The UNSW Scientia PhD Scholarship Scheme

An opportunity exists to apply for a PhD scholarship to work on the Study of the Prevention of Anal Cancer (SPANC) through the UNSW Scientia PhD Scholarship Scheme. The  Scheme  provides  4  years  of funding  for  the  candidate  to  complete  a  PhD  at  UNSW.  Applicants must apply to a specific research area with an identified supervisory team. There are 125 scholarships available this round.

The SPANC study

Anal cancer incidence has been increasing for more than 30 years. Although uncommon in the general population, rates in the highest risk group - gay and bisexual men (GBM) with HIV - are around 100/100,000 per year. The great majority of cases are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and are preceded by persistent anal high grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL). SPANC a community-based cohort study of anal cancer precursors in GBM aged 35 and older. The study involves 5 visits over 3 years, involving anal HPV DNA testing, cytology +/- anal biopsy. Follow-up questionnaires elicit details of physical and psychological morbidity associated with procedures, resulting in extraordinarily complete ascertainment of anal disease. By comprehensively describing the epidemiology of anal HPV infection and HSIL, we aim to identify those people with HSIL who are most likely to develop persistent disease and thus be at higher risk of progression to anal cancer.

The project is listed on the Scientia ‘apply’ website as the Study of the Prevention of Anal Cancer (SPANC):

The deadlines are as follows:

  • 21 July -deadline for prospective applicants to contact supervisors to express interest
  • 28 July- deadline for supervisors to nominate TWO applicants.
  • 04 August - Team to contact nominated applicants to apply online.
  • 1 September - deadline for selected applicants to submit application online.