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:

  • VR kids study - come and try virtual reality!

    Do you have a child aged 7-12 years keen to try a fun VR activity?

    We’re inviting children to participate in a virtual reality study to explore how they handle daily risks like crossing streets and playground activities.


    We’ll ask you to complete a short online survey about your child’s practical risk experience, activity, play, and previous injury.

    What will my child do?

    • VR activities
    • A short interview about their experience
    • A few pictoral questions for children to rate their own skills
    • A balance activity.

    Where and when?

    Deakin University (Burwood campus), at a time and date convenient to you in July 2024. One hour duration.

    Click here for the Plain Language Statement and take the VR kids screener survey here.

    Questions? Contact Alethea Jerebine via email

  • The Female Lifespan study

    About the Female Lifespan study

    We know that females and males age differently. But there is a lot we don’t know about the specifics of muscle ageing in females.

    In fact, nearly everything we know about muscle ageing is through studies conducted on males. This is because there has historically been a lack of research on female muscle.

    This research study aims to fill this knowledge gap by mapping the process of female muscle ageing across the lifespan, for a better understanding of the different factors (e.g. hormonal, functional, molecular) at play.

    We’re aiming to recruit 96 females aged 18-80 years and test their hormone levels, body composition, bone density, muscle strength and muscle function.

    Researchers will also collect a tiny piece of muscle from the thigh for lab analysis to understand which genes are important in the female muscle ageing process. This will allow a map of female muscle ageing across each decade of age, something that has never been done before.

    This study has received ethical clearance from the Deakin University Human Research Committee (DUHREC 2021-307).

    What participants are required to do

    We’re seeking participants who can visit our laboratory at Deakin University (Burwood campus) on three occasions over a period of 2-4 weeks: visit 1 (2.5 hours), visit 2 (2.5 hours) and visit 3 (an hour), which will be organised at the participant’s convenience. These visits include an assessment of muscle size, strength and function, body composition, bone density, and the collection of a tiny piece of muscle from the thigh.

    Benefits of participating in this study

    Each participant will receive a $100 voucher at the completion of the study. They will also receive a report detailing their body composition, bone density and muscle size.

    Requirements for participants

    Any biological female (defined as someone who was born with two X chromosomes) aged between 18-80years may be eligible to participate, unless they have a neurological disorder, cancer, or are in remission from cancer.

    Interested? Click  here  for more information or to sign up.

    Project manager: Briana Gatto (

    Principal investigators: Dr Danielle Hiam ( and A/Prof. Severine Lamon (


  • Whole-body vibration platforms to improve blood flow and blood sugar

    This research will determine if standing on vibration platforms improves leg blood flow and blood sugar to help people with blood flow abnormalities or risk of diabetes.

    We are interested in people from the general population with and without diabetes.

    We are looking for people who:

    • Have a body mass index (BMI) over 27 (calculate your BMI here)
    • Do not smoke and have no history of heart attack or stroke

    What is required:
    This study requires participants to visit Deakin’s Burwood campus on two occasions, for about 3 hours each time, plus an introduction meeting (1 hr).

    The following tests will be conducted:

    • Intermittent standing on a vibration platform (3 min bouts)
    • Ultrasound assessment of blood vessel health
    • Measurement of blood sugar levels after a sugar drink

    For more information or to express interest in participating in this study, please contact Emily Wordie-Thompson  or Dr Andrew Betik :


  • Do you have type 2 diabetes? Our mobile app could help you Sit Less and Move More.

    The purpose of this study is to determine whether a behaviour change intervention using the iMove app reduces sitting time and increases standing and walking time for adults with type 2 diabetes in Australia.

    You can join this study if you:

    • Have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes
    • Own an android mobile phone
    • Are aged 35 to 65 years
    • Can engage in light activities (e.g. walking)
    • Can communicate easily in English

    For this study, you will be asked to use an android mobile app and a rechargeable activity tracker for 42 days. You will receive motivational messages every day to help reduce your sitting time and encourage you to walk more.

    Participants who complete the trial will receive a $40 gift card.

    For more information or to register, click here.

