HDR Scholarship - Addressing the challenges of increasing children’s physical activity levels

Applications now open

A PhD scholarship is available in Deakin's Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Faculty of Health. The PhD student will initiate and conduct research on the topic 'Addressing the challenges of increasing children’s physical activity levels' led by Dr Nicola Ridgers. The successful applicant will be based at the Melbourne Burwood Campus.

Research topic

This project examines changes in children’s physical activity and sedentary behaviours following participation in school-based activity sessions.

Project aim

Physical inactivity and excessive sedentary behaviour are key contributors to poor physical and mental health. However, most Australian youth do not do enough physical activity and spend too much time sitting, and efforts to increase activity levels have largely failed. One reason for this could be that children change their behaviour (i.e., compensate) after being physically active, resulting in no net change in daily physical activity. However, it is not known whether children do compensate their activity behaviours, and, if they do, whether they are aware of such changes.

This project will explore this possible phenomenon by experimentally testing whether primary school children change the kinds of physical activity and sedentary behaviours that they engage in following three, one-off 90 minute sessions delivered at school. This research is partially funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council. This PhD project is nested within an ARC Discovery Project.

Value and duration


    • A stipend of $27,082 per annum tax exempt (2018 rate)
    • A relocation allowance from $500 to $1,500 (2018) awarded to students who are moving from interstate or overseas in order to study at Deakin
    • For international students only: Tuition fee and overseas health coverage for the duration of four years

STIPEND Duration

  • 3 Years

Important dates

Opening date


Closing date


Eligibility criteria

This scholarship is only open to domestic and international candidates.

Applicants must meet Deakin's PhD entry requirements, be enrolling full time and hold an Honours degree (First Class) or an equivalent standard Master's degree with a substantial research component. Please refer to the entry pathways to higher degrees by research for further information.

This project would suit applicants with a background in exercise science, health promotion, health science, physical education, and who have an interest in physical activity and sedentary behaviour.

How to apply

Please refer to the how to apply for a research degree page for application information.

Further information

If you wish to discuss your research interests and project proposal before applying, please contact Dr Nicola Ridgers via email or phone +61 3 9244 6718.