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:

My Move Study: How can we better support children’s active movement around their neighbourhoods?

The aim of this study is to find out how we can better support children’s walking, cycling, scooting or other active ways of moving around their neighbourhoods.

Who can participate?

We are looking for Grade 5 or 6 students attending any primary school in Metropolitan Melbourne and their parents.

What will participants be asked to do?

Participating students will be asked to tell us about their active experiences using writing, drawing, photography or mapping and take researchers on a ‘walking tour’ of their neighbourhood. Parents of participating students will be also be asked to take part in a phone interview. Participants will be contacted in two years’ time to take part in a follow-up study.

For further information, please contact:
Hima Whitley at, +61 3 9244 5868

Effects of electric bikes (e-bikes) on cardiometabolic health

This study will examine whether e-bikes could be used to increase physical activity and reduce associated risk factors for disease, such as high blood pressure, blood sugar levels, fitness, weight, fat mass, muscle mass, and blood cholesterol levels.

Participants will be provided with an e-bike for six weeks to use for short trips, such as to and from work, going to shops or visiting friends. E-bikes have a battery-operated motor to assist with pedal power.

We are looking for people aged 30-65 who don’t exercise, are overweight, have high blood pressure and are able to ride a bike over a 6 week period.

Participation in the study involves four visits to Deakin University (Burwood Campus) before using the e-bike and after 6 weeks of using the e-bike. The overall time commitment in the lab will be about 10 hours spread out over the four visits.

For further information please contact Jenna McVicar:

What effect does sugar have on your cardiovascular system?

The aim of this research study is to determine the effects of sugar on the blood vessels of the body, and to better understand some of the mechanisms behind this.

We are seeking healthy participants to be involved in this research who are:

  • Aged between 18-50 years old
  • Normal weight
  • Non-smoking
  • No personal history of pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease
  • Have normal blood pressure

Participants will be required to attend 2 visits to Deakin University (Burwood Campus) research laboratory. The overall time commitment will be ~8 hours spread out over 2 visits. Participants will have a range of cardiometabolic measures tested, as well as blood flow using an ultrasound machine.

Participants who complete the study will receive a $50 gift card.

Recruitment for this study has commenced and will continue until June 2020.

For further information about this research, please contact:

Katherine Roberts-Thomson at, 0408 103 982

A/Prof. Michelle Keske at, (03) 9246 8850

Do lower-limb sports compression garments enhance microvascular blood flow?

Researchers from the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN) at Deakin University, and the Institute for Health and Sport (IHES) at Victoria University, are investigating whether lower-limb sports compression garments can enhance cycling performance and recovery via increasing skeletal muscle microvascular blood flow (blood flow in small blood vessels).

Reimbursement: You will not be paid for participation in this project, but you will be provided approximately $200 RRP of compression gear once you have completed the study.

  • You may be suitable if you are:
  • Aged between 18-40 years old
  • Normal weight (BMI 18-27)
  • Do not have high blood pressure
  • Performing regular aerobic exercise (at least 90 min of moderate-to-high intensity aerobic exercise per week)
  • Non-smoker and no history of cardiometabolic disease

This study involves three visits (~7 h in total) to the Deakin University (Burwood Campus) research laboratory, spread across 7-10 days.

The following tests will be conducted:

  • General health, physical activity and medical history questionnaires.
  • Repeated-sprint ability protocol (4 x 10 x 6-s maximal sprints of a gym bike)
  • Exercise performance test (single 6-s maximal sprints)
  • Ultrasound assessment of the thigh.
  • Venous blood sampling and ultrasound contrast agent solution infusion.
  • Measurement of muscle oxygenation via infrared light.

For further information, please contact:
Dr James Broatch at, +61 422 050 361
Dr Lewan Parker at, +61 4 0327 6153

How does your body composition affect blood vessel function?

We are investigating whether exercising regularly or not affects the small blood vessels in your muscle and how your body processes sugar after a meal.

We are interested in people with a range of body sizes and either physically active or not.

