Priority Research Centre for

PhD and Research Masters

Why a PhD or Research Masters in Physical Education and Nutrition at Newcastle?

The Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition investigates physical activity and nutrition for population health, with particular emphasis on education and health promotion strategies for chronic disease prevention, treatment and wellbeing. The Centre aims to examine these interrelationships across the lifespan, by targeting "at risk" populations, multiple levels (individual, social, organisational and population) and within various settings (schools, clinics, workplaces and communities).

Professor Philip Morgan

Our Human Movement and Sports Science, and Nutrition and Dietetics research is rated as 'Well Above World Standard' by the Australian Research Council's Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative. This is the highest rating possible.

Our Centre researchers are closely affiliated with the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI), and are part of the HMRI Cardiovascular Health Program – with internationally recognised research outcomes.

What you can research

Research and training activities cover the spectrum of theory development and measurement, intervention building and testing, and knowledge transfer. The primary aim is to achieve high quality research, training, and knowledge translation in the development and testing of efficacious/effective, theory-driven, multi-level, population-based physical activity and nutrition-related interventions and natural experiments that can ultimately be used and sustained in practice.

The Centre's research programs have six inter-related themes:

  • Physical Activity and Population Health
  • Obesity
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Clinical and Experimental Nutrition
  • Exercise Sciences
  • Physical Activity and Nutrition in Schools

Research proposals are invited in the following areas:

  • Physical education
  • Diet
  • Physical activity
  • Exercise science
  • Nutrition
  • Sedentary or sleep behaviour
  • Health promotion
  • Movement skills
  • Population health
  • Resistance training
  • Obesity
  • Nutraceuticals and Lipids
  • Interventions (physical activity and nutrition)
  • Parenting (physical activity and nutrition)
  • Functional Foods

Research methodologies

Our Research Framework consists of three-inter-related components:

  • Intervention development
  • Intervention testing (both efficacy and effectiveness studies)
  • Knowledge translation

Each of these components is considered iteratively throughout the research process in our current studies.

Find a supervisor

Before you apply, contact a supervisor for discussion on possible research projects. This will allow you to frame your proposal to align with established disciplines and areas of supervisor capacity.

  • Professor Clare Collins: diet quality and methodology, nutrition, obesity, paediatrics, systematic review
  • Professor Manohar Garg: dietary fats and oils, functional foods, lipids, nutraceuticals
  • Professor Phil Morgan: community and school-based interventions to prevent/treat obesity in child, adolescent and adult populations, parenting and physical activity and nutrition, primary school health and physical education
  • Professor Robin Callister: depression and exercise, obesity and weight loss, stroke and exercise, Type 2 diabetes and exercise, cardiovascular physiology, exercise and immunology, exercise and nutrition, pain, sports injuries
  • Professor Ron Plotnikoff: behavioural epidemiology, behavioural medicine, education, exercise psychology, health promotion, physical activity, population and public health
  • Associate Professor David Lubans: behaviour change, interventions, movement skills, physical activity, physical activity measurement, physical activity mediators, research training

How to apply

Current graduate studies in Physical Education and Nutrition

There are a number of research projects being undertaken by graduate students in the areas of Physical Education and Nutrition at Newcastle. Take a look some of the current topics:

  • The Fit-4-Fun Study: Promoting Physical Activity and Physical Fitness in Primary School-Aged Children
  • The Impact of the 'Healthy Dads Healthy Kids' Lifestyle Program for Overweight Fathers and their Children on Key Obesity-Related Parenting Variables
  • The Impact of High Intensity Interval Training on Physical and Psycho-Social Outcomes in Low-Active Adolescents
  • Using Social Cognitive Theory to Promote Physical Activity, Healthy Eating and Weight Loss Maintenance in Overweight and Obese Men