 5 February 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.

IMPORTANT: This site is optimised for the latest versions of Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox and Chrome. Note that earlier versions of any browsers mentioned are supported, but likely to demonstrate slower response times.

By choosing to continue, you agree to the privacy policy. Show Privacy Policy