Participate in our studies

At IPAN, we research human health and some studies require real, every-day people to take part.

Would you be interested? You may be asked to undergo clinical tests, follow diets or exercise programs, fill in surveys or trial tools and resources.

We run a variety of both long and short-term studies. Some may require participants who meet certain criteria such as age, gender, health status or live in a particular postcode.

We’re currently seeking participants in the following studies:

Spine and GravityFit Study

The GravityFit whole body exercise device is used to train deep and postural muscles of the body. The manufacturer has engaged Deakin University’s Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition to conduct research with this exercise approach for justifying its use in astronauts to keep the spine healthy when in space. Astronauts are typically aged between 33 and 55 when they fly into space and are in top physical condition. The research will be conducted by A/Prof. Daniel Belavy.

We are therefore seeking men and women aged between 33 and 55 who are in top physical condition, and free of any health conditions that might affect their spine, hip, shoulder or neck including prior conditions in these parts of the body for which treatment was sought to participate in the project.

Participation in the project involves an MRI. One part of the project focuses on measuring which muscles are active during specific exercises. Another aspect focuses on whether the exercise can prevent the discs in the spine swelling during lying down. Participants who complete each aspect of the project will be given a pre-paid credit card.

You can read more about the project here.

Currently we are only recruiting people who have completed at least a half-marathon distance event in the last year. If you think you fit the criteria for the project and are interested to participate, please register your interest below. One of the research team will then be in touch.

Register for the ‘Spine and GravityFit’ Study

Promoting Bone and Gut Health in our Children (PROUD Study)

What is the PROUD study? The PROUD Study is a new and exciting study being carried out by researchers from the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), Sunshine Hospital, and The University of Georgia within the USA, investigating the association between dietary intakes, bone health and gut function in children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Who Can Participate? We are inviting boys between the age of 10 to 16 years with and without a diagnosis of ASD.

What is involved for participants: Participants will be asked to attend a 1.5-hour testing appointment at Deakin University Burwood Campus to assess bone and muscle development. Following this appointment we will ask participants to complete three further tasks at home to assess levels of physical activity, dietary intake and gut function. Families will receive a $20 gift voucher in appreciation of their time and contribution to the study.

Contact: If you are interested in participating, have any questions or would like more information, please contact the PROUD research team below:

Rachel Duckham +61 3 9246 8305             Shae Rendall +61 3 9244 6445

PONDER (Protein, Omega-3 aNd, vitamin D Exercise Research) study

We are looking for people aged 60 - 85, who feel like their memory is getting worse, to take part in this study. Participants will be asked to attend Deakin University in Burwood on 4 occasions over 12 months to undergo cognitive and health testing and to visit a local pathology centre on 3 occasions for a blood test. Participants in this study will attend 2 x 60 min supervised exercise sessions per week at a local gym, for a period of six months and will be asked to consume a dietary supplement daily during this time.

We urgently need participants to take part in the study starting September 2017. However, we are also taking expressions of interest for early 2018.

Miss Sarah Brownell
Email Sarah Brownell
+61 3 9246 8660

IMPACT: Prostate cancer and exercise study

We know exercise training is beneficial for men with prostate cancer. We know that it can potentially improve various aspects of health affected by both prostate cancer and the associated treatments. However, we don’t know if combining exercise training with optimal nutrition can achieve better results.

This study will investigate the health benefits of a new exercise and nutrition program for men with prostate cancer treated with androgen deprivation (hormone) therapy. Everyone will receive vitamin D supplements and half will receive a year-long supervised exercise program and daily nutritional supplement. Recruitment is ongoing until the required number of men are recruited.

This project is a collaboration between Deakin University and Alfred Health.

What does the study involve?

As part of this study you may receive:

  • FREE vitamin D supplements and a daily nutritional supplement
  • FREE (or subsidised) exercise program
  • FREE assessment of bone density and muscle mass.

I’m interested, how do I get involved?

We'll send you details about the study and contact you by phone to discuss your eligibility for the study.

Register now

Jack Dalla
Email Jack Dalla
+61 3 9246 8347

Improving glycaemic control in type 2 diabetes with vitamin C

This project will investigate whether antioxidant vitamin C supplementation results in a clinically important improvement in glucose control in people with type 2 diabetes.

Forty females and males with type 2 diabetes (aged 45-75) will take vitamin C (0.5g twice daily) and placebo for four months each, in a random order.

Key glucose control measures taken at the start and end of each four-month treatment period will be determined through use of a continuous glucose monitor and a blood test. Participants will be required to visit our Clinical Research Laboratory at Deakin University in Burwood, Melbourne on each testing occasion.

Shaun Mason
Email Shaun Mason
+61 3 9244 6577

LET’S Move! – Ladies’ Exercise, Training and Supplement Study

The LET’S MOVE! Study is a 4-month trial that will investigate whether a daily milk-derived nutritional drink combined with a community-based strength and mobility exercise program can improve muscle power, fitness, body composition, balance, mobility and general well-being in women aged 45-65 years. To be eligible to participate in the study, women must spend a large portion of their day sitting and not engaging in more than 150 minutes per week of regular strenuous physical activity. Click below to determine if you might be eligible.

