Epigenetics of CVD after Preeclampsia

Epigenetic marker identification for cardiovascular disease following preeclampsia

Degree type


Closing date

25 September 2023



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International

About the research project

Women who have suffered from severe complications during pregnancy have an increased risk of developing heart disease. This increased risk may be due to epigenetic changes during pregnancy that alter the expression of specific genes. These epigenetic changes persist after birth and increase heart disease risk for these women. This project seeks to evaluate those epigenetic changes associated with severe pregnancy complications predicting heart disease in a large group of Australian women. This project will use epigenome-wide DNA methylation profiling generated from internationally recognized Australian cohort studies to identify specific epigenetic biomarkers associated with cardiovascular disease, following preeclampsia and use the markers to create a composite risk score using machine learning.

This project will leverage internationally recognized Australian cohort studies on preeclampsia and cardiovascular disease along with epigenome-wide DNA methylation array data. Advanced statistical methods will be utilized to identify epigenetic markers associated with cardiovascular disease following preeclampsia.

The candidate can expect to gain skills in machine learning, epigenome-wide DNA methylation data, bioinformatics, and computational biology. This project can be tailored to suit the interests of the student focusing on bioinformatics or advanced statistical genetic analysis, or a combination of both.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Phillip Melton


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 $31,500 per annum (2023 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.

Other funding opportunities and fees

For further information regarding other scholarships on offer, and the various fees of undertaking a research degree, please visit our Scholarships and fees on research degrees page.


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

Ensure your eligibility for the scholarship round by referring to our Key Dates.

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Applicants must be able to undertake the project on-campus

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.

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first-class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in genomics
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and statistical skills
  • Previous experience with the R statistical package and bash command-line scripting

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact Dr Phillip Melton to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. In your application:
    • 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.
    • Submit a signed supervisory support form, a CV including contact details of 2 referees and your project research proposal.
  4. Apply prior to 25 September 2023.

Full details of the application process can be found under the 'How to apply' section of the Research Degrees website.

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

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