    Contact: Reza Daryabeygi | | phone: +61 392445936


  • 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

  • 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.
  • 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

  • Imagined strength training in older adults

    It is well known that strength training leads to increased muscular strength but engaging in this training might not always be possible, such as during the recovery of major injuries.

    Research has shown us that imagined strength training activates the brain and leads to increases in strength that are similar to those found with physical strength training. To date, there have been few direct comparisons between the two.

    This study aims to address this gap by directly comparing the strength changes following imagined and physical strength training within older adults.

    We’re looking to recruit 36 healthy older adults aged 65 and over to test their hand strength and central nervous system functioning. Tests will involve a form of non-invasive and painless magnetic stimulation before and after a 2-week hand training program.

    We are looking for people who:

    • Have no musculoskeletal or neurological disorders that limit the voluntary movement of the hand or forearm muscles.
    • Have no history of brain related injuries or neurological conditions.
    • Have an internet connected device suitable for online video calls.

    What is required:

    Participants will be required to attend our laboratory at Deakin University for five total visits. Three of these visits will be assessment sessions (approx. 2 hours each) followed by two training sessions (approx. 20 mins each). The remaining training sessions will be held online via video conferencing platform Zoom.

    Participants will receive a $50 Coles and Myer Gift card on completion of the study.

    How do I participate?

    If you are interested in participating please register your interest here.

    For further information please contact:

    Jeffrey Lim:

  • Can exercise training improve blood vessel health in people living with atrial fibrillation?

    Researchers from the Institute of Physical Activity and Nutrition at Deakin University are conducting a study investigating the effect of exercise training on blood vessel health in adults living with atrial fibrillation. This research includes a free 12-week supervised exercise training program with an Accredited Exercise Physiologist. Additionally, researchers are comparing the blood vessel health of people with atrial fibrillation and those living without this abnormal heart rhythm.

    You may be eligible for this study if you meet the following criteria:

    • Age: 40-80 years
    • Have a clinical diagnosis of atrial fibrillation that is confirmed by a physician or do not have atrial fibrillation or other health conditions
    • Not regularly exercising at moderate or vigorous intensities (≥150 minutes per week)

    This study will be conducted at the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition at Deakin University, Burwood Campus and will involve 2x 1 hour supervised exercise sessions at Deakin University and 1x 30 minutes unsupervised exercise session per week from home for 12 weeks. Additionally, to determine the effects of the exercise training program on blood vessel health outcomes 2x 2 hour assessment days before and after the exercise programs will be conducted. The exercise program assignment is randomised and the participant will be assigned to either:

    (i) combined exercise training involving moderate-intensity interval training plus weight training; or

    (ii) a yoga and pilates based exercise program.

    Participants enrolled in this study will be provided with a Polar Heart Rate monitor which they may keep and receive a free tailored exercise program prescribed by an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (valued at ~$800). Additionally, participants have the option to receive their health test results.

    For further information on this study, please contact:

    • Dr. Kim Way:
    • Ms. Sian O’Gorman:
  • Could krill oil supplements help people with chronic fatigue syndrome?

    Researchers seeking both healthy participants and people who have been clinically diagnosed with ME/CFS for this study.

    You may be eligible to join the study if you are:

    • Aged 18 or over
    • Either male or female
    • Not currently pregnant or breastfeeding
    • Not allergic to shellfish (ME/CFS patients)

    Key points:
    • There are no costs involved for participants.
    • Surveys can be done online at participants’ own pace.
    • Participants will be required to visit Deakin University’s Burwood or Geelong campus on two occasions.
    • Home-based testing is available for participants with ME/CFS
    • The study involves 12-week supplementation, donating blood samples, grip strength and non-invasive body composition testing.

    For more information or to register your interest, phone 03 9244 6398 or email

  • ​Food, Move, Sleep (FOMOS) for Postnatal Mental Health​ 

    Would you like to be involved in postnatal mental health research? 

    We are looking for postnatal mothers to help test this new program.  

    FOMOS is a home-based program which supports healthy eating, physical activity and sleep using a combination of digital strategies (website, text messaging, social media) and provision of home exercise equipment. 

