At IPAN, we research human health. Some of our studies require real, every-day people to take part.

We run a variety of both long and short-term studies. Some may require participants who meet certain criteria such as age, gender, health status or live in a particular postcode.

Would you be interested? You may be asked to undergo clinical tests, follow diets or exercise programs, fill in surveys or trial tools and resources.

We’re currently seeking participants in the following studies:

  • Electric bike study

    IPAN researchers are using e-bikes to assess the effects they have on cardiometabolic health and physical activity levels.

    You may be suitable for this study if you are:

    • Aged between 30-65 years old
    • Are overweight
    • Can ride a bike
    • Currently inactive

    Participation in this study involves four visits to Deakin University (Burwood Campus) research laboratory. Volunteers will have their fitness, body composition, blood glucose and insulin levels assessed. The overall time commitment will be approximately 10 hours spread out over the four visits.

    Participants who complete the trial will receive a $50 gift card.

    For further information about this research, please contact:

    Jenna McVicar: or  A/Prof Michelle Keske:


  • Managing screen time to create Healthy Happy Homes

    Managing children’s screen time at home can be a major challenge for parents. The Healthy, Happy Homes study is working with families to create screen time management strategies for families. We are seeking families to participate in interviews to gain insight into what help they need. This would inform the development materials for parents as part of a larger study.

    Who can be involved: Families with a child aged 8-16, living in Victoria

    What is involved? A 30-minute interview each with the parent and child to be conducted via Zoom/Teams or phone, at a time that suits you.

    We want to hear from you about screen time within your home, specifically

    • what challenges you are experiencing,
    • how you are or are not able to manage your child’s screen use
    • what may help you to manage use in the future, and
    • your feedback on example strategies that have been developed to help parents manage screen use in the home.

    The interview will be voice recorded and transcribed for analysis. The parent is welcome to be present during the child interview. Example questions include: what rules around screen use do you have in place at home? Does screen time impact how your family interact with each other? What support may help you manage screen time?

    What will you receive? Each participating parent and child will receive via email a $25 e-voucher (e.g. Woolworths) after the interview as compensation for their time.

    How do I participate? If you are interested in participating, please visit  Family Screen Time Interviews

    If you have any further questions please contact the Healthy Homes Team at Deakin University on

    For more information please contact Dr Lauren Arundell:

  • BIG ED study | Effect of evidence-based clinical guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of low back pain in primary care: a 12-week follow- up study

    THE PROBLEM | Low back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide and affects approximately four million Australians (16% of the population). Low back pain is the seventh most common reason for attending the emergency department in Australia with  more than 130,000 presentations per year.

    WHAT WE KNOW | The management of low back pain shortly after onset (e.g. within the emergency department) can predict long-term patient (e.g. pain intensity and disability) and societal outcomes (e.g. financial costs to the healthcare system).

    WHAT WE DON’T KNOW | Does evidence-based clinical guideline adherence for the management of low back pain impact patient and societal outcomes? Is there an association between guideline adherence and the development of chronic low back pain? Do general expectations and/or treatment-specific expectations predict changes in patient and societal outcomes?

    THE SOLUTION | We are inviting 90 adults who present with low back pain to the Box Hill Hospital emergency department to participate in a 12-week cohort study. Participants will be asked to complete five brief online surveys over the 12-week follow-up regarding their recovery.

    This is a collaboration between Deakin University and Eastern Health. Ethical approval was provided by Deakin University (2021-197) and Eastern Health (LR20-114-70494) Human Research Ethics Committees.

    For further information, please email Dr Patrick Owen (

  • Nutrition and exercise support for people experiencing unintentional weight or muscle loss from cancer treatment

    Cancer-related malnutrition and sarcopenia (muscle loss) affect up to 30% of people with cancer. Nutrition and exercise are effective treatments. However, these services may not be available to everyone who needs them. 

    Our researchers are developing a web platform to improve access to nutrition and exercise support for people experiencing unintentional weight or muscle loss from cancer treatment. 

    If you are 18 years or over and currently or recently had treatment for cancer, and experienced unintentional weight or muscle loss, or you are a carer of someone who did, we would like your insights into what would be most helpful. 

    Eligible volunteers will be invited to participate in either an interview (30-45 mins) or focus group (45-60 mins) via Zoom. 

    For more details about the study and eligibility requirements, click here or contact study coordinator Emily McNeil at

  • How gender and hormones regulate vascular function in exercise and health

    Men and women have different risks for cardiovascular disease, which differ pre and post menopause. This project will determine how hormones (eg testosterone, estrogen, progesterone) affect vascular function and glucose control during exercise and after consuming a meal.

