HDR Scholarship - Healthy Food, Healthy Planet, Healthy People

Applications now open. A PhD scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'Healthy Food, Healthy Planet, Healthy People'.

Additional Supervision

Dr Alexandra Jones (The George Institute for Global Health)

Dr Jason Wu (The George Institute for Global Health)

Dr Paraskevi Seferidi (Imperial College London)


Melbourne Burwood Campus

Research topic

Food systems have a key influence on population health and environmental sustainability. In recent decades, major changes to food systems have resulted in widescale distribution and consumption of unhealthy, ultra-processed food and beverages that are contributing to poor health outcomes, with high environmental footprints. In Australia and globally, extensive transformation of food systems is needed to address diet-related diseases and to stay within planetary boundaries.

The Healthy Food, Healthy Planet, Healthy People NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) is a large research grant, including a collaboration between Deakin University and The George Institute for Global Health, that aims to address the impact of food on human and planetary health by providing detailed evidence to underpin the systemic changes necessary for meaningful transformation of food systems.

The PhD candidate will be based either in the Global Centre for Preventive Health and Nutrition (GLOBE) within the Institute for Health Transformation, or in Deakin University’s Planet-A lab, within the School of Life and Environmental Sciences . We will select the most appropriate supervision team based on the candidate’s interests, expertise and research topic.

Project aim

We have a range of PhD topics available, supervised by leaders in the field, as part of the Healthy Food, Healthy Planet, Healthy People NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence program of work. Key topics include:

  • improvements to data on the environmental footprint of existing food products in the Australian context, including for consumers, government and industry
  • methods for assessing the nutrition and environmental sustainability credentials of food companies, including food manufacturers and restaurant chains
  • best ways to communicate the nutrition and environmental sustainability credentials of food products and food companies in different settings and contexts, including, online food delivery platforms, as part of government regulations, for company reporting, and on food packaging

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
  • International students only:  Tuition fees offset for the duration of 4 years. Single Overseas Student Health Cover policy for the duration of the student visa.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must:

  • be either a domestic or international 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:

  • strong tertiary qualification in environmental science and/or management, ecology, geography, sustainability assessment, ecological economics, environmental/sustainable engineering or related fields
  • working background in life cycle assessment, environmental footprinting, input-output analysis, life cycle assessment, food systems modelling, integrated assessment modelling or similar fields
  • background in social science, economics, nutrition science or public health with strong quantitative skills and with an interest in sustainability
  • sound technical ability and experience working with quantitative data as evidenced by prior work
  • excellent data management, numerical and programming skills are essential.
  • 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 Michalis Hadjikakou. 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 Michalis Hadjikakou

Dr Michalis Hadjikakou
Email Dr Michalis Hadjikakou
+61 3 924 68223