We are looking for participants:

  • who have a body mass index (BMI) over 27, AND
  • are non-active: do less than 30 min/week of moderate intensity exercise;


  • Regular exercisers: who do more than 150 min of regular exercise/week

All participants must also

  • Be a non-smoker, with no history of heart attack, stroke or diabetes
  • Not be taking medications or supplements that affect blood sugar levels

This study requires two visits to the laboratory, for a total of approximately five hours. The following tests will be conducted:

  • Body composition analysis scan (DEXA);
  • VO2 max (i.e. aerobic fitness);
  • Measurement of resting metabolic rate (how many calories you burn) and if your body prefers to burn sugars or fats;
  • Ultrasound assessment of blood vessel health;
  • Venous blood sampling for blood glucose, insulin and cholesterol.

For more information, contact
Dr Andrew Betik at

How does inadequate sleep impact resistance training performance and skeletal muscle in females?

This project aims to understand how a lack of sleep in females may impact their ability to perform resistance training. This has implications for muscle adaptation and growth, which is important for populations who may be sleep-deprived and need muscle strength for daily activities, such as shiftworkers, athletes, new parents, and older adults.

Who can participate?

Females aged 18-35, who have some resistance training experience and are not on any hormonal contraceptive. *Other selection criteria apply and will be assessed upon contact with our research team.

What is involved for participants?

Volunteers complete pre-testing measures prior to participating in both a sleep-restriction trial and a control trial. The sleep-restriction trial requires participants to stay overnight at Deakin University for nine consecutive nights, where they are only allowed to sleep between 1am-6am. During the nine days, participants perform 45-minute resistance training sessions, with saliva, blood and muscle samples taken on some days. Participants then complete a control trial, whereby they sleep normally at home and attend Deakin University only for the resistance training, blood and muscle sampling. Trials are scheduled to suit participants’ availability. Participants who complete the full study will be financially reimbursed for their time and commitment.

For further information, please contact:
Olivia Knowles at

Can a single session of exercise improve your sugar control and vascular health?

IPAN researchers are investigating whether a single session of exercise can improve blood sugar control and skeletal muscle microvascular blood flow (blood flow in small blood vessels) after ingestion of a high-sugar meal.

You may be suitable if you are:

  • Male
  • Aged between 18-40 years old
  • Normal weight (BMI 18-27)
  • Non-smoker and no history of cardiometabolic disease
  • Not taking medications or supplements that affect blood sugar levels

This study involves four visits to the Deakin University (Burwood Campus) research laboratory. The overall time commitment for this study is around 14 hours (spread across 2-3 weeks).

The following tests will be conducted:

  • General health, physical activity and medical history questionnaires.
  • Exercise test on a gym bike.
  • Single session of aerobic cycling exercise.
  • Ultrasound assessment of the thigh.Ingestion of a sugary drink and mixed nutrient meal.
  • Venous blood sampling and ultrasound contrast agent infusion.
  • Measurement of energy expenditure and fuel utilisation.

You will be reimbursed ($100 gift card) at the end of your participation for travel, parking, meals and other expenses associated with the research project.

For further information, please contact:
Dr Lewan Parker:, +61 3 9246 8740
A/Prof Michelle Keske:, +61 3 9246 8850

What is the role of testosterone in female skeletal muscle adaptation?

This project aims to understand the relationship between naturally occurring testosterone levels and how skeletal muscle responds to resistance exercise in females. Currently, this relationship is not well understood. Investigating this relationship may help us understand how muscle mass is regulated in females and inform current policies regarding the eligibility of some women to compete in sport.

What is involved in this project?

Participants are invited to undergo 12 weeks of FREE resistance training, supervised by an exercise scientist. Trainings take place at Deakin Burwood campus three times a week. As well as receiving training, you will gain information about your maximal strength, testosterone levels and how well your muscles adapt to resistance training.

Across the 12 weeks, researchers will take two muscle samples, 7 blood and urine samples, and food, sleep and physical activity information.

Can I participate?

Participants must be:

* Aged 18-35 years old

* Female

* NOT currently resistance trained

* Other selection criteria apply

If you are interested, please contact Sarah Alexander on 0448 384 094 or email

Screen Time and Physical Activity in Children’s Environments Study (SPACES)

The SPACES study aims to:

1) Investigate the role of the home and neighbourhood environment for young children’s physical activity and screen time; and

2) Review home environment spaces for physical activity and sedentary behaviours.

Who can participate?

