Research Supervisor Connect

PhD project(s) in the intersection between obesity and eating disorders


We are seeking a motivated and enthusiastic health researcher to undertake a full time or part-time PhD based at The Children's Hospital at Westmead and enrolled through the University of Sydney. This position will support existing, and develop new, projects relating to the EDIT (Eating Disorders in weight-related Therapy) Collaboration. EDIT is a world-first international collaboration aiming to identify individual characteristics of adolescents and adults, and the characteristics of treatments, that influence eating disorder risk and resilience during obesity treatment interventions. We also aim to determine whether specific intervention components influence eating disorder risk. The collaboration will use a holistic approach to research including consultation with clinicians, researchers and other stakeholders including those with a lived experience of obesity and/ or eating disorders. A broad portfolio of research is planned to address the intersection between obesity and eating disorders. Projects which may be included within a PhD program include:
• Systematic reviews to assess the prevalence of eating disorders in adolescents and adults with overweight or obesity
• Identification of components of obesity treatment which may contribute to eating disorder risk e.g. using Delphi survey methods and the Behaviour Change Techniques Taxonomy
• Individual participant data meta-analysis to identify individual risk and resilience factors for eating disorder risk
• Evaluation of eating disorder screening and monitoring protocols used during obesity treatment
• Analysis of selected data from the Fast Track to Health clinical trial


Dr Natalie Lister, Professor Louise Baur, Dr Sarah Garnett, Dr Hiba Jebeile, Dr Sarah Maguire.

Research location

Westmead - Childrens Hospital at Westmead Clinical School

Program type



The position will specifically involve:
- Participation in and project management of elements within the EDIT (Eating Disorders in weight-related Therapy) Collaboration
- Developing other projects in consultation with experienced researchers in the areas of paediatric health, nutrition, obesity and/ or eating disorders
The successful candidate will make a significant contribution to the scientific evidence base that informs clinical practice, gaining experience in collaborative, interdisciplinary research. Training in new generation methodologies, statistical analysis, scientific writing and conference presentation will be provided as the PhD progresses. The candidate will have the opportunity to gain recognition through publication in international peer-reviewed journals and presentation at scientific meetings locally, nationally and potentially internationally; and will be mentored for exceptional future career opportunities beyond their PhD. This is a unique opportunity to work in a specialized environment working with National and International expert in the fields of obesity and eating disorders.

Additional information

A scholarship is not currently available for this position. However, the successful candidate will be highly competitive for external scholarship opportunities (e.g. RTP Stipend, NHMRC) and will be mentored and supported to develop their applications.
Further information on scholarships can be found on this  link .

- Australian citizenship or residency
- Working with Children check (For more information on how to apply for the clearance, please visit the Office of the Children's Guardian website
- Bachelor Degree with First Class Honours or equivalent (e.g. allied health, nutrition, dietetics, psychology, health sciences) or a Masters Degree by research; or a Masters by coursework with a significant thesis component in a relevant field.
- Eligible for external postgraduate scholarships (eg. Research Training Program, NHMRC)
- Excellent academic track record
- Excellent written and communication skills
- Experience in writing for scientific publications
- Excellent computer skills in standard software programs (e.g., Microsoft Office)

- Experience in working across projects and ability to meet deadlines
- Experience conducting literature searches, critical appraisals and peer-review publication
- Quantitative data analytic skills (using appropriate statistical software, e.g. SPSS)
- Capacity to work collaboratively as part of a team, but ability to also work independently with minimal supervision
- Knowledge and understanding of obesity and/ or eating disorder prevention and/ or treatment

Want to find out more?

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 2903