Adelaide-CSIRO iPhD: Ageing, Dairy intake and cognitive decline

Payment per year
4 years
Adelaide-CSIRO iPhD Program
Postgraduate Research
Australian Citizens
Australian Permanent Residents
New Zealand Citizens
Permanent Humanitarian Visa Holders
Type of Scholarship
Financial Need
Supplementary Scholarships
Available In
All Faculties
Available To

The University of Adelaide and CSIRO are excited to offer a specialised Industry PhD (iPhD) program and scholarship.

Our 4 year Industry PhD Program includes a minimum six month industry placement offering you an enhanced opportunity to work in an industry-defined research area with support and supervision through a partnership between the University of Adelaide, CSIRO, and an Industry Partner.

In addition, you will have the opportunity, along with your supervisory team, to engage in training and professional development activities. By building your abilities, skills, understanding, and encouraging professional growth, the iPhD will prepare you to hit the ground running after completion.

Within this unique program, the University and CSIRO will:

  • administer and support the program
  • provide a $40,000 per annum scholarship
  • provide project research support funds of $10,000 per annum.

Please visit the Adelaide-CSIRO iPhD website for more research projects as well as general information on the program and scholarship.

The exciting project with Fonterra Co-operative Group is described below.

Project Name

Ageing, Dairy intake and cognitive decline

Project description

The prevention of cognitive decline and dementia is an increasingly important public health priority due to the growth of the global elderly population. Dementia, the most severe cognitive disorder, not only negatively impacts the patients’ quality of life but also creates a substantial burden for caregivers. Milk and dairy products are recommended for meeting the daily requirements for calcium, protein, and vitamin B12 intake, and low B12 status has been linked with accelerated brain ageing.

This project will leverage existing longitudinal datasets that have collected information on nutritional intakes alongside cognitive health measures (ALSA, PATH, AIBL). Modeling these datasets will elucidate the association between dairy intakes and trajectories of cognitive ageing. The supervisors have experience in accessing these datasets for similar purposes.

In addition, the project will involve an intervention study looking at the efficacy of a dairy product and/or ingredient (manufactured by the sponsor) for supporting cognitive health.

Ideal candidate

The PhD candidate will:

  • Display a strong interest in the role of nutrition in supporting cognitive ageing and psychological wellbeing more broadly
  • Have undergraduate training in a relevant discipline (Psychology, Nutrition, Neuroscience, etc.)
  • Demonstrate ability to undertake independent research (e.g. an Honours thesis).
  • Have knowledge of statistics and a willingness to learn advanced statistical models for the purpose of modeling longitudinal data (training will be provided)
  • Possess strong communication skills and experience collecting data, which will be important for undertaking the clinical trials


The project will be conducted at CSIRO’s SAHMRI and Kintore Avenue sites.


Fonterra Partners

Application instructions

Please read all instructions carefully.

Calls for EOIs are now open

To be considered for the Industry PhD program the following first steps must be completed by 9:00am on 18 October 2019:

  • Complete an EOI form for each Adelaide-CSIRO iPhD project that you wish to apply for.
  • Email completed EOI forms (as a PDF document) to No late forms will be accepted.

Once the EOI forms have been received by the HDR Industry office you will be sent detailed instructions on how to complete and submit your Online Application, which will include providing your academic transcripts and CV.

Following the detailed instructions provided to you, you can begin your application, taking special note of the specific application information you are requested to provide, including indicating the CSIRO Project Title and Supervisor in the correct field and selecting the specific “Study Preferences” and “Research Interests”.

Online applications will be accepted up to 31 October 2019.

General Information about applying

  • Adelaide-CSIRO iPhD program applicants must submit an Admission Only application to be considered.
  • Please refer to our guide on submitting an online application.
  • Once submitted, your application will be reviewed to determine your eligibility to be admitted to the PhD Program.
  • Applicants due to complete their honours programs in Semester 1 are eligible to apply, however, any offer would be conditional on successful completion of the degree.
  • Your eligibility to be considered for the Industry PhD program of your choice will be reviewed.
  • If you meet the eligibility requirements, you will be contacted for a formal interview by CSIRO and the University in November 2019.
  • You will be notified of the outcome of your application following the interview.
  • If your application is unsuccessful, your online application for Admission will be closed.
  • Should you wish to apply for a PhD program unrelated to the CSIRO Industry PhD program, you will need to submit a separate new application for Admission and Scholarship during one of the 2 rounds held each year. The Major Round opens 1 September and closes 31 October, while the Mid-Year Round opens early April and closes 30 May.

Application Checklist

  • Emailed PDF versions of your completed EOI(s) to
  • Completed your “Admission Only” online application form.
  • Included CSIRO Project Title/s and Proposed Supervisor/s in the Research Interests field of your application.
  • Uploaded all other required documentation and submitted your online application.