HDR Scholarship - Policies for healthy and sustainable diets

Applications now open. A PhD scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'Policies for healthy and sustainable diets'.

Project Supervisor

Project team

Prof Anna Peeters (IHT)

A/Prof Anne Marie Thow (Menzies Centre for Health Policy)

Dr Dori Patay (Menzies Centre for Health Policy)


Melbourne Burwood Campus or Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus or Geelong Waterfront Campus or Warrnambool Campus

Research topic

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are now responsible for over 70% of global mortality, and place a significant preventable burden on the health care system, in addition to their social and economic costs. Globally, the affordability of a obtaining a healthy diet has decreased. Unhealthy food systems (spanning food production through to trade, marketing and retail) are a major driver of unhealthy diets and global food affordability, and consequently are a major contributor to NCDs as well as having negative climate impacts.

The transformation of food systems so that they promote good nutrition and health (and also safeguard against biodiversity losses and climate change) is a critical contemporary challenge. Governments around the world are considering policy options that can help to address the relative affordability of healthy foods and improve population diets. Policies could play a pivotal role in improving the healthiness of food systems, but designing and implementing them has been challenging for countries in Australia and globally.

This is an excellent opportunity for a PhD candidate to work as a part of a multi-stakeholder collaboration comprised of researchers from IHT in Deakin, Menzies Centres for Health Policy in Sydney, together with high level policy stakeholders from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Australian Government. The candidate will be based in the Global Centre for Preventive Health and Nutrition (GLOBE) within the Institute for Health Transformation.

Project aim

This PhD will contribute to our body of research examining the ‘how’ of nutrition and food systems policy making, including by engaging in co-design methods to understand the immediate policy priorities of government and UN partners. The PhD will work on identifying strategies to address the real-world challenges associated with designing, coordinating and implementing effective nutrition and food systems policies, and publish these in both peer-review literature and via a series of knowledge products for policy partners (e.g. briefs, blogs, webinars). Some current areas of emphasis are likely to include healthy and sustainable public food procurement, food taxation and marketing, and policies promoting a healthy food supply.

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:

  • Background in social science, economics, nutrition science or public health with strong quantitative skills and with an interest in sustainability.
  • An interest in applying a range of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, with demonstrated skills in the coordination of data collection, data entry and analysis using qualitative research methods.
  • Knowledge of food systems and food environments as a main mechanism for promoting healthy and sustainable diets.
  • Proficiency in English, including excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Evidence of ability to publish or disseminate academic research, or similar

How to apply

Please email a CV and cover letter to Dr Erica Reeve. 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 Dr Erica Reeve

Dr Erica Reeve
Email Dr Erica Reeve