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Population Health SRC

Four scholarships are available in community-based prevention and systems science and heart disease epidemiology in the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences.

Four PhD scholarships are now available in Deakin University's Population Health SRC, School of Health and Social Development. The Population Health SRC comprises of an integrated, multidisciplinary team that shares a common vision to deliver health improvements for Australian and global populations through relevant, innovative research and knowledge translation, strategic national and international collaborations, and building public health research capacity. Deakin's Population Health SRC has established a large portfolio of activities in public health research, training, knowledge translation, advocacy, and expert advisory services, both in Australia and internationally. A strong team of internationally-recognised and emerging research leaders, world class collaborators, and exceptional international networks mean our research programs have shaped policy and practice globally.

Our research program currently makes a substantial contribution to minimising disease burden both in Australia and overseas. The Population Health SRC supports a growing cohort of Higher Degree by Research students, providing them with opportunities to engage with national and international experts.

The projects will be supervised by Prof Steven Allender and Dr Melanie Nichols. The projects will be based in the Population Health SRC at the Geelong Waterfront Campus.

Project 1: Community-based prevention and systems science (2 scholarships available)

This project aims to expand the evidence base to examine which system factors are essential to population level obesity prevention through analysis of high quality data from multiple successful interventions and evaluating a cluster randomised controlled trial of a very large scale state wide system-based intervention. The WHO Collaborating Centres have led the world in the design of community-based interventions (CBI) to prevent obesity and is a major contributor to the child population part of a multi-partner evaluation trial of Healthy Together Victoria, the Victorian government's implementation of a large system-based approach to obesity prevention.

This research project will examine firstly whether key system elements are associated with intervention success in preventing childhood obesity, and secondly the extent to which a whole of system intervention reduces childhood obesity. Potential PhD topics within this project could include research into monitoring overweight and obesity during early childhood in Victoria, development of new methods to evaluate large scale systems-level interventions and the diffusion of interventions, and modelling the dynamics in systems for obesity prevention implementation.

Project 2: Heart disease epidemiology - HeartStats (2 scholarships available)

The Heart Foundation and Deakin University Australian Heart Disease Statistics Program (HeartStats) is a new collaborative Australian heart disease research program that will develop a comprehensive picture of heart disease mortality, morbidity, treatment and risk factors in the Australian population, to support research, advocacy, policy and improved heart health for Australians. Research streams (and potential PhD topics) will include mapping and analysing data on known and emerging risk factors, and modelling the potential future burden of heart disease. HeartStats will provide a platform for further research into heart disease in Australia, advocacy for better collection and use of relevant health data, and for international collaboration and leadership in heart disease prevention and management. High calibre students are sought to contribute to the overall research program and develop and conduct high quality, policy-relevant research into heart disease and its determinants in Australia.

Application period/Closing date

Applications will remain open until suitable candidates are appointed.

Value and benefits

  • A stipend of $24,653 per annum tax exempt

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.
  • Applicants must be Australian or New Zealand citizens or Australian permanent residents.
  • A background in public health, epidemiology, chronic disease prevention, community interventions, nutrition or physical activity research is desirable.

Terms and conditions

Please refer to the terms and conditions (PDF, 356.0 KB)  of award for more details.

How to apply

Please refer to the Apply for a research degree webpage for application information.

Further information

If you wish to discuss your research interests and project proposal before applying, please contact Dr Melanie Nichols via email or phone 03 5227 8446.


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