HDR Scholarship - Improving implementation of community based obesity prevention efforts through the application of Implementation Science

Applications now open. A PhD scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'Improving implementation of community-based obesity prevention efforts through the application of Implementation Science'.

Project Supervisor


Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus or Geelong Waterfront Campus

Research topic

The Global Obesity Centre (GLOBE) in the Institute for Health Transformation have over 15 years’ experience developing and implementing cutting-edge approaches to preventing obesity. In partnership with community stakeholders, strategies are identified at many levels across the community to initiate sustainable changes that promote healthy eating and physical activity.

One critical question that remains unanswered is how to support community stakeholders implement the strategies? We use systems science, particularly community-based system dynamics, to help communities map the causes of obesity and identify local solutions but communities are increasingly asking for guidance implementing these solutions.

The candidate with have the unique opportunity to work with community stakeholders from 10 local government areas of Victoria to explore the operationalisation of key implementation science frameworks into community implementation. In addition, they will be supervised by staff who are international experts in community-based obesity prevention and will work alongside a vibrant team of research staff and a large group of PhD students from around the world.

Skills in implementation science are desirable but not a pre-requisite as training will be provided. The scholarship is suited to a candidate with a strong interest and background in prevention and public health and with qualitative or mixed methods research skills. This scholarship is funded in connection with a NHMRC joint-funded Partnership Project RESPOND 2018-2023 (Reflexive Evidence and Systems interventions to Prevent Obesity and Non-communicable Disease) and other long-term grants help by GLOBE at Deakin University.

Project aim

The aims of this project will be to:

  1. Use implementation science frameworks to advance understanding of the adoption, implementation and effectiveness of community-based obesity prevention interventions.
  2. Develop new techniques and approaches to implementation of complex interventions.
  3. Develop recommendations for optimisation of the implementation of complex community-based interventions based on insights gained from implementation science and community practice.

Important dates

Applications will remain open until a candidate has been appointed


This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $28,600 per annum tax exempt (2021 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 currently residing in Australia. 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.

How to apply

Before submitting your application, please email Dr Jill Whelan to discuss the project. Learn more about submitting a successful application on the How to apply page


Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact Dr Jillian Whelan

Dr Jillian Whelan
Email Dr Jillian Whelan
+61 3 5227 8039