Vascular ageing in youth

Understanding the determinants of vascular ageing in youth

Degree type


Closing date

7 March 2022



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

Background. Heart disease remains the leading cause of death worldwide. Prevention of heart disease is a public health priority and identifying individuals at increased risk before symptoms develop is important for minimising disease progression. Vascular ageing, the decline in blood vessel structure and function, is a marker of overall risk on the blood vessels over time and leads to damage in the heart but also the brain and kidneys. Exposure to environmental and genetic in early life promotes the development and accumulation of blood vessel changes that results in premature or early vascular ageing.

However, research concerning vascular ageing in early life is sparse, despite substantial evidence indicating that the formative years of life play a significant role in contributing to risk observed in adulthood. The international Youth Vascular Consortium (YVC) has been established to investigate the determinants and prognostic value of early vascular ageing from early life. The YVC is a collaborative dataset with rich phenotyping and environmental information.

The objective of this project is to: explore the perinatal, parental, socioeconomic and lifestyle determinants of vascular ageing in youth.

Basic methodology. Making use of retrospectively collected data, the YVC currently includes >40 research groups from 25 countries and data from >20,000 participants. Non-invasive markers of vascular ageing (i.e. arterial stiffness, carotid distensibility, carotid intima media thickness, endothelial function) and data related to anthropometry, biochemistry, lifestyle (i.e. physical activity, sedentary time, diet), sociodemographic, environmental and parental health are available (cross-sectional and longitudinal).

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Rachel Climie


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $28,854 per annum (2022 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.


Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select the project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Rachel Climie, to discuss your suitability and the projects requirements; and
  3. Click here to submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including contact details of two referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email.

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