All women that participate in the study will receive:

  • A free 4-month membership to a local health and fitness centre
  • A structured exercise program supervised by qualified trainers
  • Free nutritional supplements
  • An assessment of their body composition, muscle strength and function
  • Up to $300 compensation, depending on the level of adherence to the program.

The exercise training will be conducted across a range of local health and fitness centres throughout metropolitan Melbourne. At present the current health and fitness centres are located in Ashburton, Boronia, Caulfield, Cranbourne, Croydon, Doncaster, Glen Waverley and Hawthorn. If you are interested in being involved in the study, you must be willing to travel to one of the centres twice a week for 16 weeks to complete the training.

In addition to the training, all women will be asked to attend Deakin University in Burwood on 3 separate occasions over the 4-month study to complete a wide range of health and functional tests. You will also be asked to attend a local pathology clinic to provide a blood and urine sample on 2 occasions.

More information about the study (PDF)

Click here to determine if you might be eligible to participate

Please note that recruitment for this study will be ongoing throughout 2017 until we reach the required number of participants.

The chief investigator for this study is Professor Robin Daly and the study has been approved by the Deakin University Human Research Ethics Committee (EC 2016-300).

For further information about the study, please contact Jenny (03 9244 6243) or Belinda (03 9246 8286).

The Picture Project

This is an online survey of 10,000 Australians, aged 18-30, in 2017/18 and repeated in 2019/20.

It has been established to look at the eating behaviour, physical activity, sedentary behaviour and health of young adults and to track changes that may occur over time.

The project is seeking Australian residents aged 18 to 30 years old. Participation in the project involves two components:

  1. Completing an online survey; and
  2. Completing an online food recall survey. Further details about the project are available here.


ProjectPARK aims to understand what park features encourage people to visit parks more often, and to be more active and social in parks.

Taking part is easy. If you are aged between 8 and 18 years (or have children who are) or aged 65 years or older, and live in metropolitan Melbourne, you can register your interest by emailing You do not need to visit parks regularly to participate in this study.

Restrictive pressure during blood flow restriction exercise

This study aims to evaluate characteristics of blood flow restriction exercise as an exciting and novel training methodology with significant benefit to less active populations.

We are seeking males aged 18 – 35 years to participate in this study. Participants should not normally complete more than 150 minutes of physical activity per week, and have not attended the gym in the past 6 months.

The study requires participants to attend the Deakin University Burwood Campus exercise laboratories for testing, which includes an assessment of aerobic fitness (VO2 max), strength and fatigue.

Recruitment will be ongoing until 12 participants are enrolled.

Contact: Michael Ilett: 0433 351 466 or email

An Innovative Stroke Interactive Virtual Therapy Online Platform For Community Dwelling Stroke Survivors (STRIVE)

What is Strive?

STRIVE aims to assess the effectiveness and user preferences of an interactive virtual gaming platform as an accessible and cost effective rehabilitation tool for community dwelling stroke survivors.

Who Can Participate?

We are looking for people who have experienced a stroke at least 6 months prior with some upper limb impairment.

What is involved?

Participants will receive 8 weeks of free rehabilitation using an exciting new virtual gaming platform. The sessions will be held twice weekly (45min) at a location in the South Eastern Suburbs.

All participants will receive an exercise program designed and supervised by an Exercise Physiologist. Participants will also be asked to take part in a testing session before and after the 8 week program.

Recruitment for this study is ongoing until March 2018.

Contact: Jessica Freeman

+ 61 3 9246 8560


What is the CHOICE Study?

The CHOICE Study is a new and exciting research project focusing on understanding people’s dietary choices. We are interested in understanding the way people decide what to eat. Nutrition is important for good health and understanding the motivations for why people eat what they do is important to be able develop healthy eating messages. Funding for this study is provided by the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition at Deakin University to Dr Katherine Livingstone.

Who can participate?

We looking at 18-30 year olds, who are living in Australia and who are not currently pregnant or breastfeeding.

What is involved for participants?

You will be asked to complete an online questionnaire in your own time. This will take approximately 45 minutes. The questionnaire includes several questions including  “which cooking techniques you are confident using”, “which foods you are confident cooking”, as well as questions about you. It also contains questions about possible meal choices. You will be asked to consider each option and choose the one that you would be most likely to eat in a real life situation. All participants will receive a $10 e-gift voucher after completing the questionnaire.

Find out more information on the study and how to register by clicking here.

Contact: If you require further information contact Dr Siobhan O’Halloran on 03 52 278877 or by email on

Cross-education and lower limb immobilisation: the brain and beyond

The CROSS EDUCATION strength training study is currently examining the effects of single limb strength training on the strength transfer and muscle mass in the opposite limb. We are calling on individuals aged between 18-35 years with no neurological condition or current injury to the lower limb. The study will require you to wear a removable knee brace for a total of 3 weeks. In addition you will receive strength, neurological and muscle size assessment and possibly undertake supervised strength training 3 times per week for the duration of the study. Participants need to be able to attend the Deakin University Burwood Campus. Upon completion you will receive a free 6 month gym membership at the gym located at the Deakin University Burwood Campus. Recruitment is ongoing until completion of the project.

Contact: Dr Christopher Latella or Dr Ashlee Hendy on +61 3 9244 6221

Contact us

Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition
+61 3 9244 6613
Email IPAN
Twitter: @DeakinIPAN

School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences
Deakin University
221 Burwood Highway
Burwood Victoria 3125