About our research

Food and nutrition is essential to human health. Our research themes incorporate basic nutrition research, its translation into practice settings and we facilitate information transfer by continued education of health professionals.

We work in partnership with industry where our mission statement 'to advance translation of the science of nutrition, sleep and activity to enhance the healthy lifespan of all Australians' can be promoted.

Student projects

In 2014, Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics students undertook public health and community nutrition placements with organisations like the Heart Foundation, SecondBite, various council bodies and community health organisations. Their resultant research outputs spoke about the promotion of breastfeeding in Aboroginal communities, local government obesity prevention and food security, and much more.

Read their research abstracts to find out more.

Current studies

We are always recruiting volunteers to take part in our current studies on energy metabolism, food security, appetite regulation and physical activity research undertaken at our BASE (Be Active Sleep Eat) Facility, located at Notting Hill.

Find out more about taking part in a clinical trial.

Completed research


Energy metabolism, appetite regulation and physical activity research is explored in this theme. At the interface of translation we collaborate with the food industry to investigate and develop products that improve the nutrition of the population. Collaboration with health practitioners enables us to enhance and develop strategies to improve the nutritional care and status of those in hospital or care facilities. Our strategic objective in this theme is to reduce malnutrition and improve the quality of life for those with chronic or acute disease.

Find out more about clinical research translation.


This  theme investigates the relationship between food, eating behaviour and  nutrition in children and adults and aims to understand and enhance the  communities' ability to reduce obesity, lead healthier lifestyles and  have access to healthy foods.

Find out about our community focused research projects.


We  are committed to a developing a quality student learning environment both at undergraduate and post graduate levels. Current initiatives  involve the introduction of structured simulation modules to assist in  optimally preparing students for practicum placement. In addition to the  BASE clinic which allows students to observe and interact with clients  very early in their university course. We are leading an ALTC project  which is exploring the national assessment system of entry-level  competence in nutrition and dietetics.

Find out more about education research at BASE.

Objective Structured Clinical Exams

Objective Structured Clinical Exams are used in our curriculum to assess and enhance student preparedness for clinical placement commencement.   Using Objective Structured Clinical Exams (OSCEs) as a vehicle for incorporating SPs can predict future performance for clinical practice (1) and provide an objective measure of how students successfully interact with patients (2).  Furthermore, as good assessment should lead to good learning, SPs can deliver valuable feedback directly to students (3).  
The use of SPs in dietetics has been evaluated for student assessment and satisfaction (2, 4-6).

We have provided a suite of resources for conducting OSCEs and appraising communication and nutrition assessment skills in student dietitians.

1. Hawker J, Walker K, Barrington V, Andrianopoulos N. Measuring the success of an objective structured clinical examination for dietetic students. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2010;23(3):212-6
2.  Pender F, Looy A. The testing of clinical skills in dietetic students prior to entering clinical placement. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2004;17(1):17-24
3.  Bokken L, Linssen T, Scherpbier A, Van Der Vleuten C, Rethans JJ. Feedback by simulated patients in undergraduate medical education: a systematic review of the literature. Medical Education. 2009;43(3):202-10.
4. Hampl JS, Herbold NH, Schneider MA, Sheeley AE. Using standardized patients to train and evaluate dietetics students. J Amer Diet Assoc. 1999;99(9):1094-7
5.Rhoades P, Ryan C, Erickson D, Strahan B. An objective method of assessing the clinical abilities of dietetics interns. J Amer Diet Assoc. 1998;98(7):752
6.  Vickery CE, Cotugna N, Hodges PA. Comparing counseling skills of dietetics students: a model for skill enhancement. J Amer Diet Assoc. 1995;95(8):912-4



Read and access our key papers and publications.