Research Supervisor Connect

Tailoring advice to individuals or groups to improve behaviour change and weight control


It has been clearly established for some time that individuals are less likely to respond to guidance and will benefit less if generic rather than individualised information on behaviour change is provided.  The challenge of this research project is to firstly identify how to segment the population  to provided more targeted advice around behaviour change and weight loss and  then what the basis of this advice should be.  This project has obvious and immediate public health as well as clinical implications.


Professor Timothy Gill.

Research location

Camperdown - Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise & Eating Disorders

Program type



It is widely accepted that advice that is tailored to an individual’s physiological and psycho-social needs are more likely to accepted and implemented effectively resulting in appropriate behaviour change and improved weight control.  Identifying factors that allow better matching of individuals or groups to specific interventions that may offer a greater chance of successful behaviour change and weight control is a recent area of research that is attracting much attention.  One focus of such research is to identify the genetic or physiological markers which may be associated with specific physiological responses to certain dietary or physical activity interventions.  This is complicated and expensive and it is likely that much can be achieved by characterising sectors of the population based on common demographic, psychological or social characteristics associated with successful behaviour change in past clinical or community trials.  This project is revisiting existing trial data to identify individuals or groups who have been most successful with weight loss on with different regimens used within these trials

Additional information

Benefits to the successful candidate
• As part of The Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise & Eating Disorders at the Charles Perkins Centre, you will be part of an internationally recognized multidisciplinary research environment dedicated to reducing obesity and associated complications
• PhD candidates will be mentored for submission of a competitive application for an Australian Postgraduate Award or a University Postgraduate Award (APA/UPA, for domestic students).
• Opportunity for a Top-Up Scholarship for APA or UPA-funded PhD students of high standing, with the possibility of Top-Up Scholarship extension for students who are productive in publishing their research on this topic
• You will receive mentoring to help you develop your career, with individual and group training on scientific writing, conference presentation skills etc
• You will have opportunities to present your research findings at local, national and potentially also at an international biomedical conference
• You will have opportunities to publish your research findings in world-class peer-reviewed biomedical journals of high standing

Selection criteria
• An undergraduate degree in science, medicine or other health discipline (e.g. exercise physiology, nutrition & dietetics, nursing, pharmacy, physiotherapy, psychology, biochemistry, physiology etc.)
• First class honours or equivalent (for PhD candidates)
• An excellent undergraduate academic record (for Masters and PhD candidates)
• Prospective PhD candidates must be eligible for a nationally competitive PhD scholarship, such as an Australian Postgraduate Award or a University Postgraduate Award (APA/UPA, for domestic students) or an equivalent award for international students. Further details.
• A strong commitment to health and medical research in the field of adult nutrition and lifestyle interventions, obesity, weight management and chronic disease prevention
• Exceptional communication skills that will enable you to engender support from participants volunteering for this randomised controlled trial
• Ability to work productively both within a team environment as well as independently as required
• Excellent organisational skills

For further information
Please contact Professor Tim Gill

To apply
Please e-mail a cover letter addressing the above selection criteria, a copy of your CV as well as your academic transcript(s) to Professor Tim Gill.

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Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 2024

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