Study level

Vacation research experience scheme


Topic status

In progress.


Adjunct Associate Professor Michelle Lupton
Adjunct Associate Professor
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Health

External supervisors

  • Dr Michelle Lupton, QIMR Berghofer


Project code:


Area of Research:


Project aims and objectives:

Population based research projects only recruit those willing to take part in a study, therefore potentially introducing a recruitment bias. As part of the PISA study (Prospective Imaging Study of Aging: Genes, Brain, and Behaviour) we are leveraging our extensive in-house cohorts drawn from genetic studies of approximately 16,000 individuals. All participants have been invited to complete an online survey on cognition and behaviour, lifestyle and family history. The fact that we already have genetic data for all participants before recruitment, presents a unique opportunity to investigate how a person’s genetic predisposition to certain traits or psychiatric disease risk affects their propensity to take part. During this project we aim to investigate the association of genetic variants which affect education attainment (a proxy for IQ) and risk of psychiatric disease with the recruitment status. Results will highlight important biases which could affect findings from population based studies.

Project methodology and resources:

Students will be given full training and supervision by Dr Lupton at the Institute. Scholars will gain skills in participant recruitment and data analysis. They will be expected to complete a literature review for the study and may also be asked to produce a report or oral presentation at the end of their project. There may be opportunity to generate a publication from their research.

Location of research:

QIMR Berghofer

Prior knowledge/skills:

This project would suit an applicant with an interest in genetic epidemiology and biostatistics, and with experience in statistical analysis.


Work space, training and supervision.

Research activities:

Participant recruitment; Data analysis.



Contact the supervisor, Dr Michelle Lupton, for more information via email at