Study Programs and Support

Get involved: learn from and work with world class clinical and scientific researchers, kick-start your career and make a difference to men’s health and well-being. 

Summer vacation, Honours, Masters and PhD projects are available in basic, applied and social sciences, public health and clinical research in the areas listed below. Contact us if you have an area of research or a project in mind that you would like to pursue. 

  • Mental health & well-being
  • Prostate cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Sleep health
  • Sexual and reproductive health 
  • Urinary tract symptoms
  • Bone health
  • Testosterone/steroid hormones
  • Obesity 
  • Preventative health
  • Health services
  • Masculinity
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
  • Rural health
Projects available for 2020
  • Are the dementia-sparing effects of antihypertensive drugs modulated by the apolipoprotein E ε4 allele? An exploration of drug-gene interaction

    Project description: An emerging line of investigation posits that specific antihypertensive drugs are only beneficial to cognitive function in carriers of the apolipoprotein E ε4 allele, an established genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. This points to the likelihood that antihypertensive drug-gene interactions could inform personalized medicine in primary care to mitigate dementia onset, however the findings are controversial and contested.

    Projects available for: Honours / HDR / Masters

    Contact: Dr Phillip Tully

  • The importance of blood pressure and its variability to brain health: a 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring study

    Project description: A recent line of investigation suggests that fluctuation in a person’s blood pressure over consecutive assessments is a strong predictor of cerebrovascular disease and dementia, over and above a person’s mean blood pressure. However, it is currently unknown whether central or brachial blood pressure variability (BPV) measures are more vital to predict sub-clinical manifestations of cerebrovascular disease. This project will explore BPV’s association with cognitive dysfunction and depression symptoms. Approximately 200 persons will be recruited to undergo 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring and a standardized cognitive assessment.

    Projects available for: Honours / HDR / Masters

    Contact: Dr Phillip Tully

  • Blood pressure variability and brain health (The VARIABLE BRAIN consortium)

    Project description: The VARIABLE BRAIN consortium is investigating whether blood pressure variability (BPV) is associated with brain health, independent of mean blood pressure. The consortium is harmonizing individual participant data (IPD) from more than 20 studies to evaluate BPV in relation to cerebral small vessel disease, incident dementia and cognitive impairment, depression, brain atrophy, as well as progression of dementia.

    Projects available for: HDR / Masters 

    Contact: Dr Phillip Tully

  • Is collaborative care a cost-effective treatment modality for depression in persons with cardiometabolic disease?

    Project description: Depression is prevalent in 15-20% of persons with cardiometabolic diseases (e.g. heart disease, diabetes) but remains difficult to treat effectively in this population. Collaborative care (CC) is a system-based approach to depression care in this population. As a relatively new modality of depression care, it remains generally unknown whether there is a significant improvement in quality adjusted life-years (QALY) with CC versus usual care in the population with cardiometabolic diseases. This topic is suited to a student with a background in economics and will likely involve additional calculations for cost-data (country-specific gross domestic product inflation rates, and purchasing power parities).

    Projects available for: Honours / HDR / Masters

    Special requirements: Background in economics

    Contact: Dr Phillip Tully

  • Circadian rhythms of sleep, eating, stress, and gastrointestinal symptoms

    Project description: Prolonged work hours and shift work are linked with risk of gastrointestinal disorders including cancer, gastroesophageal reflux disease, colitis, and change in defecation routines. It remains largely unknown whether disturbances in gastrointestinal functioning are related to changes in circadian rhythm, sleep, dietary patterns, eating behaviours, and stress or occupational factors such as workload. The itspootime project aims to analyse work hours, occupational stress, sleep and diet in relation to gastrointestinal symptoms.

    Projects available for: Honours / HDR / Masters

    Contact: Dr Phillip Tully

  • Masculinity and chronic disease

    Project description: A series of projects are being offered via the partnership between the School of Psychology and the Freemason’s Foundation Centre for Men’s Health.  Data sources include the Florey Adelaide Male Ageing Cohort, a prospective cohort of randomly selected men, aged between 35-88 years, from the northern and western suburbs of Adelaide, South Australia.  Student researchers will also have access to a register of men who have agreed to participate in health research.  This opportunity would suit someone with interests in areas such as masculinity, chronic disease and prevention.  Students would be encouraged to identify their own topics of interest.  There will be possibilities for undertaking qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research. 

    Projects available for: Honours / HDR / Masters / Mphil

    Contact: Professor Deborah Turnbull

  • The association between diabetes and lower urinary tract symptoms in men

    Project description: Diabetes is the epidemic of the 21st century and the biggest challenge confronting Australia’s health system. Around 1.7 million Australians have diabetes. This includes all diagnosed diabetes (1.2 million) and silent, undiagnosed type 2 diabetes (~500,000). Diabetic urinary dysfunction (DUD) is an under-reported but far more common complication of diabetes (80% with type 2 diabetes), than the more widely recognised complications such as neuropathy (60%) and nephropathy (50%). Despite this, it remains unclear what the direction of the association between diabetes and
    urinary function is in men, with many novel mechanisms yet to be explored. This project will utilise data from a large, representative cohort of men (the Men, Androgen, Inflammation, Lifestyle, Environment, and Stress (MAILES) study) to examine: i) whether urinary dysfunction predicts the onset of type 2 diabetes, and vice versa; ii) which covariates best explain the association between urinary dysfunction and diabetes (e.g. prostatic enlargement via increased inflammation; oxidative stress due to high serum glucose). These results will contribute to better identifying men at risk of these diabetes complications, and have implications for the treatment options available.

    Projects available for: Honours / HDR / Masters

    Contact: Dr Sean Martin


The Centre offers a range of scholarships to support students. Students may be eligible for a scholarship if they are being supervised by an active member of the Centre. See our research programs to find information about the researchers responsible for our major programs.

Scholarship Information
HDR support and top-up scholarships Ask your Supervisor to contact us regarding scholarship support
Honours scholarships 
  • $3500 stipend, plus
  • $1500 support to attend a national conference to present your research, or to publish your research

Apply for an honours scholarship - open Oct 2019

Paddy O'Rourke Honours Scholarship in prostate cancer research 

One award only.

  • $5000 stipend, plus 
  • $1500 support to attend national conference to present your research, or to publish your research

Apply for the Paddy O'Rourke scholarship - open Oct 2019 

Summer vacation research scholarships

The formal call for applications is closed for 2019-20 but please contact the Centre to be put in touch with a potential supervisor if you are still looking for a project in the following areas.  

  • Laboratory research (prostate cancer, reproductive health)
  • Desktop research (epidemiology, literature reviews, data analysis, marketing, study design)

Remaining pre-defined projects:

- Active surveillance in prostate cancer (psychology, public health, health sciences)  Contact:

Contact us

Please direct all summer vacation, Honours and higher degree by research enquiries to:

General information on requirements for University admission for higher degrees is available at the Adelaide Graduate Centre website.