    We are looking for males and females 18-40 years of age to volunteer for this study, who also meet the following conditions:

    • Females who are not taking hormonal contraception
    • Non-smoker, no history of heart attack, stroke or diabetes
    • Not taking medications or supplements that affect blood sugar levels

    This study requires a minimum of 2 visits to the laboratory (Deakin University, Burwood), spread out over 2 months. Each visit is ~ 2.5 hours, and a $25 gift card is offered for each completed visit.

    Resting metabolic rate, blood flow through the muscles, and blood glucose measurements will be taken before and after consuming a meal, as well as during 5 min of light handgrip exercise.

    For more information, contact Dr Andrew Betik  

  • Mealtimes with kids - research study

    Our researchers want to know what role TV and other devices play during your family meal times.

    You can participate in this study if you:

    • Have a child between 6 months and 6 years
    • Do not have a university degree
    • Live in Australia.

    Participants will receive a $40 supermarket voucher.

    For more details, and to register, click here

    For more information, contact Eloise Litterbach:

  • Using Amazon Alexa to help manage osteoporosis

    Researchers are seeking volunteers to use an Amazon Alexa device to trial an exercise, diet and medication support program for women with osteoporosis.

    You may be eligible to participate in the program and receive a free Amazon Alexa device if you:

    • Are female and aged 50+
    • Have been diagnosed with osteoporosis
    • Have been prescribed medication for osteoporosis in the last 12 months
    • Have access to a WiFi connection, and 
    • Are able to walk across a room unaided.

    To check your eligibility and register, click here.

    For further information, contact Belinda De Ross on 03 9251 7050 or

  • Physical activity mobile app for type 2 diabetes

    Do you have type 2 diabetes? And own an android mobile phone?

    You can help us develop a physical activity mobile app aiming to reduce your sitting time and increase your walking activity.

    You would need to participate in one online session taking approximately 90 minutes in total.

    You will receive a $20 gift card for your time.

    Click here to check eligibility and provide consent.

    For more information, please contact: Reza Daryabeygi:

  • Digital Healthy Lifestyle Behaviour Interventions For Teen Girls

    Digital Healthy Lifestyle Behaviour Interventions For Teen Girls

    This is an explorative study aimed at understanding what teen girls are seeking from digital platforms for healthy lifestyle behaviours. We are looking for girls aged between 15-17 years old, living in Australia. Participants are required to complete a brief 10 minute online survey, and if available, a short 30 minute interview via Zoom.

    Participants who complete the trial will be placed in a draw to win $50 worth of vouchers.

    Access the initial survey here.

    For more information, please contact: Dr Kate Parker, email or call (03) 9246 8094

  • How do stomach hormones affect blood flow in your muscle?

    We are interested in understanding how high sugar drinks affect blood flow in the muscle,  via the release of stomach hormones.

    This will help us understand why sugar is not good for our cardiovascular system.

    You may be suitable for this study if you are:

    • Aged between 18-50 years old
    • Normal weight
    • Non-smoking
    • No personal history of pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease
      (e.g heart attack or stroke)
    • Have normal blood pressure

    Participation in this study involves three visits to Deakin University (Burwood Campus) research laboratory. The overall time commitment will be about nine hours spread out over the three visits.

    Participants who complete the trial will receive a $100 gift card.

    For more information, please contact: A/Prof Michelle Keske: or (03) 9246 8850

    Katherine Roberts-Thomson: or 0408 103 982

  • Let's Grow

    Let’s Grow is a one-year program to help parents of 2 year olds learn skills and strategies to support the development of healthy happy children.

    Parents are either given access to an app that provides information and strategies to support toddler’s sleep, screen time and play, or they receive our regular Toddler Tips bulletins, with information on child health and development.

    All participants are asked to complete an online survey and wear an activity monitor at 4 time points, and will receive a $20 retail gift voucher at each time point (total $80).

    Contact the Let’s Grow team on 03 9246 8214 or at

    Or see if you’re eligible now: 

  • Smart Homes for Heart Failure project: Seeking people living with or caring for someone with heart failure
    We want to understand how people with heart failure manage their condition for the ‘Smart Homes for Heart Failure’ project. We are particularly interested in the activities someone with heart failure carries out to manage their condition, what additional support they would like, and their use of technology. We are conducting 30-60 minute phone/Zoom interviews to help us understand these topics. 
    If you are eligible to take part, we will provide detailed information about this research and ask you for your consent to participate. 
    After the interview, you will be compensated for your time with a $20 supermarket voucher. 
    For further information, contact Rebecca Nourse at OR 0392443075 
    For details and to register, click here
  • Pain systems analysis and machine learning for specificity in non-specific persisting low back pain