     You may be eligible for this study if you meet the following criteria: 

    • mother with a child between two and 12 months old; 
    • living in selected postcodes from VIC, NSW or SA; 
    • experiencing some postnatal depression (PND) symptoms; 
    • able to communicate fluently in English; 
    • have or are willing to create an Instagram account. 

    What’s involved? 

    • You will be randomised to an intervention or control group (which receives part of the intervention after data is collected). 
    • You may receive free access to home exercise equipment and a range of digital resources and support for six-months. 
    • You will wear an activity monitor on your wrist for one-week at three time points and complete four online surveys, spread out over the duration of the intervention and follow up. 

    What are the benefits of joining this study? 

    • Access to evidence-based resources to support healthy eating, physical activity and sleep in the postnatal period. 
    • Potential to have free access to home exercise equipment in your home for three-months. 
    • $20 gift card at 3 assessment points.

    For more information, contact the study coordinator:                    

    Elysha Chua | | Ph: +61 3 9246 8448      


    If interested, complete our screening survey via this link  

  • Could eating peanut butter each day improve the physical and cognitive capacity of older adults?

    The world population is ageing. Meeting nutritional needs become challenging in older age. Older adults who do not have adequate nutritional intake, are more likely to have falls, faster decline in physical and brain function and have trouble doing daily activities independently. So, we need simple and practical strategies to improve the diets of older adults.

    Nuts are a great source of energy, protein, and healthy fats. Peanuts, and particularly peanut butter is well accepted by older adults as they are widely available, affordable, and easy to consume even for those having issues with dentition. Older adults who eat nuts and nut products as part of a healthy diets are shown to have better heart health, brain function and overall health.

    In this research we aim to identify if supplementing the diets of older adults with 100% natural peanut butter for 6 months, can improve their functional capacity, including physical and brain functions.

    We aim to recruit 120 older adults (aged 65 years or above) who are at risk of functional decline. This study has received ethical clearance from the Deakin University Human Research Committee (DUHREC 2022-279).

    What participants are required to do?

    Participants will be asked to visit Deakin University (Burwood campus) on two occasions 6 months apart: each visit will take around 2 hours and we will try our best to organise them at the participant’s convenience. During these visits we will assess participants’ body composition (using a full body X-Ray scan), muscle strength, physical function, and brain function. We will also collect a cell sample by asking the participants to do a cheek swab which we will use to measure how old their biological tissues are. In the first visit, participants will be randomly allocated to one of two groups where one group has to consume 3-4 tablespoons of peanut butter every day for 6 months and the other group does not have do any changes to their usual diet and lifestyle.

    Benefits to participants?

    Participants will receive a free assessment of their muscle mass, physical and brain function, and dietary intake. Each participant will also receive a $150 voucher at the completion of the study.

    Who can participate?

    Males and females aged 65 years or above may be eligible to participate.

    Please click here to take our survey to check your eligibility.

    Or email us for more details (

    Project manager: Jeew Hettiarachchi (

    Principal investigator: Dr. Sze Yen Tan

    Associate investigators: Prof. Robin Daly, Dr. Elena George, Dr. Ekavi Georgousopoulou, Assoc Prof. David Scott, Dr Brenton Baguley, Jeew Hettiarachchi, Ilili Feyesa

  • Could a Voice Assistant be used to support older adults with dementia and/or mild cognitive impairment?

    New developments in voice-assistant technology show promise in helping people with dementia maintain skills, confidence and independence to maximise quality of life.

    Using voice assistants (such as Amazon Alexa devices) can also increase access to support strategies at home, overcoming common barriers such as lack of access to health professionals, travel, cost and time.

    Our researchers are investigating whether an Amazon Alexa Show 8 is an effective way to deliver a 12-week personalised program to support older adults with dementia and/or mild cognitive impairment.

    Who can participate?

    Adults aged between 60 to 85 years with a recent diagnosis (less than 6 months) of dementia and/or mild cognitive impairment.

    What participants are required to do?

