Hysterectomy, Oophorectomy and Long-term chronic Disease - the HOLD study

Project opportunity

This Earmarked Scholarship project is aligned with a recently awarded Category 1 research grant. It offers you the opportunity to work with leading researchers and contribute to large projects of national significance.

This project will be based on a newly funded NHMRC Ideas grant that aims to investigate the long term health outcomes following hysterectomy. The study is broad so the  student would select parts of the work, or methodological issues around the work, to focus on. Below is a breif description of the study background, aims and methods:

Each year >27,000 Australian women have a hysterectomy for a benign condition, often with removal of one or both ovaries (oophorectomy). This surgery can profoundly affect women’s reproductive hormones and may influence risk of chronic conditions such as ischaemic heart disease (IHD) and cancer. Despite this, the long-term health effects of these procedures are unclear because few high quality studies have been undertaken and important potential effect modifiers such as menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) or surgery indication have been infrequently addressed. As a result, existing clinical guidelines are conflicting meaning treatment decisions are based only on short-term rather than long-term outcomes.

AIMS: 1) To assess the association between hysterectomy with & without oophorectomy and risk of a) cancer (overall & by type); b) other chronic disease including IHD, stroke & hip fracture; & c) all cause & cause-specific mortality. 2) To determine whether associations vary by age at procedure or MHT use.

METHODS: We will address the evidence gap by conducting a whole-of-population, cross-jurisdictional data linkage study including hospital morbidity, cancer, medicines, and death data.

SIGNIFICANCE: Our study is timely and clinically relevant given the availability of less invasive treatments for benign gynaecological conditions and the substantial decrease in MHT use in Australia since 2002. Unique in its size, scope, data quality and approach, our study will provide new high-quality evidence to inform clinical guidelines and enable informed decisions about whether hysterectomy is the best treatment for a woman’s short and long-term health.

Scholarship value

As a scholarship recipient, you'll receive: 

  • living stipend of $32,192 per annum tax free (2023 rate), indexed annually
  • tuition fees covered
  • single Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)


Associate Professor Susan Jordan

Faculty of Medicine

Email: s.jordan@uq.edu.au

Preferred educational background

Your application will be assessed on a competitive basis.

We take into account your

  • previous academic record
  • publication record
  • honours and awards
  • employment history.

A working knowledge of epidemiology and statistics would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of epidemiology, statistics or relevant health sciences and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of women's health and administrative health data is highly desirable.

Latest commencement date

If you are the successful candidate, you must commence by Research Quarter 1, 2023. You should apply at least 3 months prior to the research quarter commencement date.

If you are an international applicant, you may need to apply much earlier for visa requirements.

How to apply

You apply for this project as part of your PhD program application.

View application process