The heart health benefits of fitness

Exploring the cardiovascular health benefits of greater fitness

Degree type


Closing date

25 September 2023



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International

About the research project

Evidence suggests strategies aimed at preventing poor cardiovascular health should begin in childhood and target physical fitness. However, before such strategies can be introduced, the long-term cardiovascular health benefits of child fitness need to be established.

In Australia, we are in the enviable position to have the Childhood Determinants of Adult Health (CDAH) Study, which is based out of the Menzies Institute for Medical Research. The CDAH Study is the only established study worldwide that has collected multiple physical fitness measurements, including cardiorespiratory fitness and muscular fitness, on participants when they were children, followed them for over three decades and assessed their health and fitness as adults. In adulthood, a range of measures have been collected, including a blood sample, heart and blood vessel measures, blood pressure, and measures of adiposity. As such, we are uniquely placed to address global research gaps by identifying how physical fitness measured at multiple time-points across someone’s life is associated with a range of cardiovascular health outcomes. To provide an overview of how our research group has contributed to current understanding, using data collected from the CDAH Study we have shown that children with higher levels of physical fitness are less likely to develop risk factors for diabetes and heart attack, such as prediabetes, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, beta cell function, obesity, inflammation, and blood lipids, up to 30 years later in adulthood. However, knowledge gaps remain.

Combining the data already collected as part of the CDAH Study and different analytic techniques, this project will examine the association between measures of fitness collected at one or several time-points over the 30+ year study period and a cardiovascular health outcome of interest to both the candidate and the wider Tasmanian community.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Brooklyn Fraser


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:

  • We are seeking a candidate with a willingness to learn new skills and problem solve. A candidate who enjoys a challenge, with a strong work ethic, critical thinking skills and the ability to work autonomously, while also contributing to our wider team, would be a great fit
  • A passion or interest in sport science, public health, biomarkers of health, cardiovascular health, epidemiology, and/or biostatistics is desirable

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact Dr Brooklyn Fraser 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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