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Expressions of interest are sought for a fully funded PhD scholarship investigating the effect of a collagen product on joint comfort and skin condition.

   Institute of Food Science and Technology

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  Prof Jane Coad  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The candidate must meet Massey University PhD registration requirements and have the appropriate background and interests.

 PhD scholarship award

The 3-year PhD scholarship award consists of:

• stipend NZ$30,000 per year

• student fees NZ$8,000 per year

• project consumables and publication costs

Please send enquires and applications (cover letter outlining reasons for applying and suitability for the project, academic record and CV, plus contact details of 2 referees) to Professor Jane Coad: [Email Address Removed] +64 021970084

Supervisory Team:

Prof Jane Coad, School of Food & Advanced Technology, Massey University, Palmerston North

Dr Janet Weber, School of Food & Advanced Technology, Massey University, Palmerston North

Postdoctoral Study Coordinator (to be confirmed)

Research Project:

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body forming the extracellular matrix of many body tissues such as skin, cartilage, bone, ligaments and tendons. Collagen can be extracted from animal tissue; it is used for a diverse range of applications including food processing, tissue engineering and therapeutic supplements. The effects of collagen preparations may depend on the source of collagen and the extraction processes used.

This project builds on previous studies that suggest consumption of hydrolysed collagen preparations may alleviate symptoms of osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis usually affecting the knee, and with limited options for treatment. Pain associated with osteoarthritis is related to inflammation and concomitant destruction of collagen in the connective tissue extracellular matrix. Most global collagen supplements are marketed as anti-ageing nutricosmetics to enhance skin appearance. Evidence from placebo-controlled studies is inconsistent, particularly in relation to the effects on skin and muscle recovery, and most studies select a non-protein or noncaloric substance as a placebo.

This project will investigate the effects of a novel hydrolysed collagen preparation on joint comfort and skin appearance and investigate its ability to initiate collagen synthesis in a multi-arm, randomised controlled trial.

The PhD will provide opportunities to gain skills in: study design, assessment of body composition and other physiological parameters, a range of nutritional assessment techniques, investigating attitudes and behaviour, managing research participants, handling laboratory samples, managing data and academic writing.

Location: Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Start date: 31st August 2022 or before

Who we are looking for:

The ideal applicant will have a masters or honours degree in nutrition, physiology or a closely related discipline. The candidate will be creative, hard-working, flexible and curious, good at personal time management and meeting deadlines. The ideal applicant will probably aspire to one day drive their own research and have a willingness to learn, as well as being someone who enjoys working with others in a research team.

We welcome interest from Māori and Pacific students and are receptive to Māori Kaupapa in terms of co-design and incorporating practices and values from mātauranga Māori.

Because of the current limitations on travel to New Zealand, applicants for this studentship must be permanent residents or citizens of New Zealand AND must currently reside in New Zealand.

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