A multi-level approach to better understand the association between physical activity and cancer risk
Physical inactivity is now the fourth leading cause of death globally. Convincing evidence has linked physical activity with a reduced risk of certain cancers. However, further research is required in order to address key gaps in our understanding of this association, for example:
(i) The tools used to measure physical activity behaviour in observational studies of cancer risk have mainly utilised self-report measurement techniques which are subject to recall and social desirability biases.
(ii) Many of the proposed mechanisms between physical activity and cancer development are largely generic, for example changes in inflammatory processes. However, it is unclear why physical activity is associated specifically with postmenopausal breast, endometrial and colon cancer in particular, although specific effects on sex hormones (breast/endometrial) and decreased transit times (colon) are plausible.
(iii) Research has demonstrated the influence on built environment factors such as street connectivity and walkability on physical activity behaviour. However, there is a dearth of research subsequently investigating the association of these factors on cancer risk.
This project will entail detailed epidemiological analysis using UK cohort data to better understand the association between physical activity and cancer risk, investigating the role of genetics, biomarkers, individual physical activity behaviour, and the built environment.
Candidates should have or expect to obtain a 2:1 or higher Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant biomedical or life sciences subject.
Candidates applying from countries where the first language is not English should produce evidence of their competence through a qualification such as IELTS or TOEFL score.
The minimum recommended score for the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Science is:
• IELTS score of 6.0 with not less than 5.5 in each of the four component elements of listening, reading, speaking and writing taken within the last 2 years;
• TOEFL score of 80+ (internet basted test), taken within the last 2 years, with minimum component scores of; Listening 17, Reading 18, Speaking 20, Writing 17);
• A valid Certificate of Proficiency in English grade A or B;
• A valid Certificate of Advanced English grade A; or
• A first or upper second class honours degree from a university based in the UK, Republic of Ireland or other suitably quality assured location in a country deemed by the UK Border Agency to be majority English speaking.
For a list of English Language qualifications also accepted by the School and University please see the following link:
The English Language Unit (ELU) offers both pre-sessional and in-sessional courses in English for academic purposes and study skills. Courses vary in length and full information can be obtained from the ELU http://www.qub.ac.uk/tefl/
DEL Research Studentships
Eligibility for both fees and maintenance (£14,057 for 2015/16, 2016/17 TBC) depends on the applicants being either an ordinary UK resident or those EU residents who have lived permanently in the UK for the 3 years immediately preceding the start of the studentship.
Non UK residents who hold EU residency may also apply but if successful may receive fees only.
For further details re eligibility criteria (including academic, citizenship and residency criteria) please click on the following link: http://www.delni.gov.uk/index/further-and-higher-education/higher-education/studentfinance/he-student-info-postgrad-finance.htm
Please visit the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Centre for Public Health, website for further details about the Centre:
When applying, please choose 'MEDICINE' as your subject area/School.