The clinical value of exercise BP

Establishing the clinical value of exercise blood pressure measurement

Degree type

PhD

Closing date

6 March 2023

Campus

Hobart

Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International

About the research project

High blood pressure (BP) is a leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and death. More than 1.1 billion adults worldwide have high BP, with many cases either inadequately controlled or not diagnosed. The identification of high BP is conventionally based on in-clinic (resting) BP measures, performed within primary health care (general practice) settings. However, many cases of high BP go unrecognised or remain inadequately controlled when this method alone is relied upon. Thus, there is a need for complementary settings and methods for BP assessment to identify and control high BP more effectively.

Our research program has indicated that exaggerated exercise BP is associated with increased CVD risk and may be a medium to improve identification and control of high BP. This is because exaggerated exercise BP is suggestive of high BP that may have not been detected with in-clinic BP measures at rest. While this means measurement of exercise BP offers a unique opportunity to identify individuals at risk of high BP, several clinical evidence gaps remain. This PhD program aims to fill specific knowledge gaps surrounding exercise BP and its practical use in the clinical exercise physiology sector to identify and control high BP.

To address the project aims, the candidate will principally be involved with the conduct of a multi-site, observational study to understand specific factors (such as the optimal exercise intensity and threshold of exercise BP) that best identify high BP. Data to answer other clinically relevant questions will also be drawn from the EXERcise stress Test collaboratION (EXERTION) study, a large data-linkage study established by the supervisory team to enhance clinical understanding of abnormal exercise BP. The candidate will also have the opportunity to be involved in the practical translation and dissemination of the acquired knowledge through involvement with the supervisors newly established international collaborative. This collaborative is aimed at systematically addressing knowledge deficits and providing practical guidance to key stakeholder groups within the exercise physiology sector through consensus and guiding research.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Martin Schultz

Funding

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.

Eligibility

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

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 essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Prior experience in the collection of human physiological data (e.g., blood pressure, ECG), including the provision of cardiopulmonary exercise testing

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Some prior experience and competency with statistical analysis methods and software (e.g., SPSS, STATA, r)

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select your project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Martin Schultz to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. 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 2 x 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 by the advertised outcome date.

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