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Evaluating appropriate routes of personalising dietary advice (Ref: SF20/APP/BROWNLEE3)

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

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Dr I Brownlee Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Consumer-driven trends are increasing the focus of the food, nutraceutical and health technology industries to “personalise” their offerings. However, what personalisation means has been poorly defined but could relate to individual food choice, or physiological requirements. A lack of evaluation of the scientific potential and necessity of such approaches also means that the outcomes of such approaches may be less likely to lead to positive health outcomes, such as improved body weight management or blood glucose control.
The proposed studentship will aim to:
• Define the variability of nutrient and energy balance in healthy adults (by systematic literature review).
• Compare and contrast the existing evidence base to evaluate whether previous personalised dietary or lifestyle approaches are successful (by systematic literature review).
• Based on the above and considering wider requirements for dietary intake and physical activity, design targeted, evidence-based approaches to personalisation.

Eligibility and How to Apply:
Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications should include a covering letter that includes a short summary (500 words max.) of a relevant piece of research that you have previously completed and the reasons you consider yourself suited to the project. Applications that do not include the advert reference (e.g. SF20/…) will not be considered.

Deadline for applications: 1st July for October start, or 1st December for March start
Start Date: October or March
Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.

Please direct enquiries to Dr Iain Brownlee ([Email Address Removed])

Funding Notes

Please note, this is a self-funded project and does not include tuition fees or stipend; the studentship is available to Students Worldwide. Fee bands are available at . A relevant fee band will be discussed at interview based on project running costs.


Brownlee, I.A., Low, J., Duriraju, N., Chun, M., Ong, J.X.Y., Tay, M.E., Hendrie, G.A. and Santos-Merx, L., 2019. Evaluation of the Proximity of Singaporean Children’s Dietary Habits to Food-Based Dietary Guidelines. Nutrients 11, 2615.

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