HDR Scholarship - Nocebo response to dietary constituents in irritable bowel syndrome

Applications now open. A PhD scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'Nocebo response to dietary constituents in irritable bowel syndrome'.

Project Supervisor


Geelong Waterfront Campus

Research topic

Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome are often perceived to be food-related. Challenge studies have identified several specific dietary components provoke GI symptoms in Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Although diet intervention is effective in many individuals and embedded in most IBS clinical guidelines, some individuals do not respond to dietary treatment. Nocebo response, a negative anticipatory response, is powerful and pervasive in clinical practice, and could inhibit clinical benefit to dietary intervention in some individuals with IBS.

We are seeking a motivated and enthusiastic dietitian, nutritionist or psychologist who will work with the support, guidance and supervision of an expert multidisciplinary team to undertake this research. Team members are global leaders in nutrition and psychology with expertise in gastroenterology. The successful candidate will be based at the Food & Mood Centre in Geelong, Victoria.

Project aim

This research will examine the nocebo response to dietary challenge in IBS, an area that has received little research attention. The research will evaluate the pervasiveness of nocebo response to diet in people with IBS, identify clinical and psychological characteristics of individuals most likely to have a nocebo response, and to understand patient perspectives about nocebo.

Important dates

Applications close 5pm, Friday 30 September 2022


This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $28,900 per annum tax exempt (2022 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:

  • The successful applicant will have an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in nutrition or dietetics or psychology, with an interest in gastrointestinal disorders.

How to apply

Please apply using the Find a Research Supervisor tool


Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact Dr Heidi Staudacher

Dr Heidi Staudacher
Email Dr Heidi Staudacher
+61 3 522 78891