HDR Scholarship - Digital interventions for children’s diets

Applications now open. A PhD scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'Digital interventions for children’s diets'.

Project Supervisor


Melbourne Burwood Campus

Research topic

In Australia, poor diet is one of the primary causes of death and disability, and children as young as three years old report consuming significant amounts of food high in sodium and added sugar. Exposure to optimal feeding practices early in life can support the development of lifelong healthy nutrition behaviours. Parents of infants however report challenges with accessing timely information around feeding, and lack support to implement them.

This PhD project will be embedded within an existing RCT seeking to examine the impact of digital health intervention that seeks to support parents of infants and toddlers, in partnership with early childhood educators to improve child nutrition early in life. Baby-EATS is funded by the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), and will be trialled with more than 600 young children aged under two years and their families, and across 60 Australian childcare centres.

The successful candidate will be situated within the Global Centre for Preventive Health and Nutrition (GLOBE), a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention. GLOBE is group of over 80 researchers working collaboratively to improve population health in Australia and globally. As a leader in preventive health and nutrition research, we use diverse methods, including public health, nutrition and dietetics, epidemiology, political science, health economics, systems science and implementation science to solve complex problems.  GLOBE is also a domain within the Institute for Health Transformation (IHT) at Deakin University seeks to enhance health and wellbeing for all by creating transformational change in how prevention and care is delivered across the broad spectrum of health, disability, ageing and end of life care.
Associate Professor Serene Yoong is deputy director within the National Centre of Implementation Science (a NHMRC CRE in Implementation of Chronic Disease Prevention Program) and candidates will have access to networks, and capacity building opportunities within the centre.

Project aim

We are seeking expressions of interest (EOI) from suitably qualified and highly motivated candidates interested in pursuing a Doctorate of Philosophy in Health Sciences.

The PhD project will be embedded within an existing MRFF funded grant and focus on optimising the impact of the Digital Health Intervention by

  1. exploring factors that support increased and sustained engagement; and
  2. identifying strategies that may be useful to increase engagement with the components of the program.

The specific research activity and studies will be develop in collaboration with the student. There may be opportunity for 1 day/week employment on the project (as per scholarship guidelines) for suitable candidates.

Important dates

Applications  will remain open until a candidate has been appointed


This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $33,500 per annum tax exempt (2023 rate)
  • Relocation allowance of $500-1500 (for single to family) for students moving from interstate

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must:

  • be a domestic candidate. Domestic includes candidates with Australian Citizenship, Australian Permanent Residency or New Zealand Citizenship.
  • 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 research degree entry pathways page for further information.

Additional desirable criteria include:

  • Relevant degrees may include but are not restricted to; psychology,  teaching, dietetics, nursing, physiotherapy, sports science, medicine or other allied health.
  • Excellent organisational, time management, written and verbal communication skills;
  • The ability to work both independently and in a team environment;
  • Demonstrated ability to write reports or peer-reviewed manuscripts
  • Commitment to Indigenous health

How to apply

Please email a CV and cover letter to A/Prof Serene Yoong. The CV should highlight your skills, education, publications and relevant work experience. If you are successful you will then be invited to submit a formal application.

Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact A/Prof Serene Yoong or Melanie Lum

A/Prof Serene Yoong
Email A/Prof Serene Yoong
+61 3 924 68173

Melanie Lum
Email Melanie Lum