PhD studies in Nutrition, Dietetics and Food

Ever considered undertaking a PhD? Interested in food and nutrition? Join the team and be at the forefront of exciting developments in global nutrition research. Completing a PhD in the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics & Food at Monash University provides you with the opportunity to develop research and interpersonal skills within a supportive, world-leading research facility.

Our academic staff are career researchers from a broad background of scientists, health professional and education specialists. We work closely with a range of partners from the health services sector and other not-for-profit and industry sectors. We a part of Monash University’s largest clinical school, The School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health (SCS). Minimum entry requirements can be found here.

Research themes

Clinical Nutrition

Aims to generate high quality evidence of effective interventions to improve nutritional status across a range of clinical conditions and age groups including clinical dietetics research within paediatrics, diabetes and aging. We have expertise with patient-level interventions and systems-based interventions for food services in hospital and aged care settings.  We actively translate new evidence that arises from these studies into practice and our teaching.  Find out more.


Aims to generate understanding of how foods and nutrients can influence molecular and physiological mechanisms to improve health and reduce disease.  Nutrition is integral to good health and disease prevention and recovery.  Find out more.

Public Health Nutrition

Aims to improve people’s diets to reduce chronic diseases and conditions such as diabetes and obesity. Our research focuses on modifying our food environments to improve everyone’s health, especially Indigenous populations.  Find out more.


Aims to discover and evaluate innovative ways to educate nutrition and dietetic professionals to be exceptional leaders in practice, with capability to lead multi-disciplinary teams which are required to manage the complex nutrition problems our communities face.  Find out more.

Some of the advances our researchers are working to achieve

  • Better metabolic health for shift workers
  • Novel dietary strategies to reduce risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease
  • Better gut health for ultra-endurance athletes through optimal nutrition and hydration
  • Reduction in inflammation through dietary patterns
  • Improved fertility and pregnancy outcomes for women
  • Novel bioinformatic and molecular to understand complex nutrient-metabolism interactions
  • Enhanced food environments which make the healthy choice the easy choice
  • Reduce inequities in food supply and improve food security for all Australians
  • Optimal nutrition interventions for the elderly population
  • Ensure options for those seeking weight management from youth through to adulthood have access to proven effective evidence based advice.

Introduction to the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics & Food

Professor Gary Williamson leads the Department. Professor Williamson has extensive experience in international research in academic, institute and industrial environments. His research is highly cited (Scopus h-index of 90). He has made major advances in understanding polyphenol bioavailability, and more recently has shown that certain polyphenols influence cellular energy metabolism and appearance of glucose in the blood after a meal, important risk factors for type 2 diabetes.

Department of Nutrition, dietetics and Food Research Leads


The Department of Nutrition, Dietetics & Food is located at the state-of-the-art ‘Be Active Sleep and Eat’ (BASE) Facility in Notting Hill. The BASE Facility is dedicated to advance translation of the science of nutrition, sleep and physical activity to enhance health across the lifespan. The facility comprises of a suite of research rooms including body composition (an iDXA and bioelectrical impedance devices) for bone and body composition assessment, a sleep laboratory, a commercial kitchen, exercise physiology laboratory, clinical chemistry laboratory, plus consulting suites. The ‘Be Active Sleep and Eat’ (BASE) Facility in Notting Hill, 3km from Monash Health and 10 minutes’ walk from Clayton campus.

There is a post-graduate student area in our department with hot desks that our doctoral scholars are able to utilise.  There is also a PhD hub located at Clayton Campus.  As one of our PhD scholars you will utilise the equipment and facilities alongside highly qualified and experienced investigators. Opportunity to undertake some tutoring or marking in the second year onwards of your PhD program can be organised with the agreement from your primary supervisor.  Usually our students undertake the Monash University Translational PhD pathway which includes 2 taught units chosen from a range of options but include Biostatistics and Translational Research.  Our students are encouraged to join in post-graduate activities arranged by our School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health which offers a range of targeted study and professional development opportunities for the school’s 170+ PhD scholars.