HDR Scholarship - Scaling healthy food retail

Applications now open. A PhD scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'Scaling healthy food retail'.

Project Supervisor

Additional Supervision

Dr Megan Ferguson (University of Queensland)


Melbourne Burwood Campus

Research topic

Making retail outlets healthier in commercial and public settings like sports and recreation facilities makes sense because it supports people to buy and eat healthier food. Making healthy changes can be easier said than done though, with food outlet staff and management needing support in the ‘what’ and ‘how’ to make effective improvements to support consumers to make healthier purchases. For making low-cost changes at scale, and supporting the long-term sustainment of that change, digital tools and resources are key. This PhD project will develop methods for creating adaptable, scalable digital tools for facilitating healthy food retail implementation and sustainment in commercial and public settings.

The student will be supported embedded within the Global Centre for Preventive Health and Nutrition (GLOBE), and the National Health and Medical Research Council Centre of Research Excellence in Food Retail Environments for Health (RE-FRESH), a global leader in the advancement of healthy food retail research and practice. GLOBE is a domain within the Deakin Institute for Health Transformation (IHT) which aims to strengthen health systems by transforming how we design and deliver health prevention and care, both in Australia and around the world.

Project aim

This PhD project will develop methods for creating adaptable, scalable digital tools for facilitating healthy food retail implementation and sustainment.

Proposed studies include:

  1. a review of methods for measuring how healthy the food environment is in kiosk, restaurant and café settings;
  2. a randomized controlled trial of a suite of tools to support healthy food retail in sports and recreation food outlets in high and low socioeconomic areas and in regional and metropolitan areas;
  3. developing a protocol for monitoring of change in cafés, kiosks and restaurants in commercial and public settings.

The outcomes of the PhD project will include: digital tools to support healthy food outlet changes in sports and recreation settings; a process for how to adapt digital tools to specific contexts; and a protocol for systematic assessment of café and kiosk outlets to allow comparison across countries and over time.

Important dates

Applications will remain open until a candidate has been appointed.


This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $34,400 per annum tax exempt (2024 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 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:

  • Tertairy qualifications in relevant degrees which may include but are not restricted to; psychology, teaching, dietetics, nursing, physiotherapy, sports science, medicine or other allied health.
  • Working background in local or state government, communications, food industry or hospitality
  • 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

How to apply

Please email a CV, academic transcript and an example of written work (such as a journal article, report or student assignment) to Dr Miranda Blake. 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 Miranda Blake
Email Dr Miranda Blake
+61 3 9246 8487