    Prior to commencing the program, and after 12-weeks, all participants will be required to complete an online survey answering questions about their health, cognition, function, and/or activities of daily living. Participants will then be randomly allocated to one of two groups where one group will receive a 12-week personalised program, delivered by an Amazon Alexa device, and the other group will receive an email once a week with information about memory and cognition.

    Participants allocated to the Alexa group will receive a pre-registered Amazon Alexa Show device delivered to their home with instructions for connecting the device to Wi-Fi (which always needs to be left switched on). The device will broadcast information and instructions based on two personally meaningful goals developed with a psychologist via videoconferencing.  Participants will be asked to regularly interact with the device to receive information and reminders.  Participants will in this group will be asked to complete additional assessments, including an interview and questionnaires, to tell us about their experience using the device.

    Benefits to participants?

    Participants allocated to the Alexa group will receive an Amazon Show 8 which can be kept after the study is complete.  Control participants will receive an Amazon Show 8 at the end of the 12 weeks.

    Please click HERE to take our survey to check your eligibility or email us for more details:

    Project Coordinator:  Tracy Yiannis

    Principal Investigator: Dr Paul Jansons


    This study has received ethical clearance from the Deakin University Human Research Ethics Committee (DUHREC 2022-043).

  • Are you worried about muscle weakness? Participate in research measuring muscle activity in older adults.

    Older adults experience a gradual reduction in muscle mass, strength and function as part of the ageing process. When these losses in mass, strength and function are accelerated, this is collectively termed sarcopenia and may be linked with several chronic diseases. Dysfunction in the nerves that connect our brain to our muscles contribute to the reduced strength and physical function observed during ageing. However, we do not know if individuals with exacerbated physical function and strength losses (i.e., sarcopenic) present further impairments in their muscle nerve properties.

    This study aims to investigate if individuals with accelerated losses in muscle mass, strength, and function have reduced function of the nerves connecting the brain to the muscles.

    We are recruiting participants who:

    • Are 65 years of age or over.
    • Are not practicing progressive resistance training or challenging balance/mobility training (>1/week) in last 6 months.
    • Does not have lower limbs orthopaedic conditions (e.g., injuries) preventing the performance of lower body movement and tasks.
    • Are not currently undertaking medications affecting the serotonergic and/or noradrenergic systems (e.g., Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and beta-blockers).
    • Have not received recent (last 6 months) medication treatment influencing muscle mass and strength (e.g., cancer-related chemotherapy, hormone replacement therapy and anabolic steroids),
    • Are able to speak or read English.
    • Do not report any cognitive impairments

    You will be asked to attend a single assessment session at Deakin University in Burwood, for approximately 3 hours. All the assessments are non-invasive and painless. During your visit to Deakin, we will:

    • Assess your lower leg muscle strength and activity using electrodes placed on your skin;
    • Assess your body composition (e.g., muscle and fat mass);
    • Ask you to perform simple tasks e.g., sitting, standing, and walking and measure your grip strength;
    • Ask you to complete some simple questionnaires.

    Compensation offered:

    • You will receive a body composition and muscle strength report once you complete the study.

    Click here to view the study PLS and consent forms.

    Contact details for further information:

    Dr Lucas Orssatto,

  • Teens and parents: we want to hear from you about the physical activities you enjoy!

    Physical inactivity is a significant public health concern with only 20 percent of 5-17 year olds meeting the Australian guideline of 60 mins of physical activity every day.

    Our researchers are inviting adolescents (12-17 years) and parents in Victoria to come together to help get young people moving more.

    Participants will be invited to a workshop, along with other adolescents and parents, to create opportunities for fun physical activities in the community.

    Researchers will record the workshop discussions and report on the findings.

    By taking part in this study, you will help us to understand what motivates young people to be active, and how local governments may determine the best ways to increase opportunities for physical activity in the community.

    All participants will receive a $50 gift card after attending the workshop.

    Click here for more information or to sign up.

    For more information, contact Dr Jiani Ma

    This study has received Deakin University ethics approval (reference number: HEAG-H: 156_2023)

  • Help shape an exercise program designed specifically for females with type 2 diabetes!

    Are you female, aged 18 years or older and living with type 2 diabetes in Australia?

    We want to better understand what motivates or prevents you from exercising and how can we create an exercise program that works for you.

