PhD Opportunities

CASS is committed to providing our students a supportive, inclusive, enriching, and industry relevant experience during their candidature. Find out about current PhD opportunities at CASS below.

Current opportunities

Opportunities are currently available for domestic and international students currently residing in Australia.

Project aim and description

To investigate how online food choices are shaped and how they can be influenced by sensory marketing

One of the most important changes to everyday food choices in the past years has been the surge in e-commerce and online food choices. Online grocery shopping, online Food Delivery Platforms, as well as online meal box services have been growing by 24 to 34% in the past years and by 45% following the COVID’ 19 pandemic. Analysts expect the surge in online food shopping to continuously increase following the strong general increase in e- commerce across the globe. Online food shopping enables food manufacturers and retail to broaden their potential consumer base and make restaurants less dependent on in-house seating capacity. However, the increase of online food options goes hand in hand with an increased accessibility to mostly unhealthy foods, which has been linked to sustained weight gain. To be able to influence online food choices, we need to understand how these food choices are made and how they can be changed. This project will be focussed on sensory expectations and sensory marketing. The outcome of this project will provide tools to public health, enabling them to steer consumers towards healthier food choices in an online environment.

 

Supervisor(s): Associate Professor Gie Liem

Location: Deakin University, Burwood Campus

Prerequisites:

Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree with first class honours (or equivalent) in a relevant field. Interested students must meet Deakin University’s PhD entry requirements and be eligible to apply for an Australian Post Graduate Award or equivalent. The supervision team will work with suitably qualified applicants to apply for scholarship funding.

 

Contact details:

Associate Professor Dr Gie Liem: gie.liem@deakin.edu.au

Project aim and description

This project aims to explore how the principles of Citizen Science can be applied to understand children’s eating.

The specific research questions and research issues of interest for this project may include:

  • How can citizen science be applied to understand children’s eating?
  • How can citizen science advance measurement of children’s eating?
  • How can citizen science be used to engage and retain parents and children in research on children’s eating?
  • How can citizen science be applied for the mutual benefit of citizen scientists, scientists and society?

 

Citizen Science is defined by the Australian Citizen Science Association as “public participation and collaboration in scientific research with the aim to increase scientific knowledge”.

Citizen Science provides many benefits to scientists, society and the participants themselves as well as offering many new opportunities for developing new ways of understanding the development of children’s eating. However despite its many benefits to other scientific endeavours, particularly environmental science, citizen science has rarely been used to understand children’s eating. However, it holds great promise to advance measurement of children’s eating, assist in children’s understanding of eating and provide novel insights into how children’s eating behaviours develop.

Supervisor(s): Dr Georgie Russell

Location: Deakin University, Burwood

Prerequisites:

Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree with first class honours (or equivalent) in a relevant field. Interested students must meet Deakin University’s PhD entry requirements and be eligible to apply for an Australian Post Graduate Award or equivalent. The supervision team will work with suitably qualified applicants to apply for scholarship funding.

 

Contact details:

Dr Georgie Russell: georgie.russell@deakin.edu.au

 

Project aim and description

The overall aim of this project is to examine appetitive phenotypes (profiles of eating) in young children.

The specific research questions and research issues of interest for this project may include:
• What types of appetitive phenotypes exist in young children?
• What parent/child/environmental characteristics and behaviours are related to children’s appetitive phenotypes?
• How can appetitive phenotypes best be measured?
• How might personalised intervention programs be tailored to children’s appetitive phenotypes?

Personalised nutrition, one of the key science priority pillars of the Academy of Science’s decadal plan for nutrition in Australia, focuses on the important role of individual differences to inform the personalising of intervention programs.

Behavioural profiles, or phenotypes, are distinct patterns of behaviour that arise due to a combination of genetic and environmental effects, impact health outcomes, and are an important part of personalised nutrition approaches. In a related way, appetite phenotypes refer to individual differences in patterns of behaviours and attitudes related to food and eating that can be used to inform personalised eating/weight programs. For infants and children, early indications of appetitive phenotypes can provide signs about future eating and weight trajectories that can be used to inform personalised nutrition approaches. However, presently little is known about appetitive phenotypes in children.

Supervisor(s): Dr Georgie Russell

Prerequisites:

Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree with first class honours (or equivalent) in a relevant field. Interested students must meet Deakin University’s PhD entry requirements and be eligible to apply for an Australian Post Graduate Award or equivalent. The supervision team will work with suitably qualified applicants to apply for scholarship funding.

Contact details:

Dr Georgie Russell: georgie.russell@deakin.edu.au

 

“The projects that are being conducted at the CASS Food Research Centre are quite diverse but what I like about the research group is that there is a sense of unity and community even in that diversity. I find it interesting that each time you present your unique work you, which in my case is very different from what others are doing, you are bound to get excellent constructive criticism and feedback which really adds value to your work and allows you to view your research in different lenses.

Also when undertaking a PhD by research there is a general overemphasis on the technical skills, but CASS is unique in that it also has a strong focus on equipping you with the ability to communicate your research to any audience and the ability to critique and analyse research material.  So in the end you are not just a typical scientist with technical skills but rather an all-rounded scientist with technical, analytical and communication skills.”

 

          – Agnes Mukurumbira, PhD Candidate at CASS Food Research Centre

Participate in our studies

The CASS Food Research Centre run a variety of both long- and short-term studies. Some studies may require participants who meet certain selection criteria. Are you interested in participating?

VIEW CURRENT STUDIES