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The goal of this DPhil project will be to contribute to the evidence on potentially modifiable risk factors for prostate cancer through epidemiological studies of biomarkers of risk, and of correlated dietary, lifestyle, hormonal and genetic factors. There will be a focus on identifying risk factors for the more aggressive forms of prostate cancer. This research will be part of a major programme of work on prostate cancer within the Cancer Epidemiology Unit. The student will review the literature and the data available, and then define a set of hypotheses to investigate. The project will use data from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), a European cohort of approximately 500,000 individuals, of whom over 7,000 men have incident prostate cancer, and biomarker and genetic data from UK Biobank.


This project is broad in scope and will provide training in modern epidemiological and statistical techniques for assessing lifestyle, environmental, biochemical and genetic causes of common chronic diseases. The successful applicant will also receive training in conducting literature reviews and writing academic papers for peer-reviewed journals and will work closely with a strong interdisciplinary team of researchers with expertise in epidemiology, statistics, biochemistry and genetics. 


The project is based in the Nuffield Department of Population Health which has excellent computational facilities, infrastructure and expertise in molecular epidemiology and a world-class community of statisticians, epidemiologists and clinical scientists. The NDPH has regular seminars and workshops and strongly supports attendance at meetings to present research findings and develop further expertise.


Candidates should have a 2.1 or higher degree in a quantitative science and preferably further training and/or experience in epidemiology. 


  • Ruth Travis
    Ruth Travis

    Professor of Epidemiology, Senior Molecular Epidemiologist, and Deputy Director of the Cancer Epidemiology Unit

  • Tim Key
    Tim Key

    Professor of Epidemiology