Maternal exposure to phthalates and allergic disease in children

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.

There is an increasing body of evidence showing an association between plasticisers and allergic disease. Exposure to phthalates during pregnancy has been associated with increased risk of allergic diseases in resulting offspring. 

This study seeks to explore the association between phthalates and BPA measured in maternal urine during pregnancy, and the risk of allergic disease in children up to 4 years of age. Mediating factors will be explored, to test for potential casual mechanisms. Most notably the role of oxidative stress and genetic predisposition to oxidative stress will be explored as a potential modifying variable. This study will use a longitudinal cohort of children in Australia.

This project will suit a student wanting to complete a PhD with skills in statistics, epidemiology, or public health. Experience working with large cohort data and R is highly desirable.

Scholarship value

As a scholarship recipient, you'll receive: 

  • living stipend of $28,854 per annum tax free (2022 rate), indexed annually
  • tuition fees covered
  • single Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)


Professor Peter Sly

Faculty of Medicine


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 and biostatistics and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of environmental health and/or child development is highly desirable.

Latest commencement date

If you are the successful candidate, you must commence by Research Quarter 1, 2024. 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