We are seeking parents of young children (2-5 years old) to participate in the research. Dads and Mums across Australia are eligible to take part, however, the home visits will only be available to those living in Victoria. All participants have the option to go into a draw for $50 gift vouchers.

What is involved for participants?

We will ask participants to complete a 20-minute online survey, which asks questions about your home and neighbourhood environment, as well as your child’s physical activity and screen time.

For those eligible and interested in the home visits, this can be indicated at the end of the online survey. Briefly, this will involve two researchers visiting your home at a time convenient to you. The researchers will view the indoor and outdoor spaces in your home, and note the different content contained within those spaces that relate to physical activity or screen devices (e.g., measuring the size of different rooms and outdoor spaces, noting the types of outdoor features or presence of televisions, etc).

Contact details:

For more information, please contact the SPACES team on or Dr Jill Hnatiuk (lead study investigator) on 03 9246 8776

How does short-term overfeeding affect our cardio-metabolic health?

This study aims to investigate the impact of short-term (7 days) of high fat, high calorie feeding on blood sugar control and microvascular (small blood vessels) blood flow in muscle and fat tissue.

Are you 18-45 years old with no known history of cardiometabolic disease? If so, you might be eligible to participate in our study.

What participation involves

* Completing general health, diet and physical activity questionnaires.

* Body composition analysis (height, weight and a DEXA scan).

* Ingestion of a liquid mixed meal followed by blood sampling and contrast agent infusion.

* Ultrasound measurement of the arm/thigh and abdomen region.

* Wearing a face mask/mouthpiece to measure oxygen and fuel metabolism.

* Seven days of high fat, high calorie feeding supervised by a dietitian.

Benefits of participation

* You may not receive any direct benefits from participating in this study.

* You get free information on your fat mass, fat free mass and bone density.

* You get free information on your glucose levels, blood lipids and insulin sensitivity.

You will receive a $50 supermarket gift card as reimbursement for your time and travel expenses.

Please contact us on details given below to discuss your eligibility.

Dr Gunveen Kaur

Lecturer in Nutritional Sciences

EverydayLife Study

What is the EverydayLife Study?

The purpose of this project is to study eating patterns, physical activity and sleep and understand how they affect mood in Australian adults.

Nutrition is important for good health and understanding eating patterns is important to help us develop healthy eating messages.

Who can participate?

The project is seeking Victorian residents aged 18-65 years old.

What is involved for participants?

The project consists of two components, Part A and Part B (optional). Part A involves completing an online questionnaire and keeping a diary of all the food and drink you consume over seven days using a Smartphone App. Upon completion of the survey and the Smartphone diary for seven days, participants will be given a $20 shopping voucher for their participation.

You will be invited to participate in Part B of the EverydayLife Study approximately 3 months after you complete all components of Part A. Part B involves a visit (up to 1-hour) to a research clinic at Deakin University, Burwood Campus to complete a short survey, 2-minute cognitive test on the iPad and measures including your height, weight, waist circumference and blood pressure. We will also assess your body composition using a non-invasive device, DXA. Following this, you will be asked to wear a SenseWear armband and keep a second food diary for seven days. Upon completion of all components of Part B, participants will be given a $40 shopping voucher for their participation.

Find out more information or to register.

EverydayLife Study Contact Details

Phone: 03 9244 5064


Understanding risk factors for new low back pain in nurses (URBAN) study

In Australia, one in six people suffer from back pain and an estimated 70-90% will experience this condition during their lives. Approximately 13% of people without a prior history of back pain will develop a new episode in the next 1-2 years.

In nurses, their risk of getting back pain has been shown to be 2-3 times greater. To address this, it is key to identify the risk factors that underlie this.

We are currently seeking nurses (currently employed, recently graduated, seeking employment) aged 18 to 55 years who have never had lower back pain to participate in a 3-year cohort study.

All participants will undergo an evaluation of a range of risk factors for low back pain at the beginning of the study. Additionally, nurses that develop low back pain will complete follow-up assessments. Those who do not develop low back pain may also be asked to act as a matched-control for comparative purposes (and will receive AUD$20). Upon completion of the follow-up, all participants will enter one of four draws (based on enrolment number) for AUD$500.

You can read more about the project here.

If you think you fit the criteria for the project and are interested to participate in this research that will benefit the nursing profession, please register. One of the research team will then be in touch.

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