PhD Scholarship - Obesity Prevention Policy Process

School of Health & Social Development

Deakin University is leading an NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence on Policy Research on Obesity Policy and Food Systems. The aim of the Centre is to reduce the burden of obesity through research on policy actions for creating healthy, sustainable, equitable food systems and reversing obesogenic environments. The Chief Investigators are international leaders in the field of obesity prevention, health economics, and prevention policy.  As part of the Centre's activity, a number of PhD scholarships are being funded. This PhD will be based in the research stream which is examining policy processes, with its overriding research question of 'How can evidence-informed policy development and implementation be enhanced and sustained?'

As part of the context, Healthy Together Victoria (HTV) is a world-leading initiative which is taking a large-scale systems approach to improving diet and physical activity and reducing obesity in Victoria. There are unprecedented opportunities working closely with the Policy Unit in the Victorian Department of Health to examine the development and implementation of this major policy initiative in action. The Supervisory Panel for this PhD project will include senior researchers from Deakin University and senior policy experts from the Department of Health. The successful applicant will be required to commence studies by 1 October 2014 or earlier if possible. Whilst the successful applicant would be based at the Burwood Campus of Deakin University, they would be expected to spend a substantial component of their time on placement at the Victorian Department of Health.

Project aims

The PhD project will examine some key aspects of the development and implementation of HTV. Some of the areas of particular interest include:

  • Prevention/systems narrative from a policy perspective – the emergent policy/practice discourse in health promotion and prevention
  • Multiplier effects of political and policy interventions within a prevention system effort
  • Role of a policy unit in driving a prevention system effort
  • Political and policy leadership – influences on prevention system thinking and applied action
  • The importance of policy in a state's multi-level system intervention to support community-based interventions to tackle chronic disease/obesity.

Application period/Closing date

Applications close 5pm, 15 August 2014.

Value and benefits

A stipend of $25,392 per annum tax exempt for 3 years.

Eligibility criteria

  • Applicants must meet Deakin's PhD entry requirements, be enrolling full-time and must hold an Honours degree (First Class) or a Master's degree in a related field with a substantial research component (or equivalent). Please refer to the entry pathways to higher degrees by research for further information.
  • Applications are open to Australian citizens or permanent residents, New Zealand citizens or international applicants.

Terms and conditions

Please refer to the terms and conditions of award (PDF, 129.2 KB) for more details.

How to apply

Applications should include a covering letter, curriculum vitae, names of 2 referees, copies of qualifications, and a short statement (350 words maximum) outlining their interest in the above topic area. Applications should be emailed to Prof Marj Moodie, Centre for Research Excellence Coordinator (email:

Further information

If you wish to discuss your research interests and project proposal before applying, please contact Prof Marj Moodie (email:

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