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University of Technology Sydney CFI – Understanding Human Health and Environmental Challenges, Australia 2023

Application is now open for the FI – Understanding Human Health and Environmental Challenges at the University of Technology Sydney. Interested candidates are encouraged to send their applications in before the deadline date.

About the University of Technology Sydney and Scholarship

The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) is the best young university in Australia and one of the top 200 universities in the world. The university’s lively campus is conveniently located near public transit and in the center of Sydney, making it the ideal area for PhD students to reside.

The Centre for Inflammation (The Centre) is a joint initiative between the University of UTS and the Centenary Institute (CI). The facility is a substantial, well-regarded, and world-leading research facility for chronic respiratory illnesses, run by Professor Phil Hansbro. The Centre is regarded as a top source of knowledge and expertise in this subject by Australian corporate and government entities. The Centre carries out fundamental, exploratory, and translational research. They undertake translational human and clinical research, and investigate, and develop novel therapies and preventatives. They investigate the beginning and progression of the disease as well.


The Center is located inside the Centenary Institute of Cancer Medicine and Cell Biology, a premier independent medical research institute with connections to the University of Sydney and the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. Their research focuses on three primary areas: cancer, inflammation, and cardiovascular disease. Their area of interest is figuring out the origins of illness and applying this knowledge to improve patient diagnosis and care. In Sydney’s Inner West, near Camperdown, is where you can find the Centenary Institute.

A sizable interdisciplinary grant has been given to the Centre for Inflammation and other participants in this research initiative to help them accomplish their goals. To assist them in achieving the goals of the subjects they are most concerned with, the CFI has a Ph.D. fellowship available for qualified applicants. The candidate might pick two of the following to work on, or perhaps just one of them.

Bushfires, Air Pollution and Extreme Events.

Continual psychological, physical, social, ecological, and economic effects of bushfires are potentially life-threatening. As air pollution may have an impact on huge, distant populations, they are not just confined to places that are prone to fire. A trend that is expected to persist under unabated climate change is signaled by the size of the 2019–20 fires and the consequent >400 deaths, mostly from smoke exposure. Around 2600 fatalities a year, or a cost of $6.2 billion, are attributed to air pollution in Australia, which is caused by household, industrial, and domestic sources, transportation, and energy production.

The greenhouse gases and other pollutants that contribute to climate change are also primarily produced by the burning of fossil fuels. Bushfires, pollution, and extreme weather are all caused by coupled human and natural systems. As a result, additional direct and indirect effects on people and the environment are caused by environmental feedback and synergies (such as droughts, heatwaves, haze, and floods) as well as human responses (such as urban sprawl, clearing of land, and increased demand for health services).

To support evidence-based policy and practice, this project will (a) investigate the short- and long-term effects of exposure to fires, pollution, droughts, and heatwaves; (b) identify solutions (such as Indigenous burning practices, low-risk gardens, ventilation systems, air cleaners, and health messaging); and (c) fill key research gaps in related fields (such as peri-urban planning), where combining multidisciplinary approaches can alter environmental risk factors.

Biosecurity and Emerging Infections.

Infectious illnesses that are developing and reemerging are spreading throughout the world and have a negative influence on human health. Urbanization, climate change, harsh weather, changes in farming methods, deforestation, and biodiversity loss are some of the environmental changes that have an impact on disease transmission patterns. The impact of the built environment and the natural environment on the onset and spread of infectious illnesses has been emphasized by COVID-19. A request for more solid information regarding the intricate social, economic, and ecological causes of developing illnesses is among the primary themes UNEP just announced to stop the next pandemic.

A strategic focus on OneHealth is one of the Australian Science & Research priorities, which acknowledges the interdependence of human, animal, and environmental health. For integrated environmental health risk evaluations, a OneHealth perspective is essential. Early warning systems must consider demographic characteristics, international health concerns (movement of people, animals, and products), environmental changes over time, geographical variability, and environmental variability, especially among their neighbors and trade partners in the Asia-Pacific.

To identify and manage the risk of evolving disease transmission patterns and outbreaks, this project will (a) strengthen the evidence on the complex environmental, social, and ecological elements of infectious diseases, including zoonoses and vector-, air-, and water-borne illnesses. (b) Establish a reliable early warning system for infectious illnesses caused by the environment in Australia and the Asia-Pacific (c) Create a comprehensive, nationwide surveillance system, building on the interdisciplinary approaches to infectious illnesses used by OneHealth.

The National Research Network on Human Health and Environmental Change is called Healthy Environments And Lives (HEAL). By creating a highly creative, interdisciplinary, geographically diverse, dynamic, and egalitarian network of academics and research end-users from all across Australia, HEAL seeks to improve the human health and environmental change research landscape in that country.

HEAL’s detailed purposes are to:

1. Strengthen Indigenous research capacity and competency through collaborating across disciplines, providing training, and fostering ongoing contact between researchers and stakeholders;

2. Describe how the primary, secondary, and tertiary health consequences of environmental and climatic change interact in complicated ways;

3. Determine, using high spatiotemporal precision and a variety of climatic, environmental, and socioeconomic scenarios, the present and future environmental burden of illness;

4. Compare policy choices on health-related costs and benefits and health fairness, such as fast adaptation and mitigation action against delayed action or nothing;

5. Track changes in the health sector’s resilience to environmental change through time and the effectiveness of actions to minimize emissions and waste;

6. Improving data linkages for the early detection and quick response to future environmental health risks and related diseases;

7. Use knowledge brokering and cutting-edge research translation and communication methods to raise awareness, bust myths, promote action, and avoid polarization in public debate.

Details about CFI – Understanding Human Health and Environmental Challenges at the University of Technology Sydney:

Scholarship Sponsor: University of Technology Sydney, Australia

Scholarship Value: $32,500 per year (RTP Stipend rate, indexed annually); additional funds ($7.5k) during the PhD for PhD-related expenses

Number of awards: N/A

Study level: PhD

Host Institution(s): University of Technology Sydney, Australia

CFI – Understanding Human Health and Environmental Challenges – Eligibility Criteria

Candidates are advised to meet the following requirements to be qualified for the CFI – Understanding Human Health and Environmental Challenges at the University of Technology Sydney:

  • Candidates must be nationals or legal residents of either Australia or New Zealand.
  • A Bachelor’s degree in a biological or medical field is required for applicants.
  • Own a stellar academic record and previous lab experience
  • Acquiring an honors degree with a First Class, Second Class Division 1, an MSc Research degree, or an MSc Coursework degree with a research thesis lasting at least six months. 

Selection Criteria

  • Be extremely driven and able to work alone
  • Possess a keen team focus
  • Possess outstanding communication skills, the capacity to collaborate with established teams of individuals from different backgrounds, and
  • Awareness of the requirements and setting of a research or laboratory
  • Possess computer literacy for using typical research apps.
  • Possess the capacity to maintain correct lab data. 
  • Awareness of the requirements and setting of a research or laboratory
  • Possess computer literacy for using typical research apps.
  • Possess the capacity to maintain correct lab data.
  • ELISA, RNA extraction, reverse transcription, qPCR, western blotting, cell culture, aseptic method, histological analysis, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, flow cytometry, and primer design are examples of common lab procedures.
  • Having the ability to run in vivo mouse models

Applicants Procedure for CFI – Understanding Human Health and Environmental Challenges

Candidates should send their CV, list of publications, and selection criteria to Prof. Phil Hansbro by the closing date. Shortlisted candidates will be advised with further details. Please contact Prof. Phil Hansbro at The Centre for Inflammation at UTS for further information.

The Submission Deadline is: 01 November 2023

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