    PREDICT-CLBP pilot study

    Back pain is the greatest cause of disability around the world. In Australia, back pain is predicted to cost around $9.2billion per year. Low back pain remaining for longer than 12 weeks is classed as ‘persisting’ low back pain and affects around 20% of the global population. A certain diagnosis for the pain cannot be made in up to 95% of cases of low back pain. When a clear cause of the pain in the spine cannot be established, it is difficult for health care practitioners to know how to best treat the condition. To better understand this, we will assess the health of the spine, psychological and social health, as well as changes in the nervous system, to see if there are sub-groups of individuals with persisting low back pain.

    We are recruiting people aged 18-55 years that have persisting (>12 weeks) low back pain to participate in several tests to help us get a better understanding of how different body systems contribute to the condition. We are also recruiting individuals without low back pain to act as the control group.

    All participants will undergo two testing sessions to assess (1) physical, mental, and social health, pressure-pain thresholds, and spine imaging and (2) brain imaging. Upon completing both testing sessions, participants will receive a pre-paid credit card to the value of $70.

    You can read more about the project here.

    If you think you fit the criteria for the project and are interested to participate in this research, please register your interest by completing the online form. One of the research team will then be in touch.

    Register for the ‘PREDICT-CLBP’ pilot study here

  • How does your body composition affect blood vessel function?

    We are investigating whether exercising regularly or not affects the small blood vessels in your muscle and how your body processes sugar after a meal.

    We are interested in people with a range of body sizes and either physically active or not.

    We are looking for participants:

    • who have a body mass index (BMI) over 27, AND
    • are non-active: do less than 30 min/week of moderate intensity exercise;


    • Regular exercisers: who do more than 150 min of regular exercise/week

    All participants must also

    • Be a non-smoker, with no history of heart attack, stroke or diabetes
    • Not be taking medications or supplements that affect blood sugar levels

    This study requires two visits to the laboratory, for a total of approximately five hours. The following tests will be conducted:

    • Body composition analysis scan (DEXA);
    • VO2 max (i.e. aerobic fitness);
    • Measurement of resting metabolic rate (how many calories you burn) and if your body prefers to burn sugars or fats;
    • Ultrasound assessment of blood vessel health;
    • Venous blood sampling for blood glucose, insulin and cholesterol.

    For more information, contact
    Dr Andrew Betik at

  • What is the role of testosterone in female skeletal muscle adaptation?

    This project aims to understand the relationship between naturally occurring testosterone levels and how skeletal muscle responds to resistance exercise in females. Currently, this relationship is not well understood. Investigating this relationship may help us understand how muscle mass is regulated in females and inform current policies regarding the eligibility of some women to compete in sport.

    What is involved in this project?

    Participants are invited to undergo 12 weeks of FREE resistance training, supervised by an exercise scientist. Trainings take place at Deakin Burwood campus three times a week. As well as receiving training, you will gain information about your maximal strength, testosterone levels and how well your muscles adapt to resistance training.

    Across the 12 weeks, researchers will take two muscle samples, 7 blood and urine samples, and food, sleep and physical activity information.

    Can I participate?

    Participants must be:

    • Aged 18-35 years old
    • Female
    • NOT currently resistance trained
    • Other selection criteria apply

    If you are interested, please contact Sarah Alexander on 0448 384 094 or email

  • How does short-term overfeeding affect our cardio-metabolic health?

    This study aims to investigate the impact of short-term (7 days) of high fat, high calorie feeding on blood sugar control and microvascular (small blood vessels) blood flow in muscle and fat tissue.

    Are you 18-45 years old with no known history of cardiometabolic disease? If so, you might be eligible to participate in our study.

    What participation involves

    • Completing general health, diet and physical activity questionnaires.
    • Body composition analysis (height, weight and a DEXA scan).
    • Ingestion of a liquid mixed meal followed by blood sampling and contrast agent infusion.
    • Ultrasound measurement of the arm/thigh and abdomen region.
    • Wearing a face mask/mouthpiece to measure oxygen and fuel metabolism.
    • Seven days of high fat, high calorie feeding supervised by a dietitian.

    Benefits of participation

    • You may not receive any direct benefits from participating in this study.
    • You get free information on your fat mass, fat free mass and bone density.
    • You get free information on your glucose levels, blood lipids and insulin sensitivity.

    You will receive a $50 supermarket gift card as reimbursement for your time and travel expenses.

    Please contact us on details given below to discuss your eligibility.

    Dr Gunveen Kaur

    Lecturer in Nutritional Sciences