    What’s involved?

    • Complete a 20-minute anonymous online survey about your exercise experiences and preferences.
    • You can also choose to join two small focus groups, held in person at our Deakin University Burwood Campus and over Zoom, to help us develop an exercise program that meets your needs and preferences.
    • We’ll then invite your feedback on the proposed exercise program through a second 20-minute anonymous online survey.

    Participants will receive a $10 gift voucher upon completion of each survey, and an additional $20 voucher for each focus group.

    To participate, scan the QR code or go to

    For more information, contact Ms. Sian O’Gorman:

  • Exercise Practitioners: Help test a new digital health technology for remote monitoring of strength training.

    We are seeking enthusiastic exercise practitioners to join our research project focusing on remote assessment and monitoring of resistance exercise.

    Study Details:

    • Activity – Remote resistance exercise monitoring
    • Method – 4 x remote monitoring appointments
    • Duration – 4 x <90 min sessions, 20 min survey, <45 min interview
    • Location – Deakin University, Burwood, Victoria or remotely


    • Must be at least 18 years old
    • Accredited Exercise Scientist/ Accredited Exercise Physiologist (ESSA)

    Click here for more information or to sign up.

     Contact Information:    
    For more information, contact Dr Jonathan Rawstorn (+61 3 924 68461) or Tevita Peu (0434 946 442)


    This study has received Deakin University ethics approval (reference number: HEAG-H 174_2023)

  • Interested in strength training? Help test a new digital health technology for remote monitoring.

    We are seeking people to join our research project investigating remote assessment and monitoring of resistance exercise.

    Study Details:

    Participants will be asked to participate in a single session of resistance exercises, which will be recorded on video. The session is expected to take around 60 minutes and can be conducted either at Deakin University, Burwood, or at your home.

    Participant requirements:    

    • Must be at least 18 years old
    • Healthy with no physical limitations
    • Ability to perform resistance exercises
    • Experience in performing resistance exercise (>3 months)
    • English proficient

    Click here for more information or to sign up.

    Contact Information:    
    For more information, contact Dr Jonathan Rawstorn (+61 3 924 68461) or Tevita Peu (0434 946 442)


    This study has received Deakin University ethics approval (reference number: HEAG-H 174_2023)



  • Help us develop a new digital tool to support individuals with heart failure

    We’re seeking participants with heart failure to help us design and develop a new digital tool to support self-care of the condition.


    • Natively speak any one of the Indian native languages (Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Odia, Punjabi. Assamese, Maithili, Bhojpuri, Santali, Kashmiri, Sindhi, Konkani, Manipuri, Khasi) and English.
    • Have been diagnosed with heart failure
    • Aged 18 and above
    • Living in Australia

    What’s Involved? 

    Participants need to attend three online workshops (1-2 hours each) within two months. The workshops will be conducted via Zoom.

    Participants will receive a $100 Woolworths e-voucher for their participation and completion of these workshops.

    Click here for more information or to sign up.

    For more information, contact Ann Sebastian:

  • Teachers: Help us improve student outcomes by engaging all types of learners through movement


    TransformUs is an evidence-based program for school principals and classroom teachers who want to get their students more active throughout the day.

    Active learning is great for teachers and students alike – it’s been shown to help keep students on task and engaged. It is also strongly aligned with practice principles for excellence in teaching.

    The program has been highly successful in primary schools, and now TransformUs is now available for secondary schools.

    Benefits for teachers:

    • Improve student mental health and wellbeing
    • Free access to hundreds of resources e.g., (video, materials, example of active break/lesson)
    • Online professional learning that is mapped against current teaching standards, to contribute towards teachers’ annual continuing professional development (CPD) requirements
    • Online implementation support network that schools can access an online forum to share program implementation strategies and ways of overcoming barriers

    What’s involved:

    • Register via the TransformUs website here
    • Access the FREE resources and online training and learn about program adoption, implementation, and sustainability
    • Participate in our research by taking a survey after registration
      • Complete a second follow up survey/interview (in 6 months time)
      • Click here for more information or to sign up.


    For more information, contact: