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:

  • 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 (   


  • Eating in context study

    The study aims to understand the ways through which individual and everyday factors affect food choices at different eating occasions, and how this impacts health.

    Participants must be:

    • Aged between 18 and 64 years
    • Living in Victoria, Australia
    • Not currently pregnant or breastfeeding
    • Own a smartphone, desktop computer, laptop, or tablet with internet access
    • Can communicate confidently in English (e.g. speak, read, and write English)

    Participation involves:

    • Completing an online survey.
    • Visit to a research clinic at Deakin University, Burwood Campus to measure your height, weight, waist circumference and blood pressure.
    • Wearing a physical activity monitor, use of a wearable camera, completion of three online 24-hour food recalls and a fasting blood sample collection at your local clinic during the week following your clinic visit.

    Upon completion of all components, participants will be given a $30 shopping voucher for their participation.

    For more information or to register, click here. 

    Eating in Context Study Contact Details

    Phone: 03 9246 8324


    This study has received Deakin University ethics approval (reference number: 2021-267)

  • Is impaired muscle blood flow linked to type 2 diabetes?

    Researchers from the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition at Deakin University and the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute are investigating whether impaired blood flow through small blood vessels in skeletal muscle is linked to exercise intolerance and poor blood sugar control.

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

    • Aged 40–80 years.
    • Have type 2 diabetes and are treated with diet alone or medicated with hypoglycaemic agents (medications to reduce blood glucose) for a minimum of 3 months.
    • Are not taking insulin to control your blood sugar levels.

    What is required of you?

    • 6 visits to Deakin University and 3 months of home-based exercise training or usual care.
    • Undergo a variety of tests, including:
      • X-ray body composition analysis.
      • Maximal exercise testing.
      • Ultrasound assessments.
      • Venous blood sampling.
      • Muscle sampling.

    Participants will either receive a free heart rate monitoring strap or the equivalent value gift card ($150) for their time.

    For further information, please contact:

    Dr Hannah Thomas:

    Dr Lewan Parker:, +61 3 9246 8740

    A/Prof Michelle Keske:, +61 3 9246 8850

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

    This study aims to investigate the impact of eating high fat, high calorie snacks over seven days on blood sugar control and blood flow in muscle and fat tissue.

    Are you 18-45 years old with no dietary allergies or 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 scan).
    • Ingestion of a liquid mixed meal followed by blood sampling and lipid infusion.
    • Ultrasound measurement of the arm/thigh and abdomen region.
    • Wearing a face mask/mouthpiece to measure oxygen and fuel metabolism.
    • High fat, high calorie snacks prescribed by a dietitian to eat at home over seven days.
    • Three visits to Deakin University (Burwood campus) for approximately half a day each time.

    Participants will receive:

    • Free information on your fat mass, fat free mass and bone density
    • Free information on your glucose levels, blood lipids and insulin sensitivity
    • A $150 supermarket gift card as reimbursement for your time and travel expenses (to Deakin Burwood campus).

    To register or for more information, please contact Dr Gunveen Kaur, Senior Lecturer in Nutritional Sciences

  • What are young Australian adults’ views and factors leading towards their consumption of unhealthy foods?

    Our researchers want to understand young adults’ views and their consumption of unhealthy foods

    You can participate in this study if you are:

    • 18-30 years old
    • Living in Australia
    • Living with housemate(s) in a shared household

    Complete a 20–30-minute online survey and choose to enter a draw to win one of twenty $50 vouchers.

    Find out more:

    For further information, contact Krupa Kombanda, PhD candidate

    This project has received Deakin University Ethics approval [HEAG-H 215_2021]

  • 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 : 


  • Understanding blood flow through the smallest blood vessels in the muscle

    Measuring blood flow in the capillaries of the muscle is of utmost importance as this is where oxygen, sugar and other nutrients are delivered to a working muscle. How to do this is technically challenging, so this project will compare two approaches to make this easier for clinicians and sport scientists.

    We are looking for

    • males and females 18-40 years of age
    • Have a body mass index (BMI) below 25 (calculate your BMI here)

    What is required:

    An ultrasound will measure blood flow through the thigh muscle at rest, after heating the muscle for 5 min and during knee exercise. Participants will be required to visit Deakin’s Burwood campus on two occasions for no longer than 2 hours.

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

  • Can antioxidants improve blood flow and metabolism of high sugar drinks?

    IPAN researchers are investigating whether antioxidant treatment can improve blood flow and metabolism of a high-sugar drink in healthy adults.

    If you are interested and can attend two testing sessions at Deakin University, Burwood campus, contact

  • 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


  • INfant Feeding, Active play and NuTrition (INFANT) program and My Baby Now app

    INFANT and the My Baby Now app have been designed to help parents and families with healthy eating and active play from the start of their baby’s life.

    INFANT researchers at the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN) are looking for families to help evaluate the INFANT program (sessions and/or app, called My Baby Now). This evaluation will be used to enhance the usefulness of support available to parents/ caregivers regarding the health of their baby.

    Who can be involved:

    • first time parent with a baby younger than 4 months old
    • baby born at 37 or more weeks gestation
    • parent at least 18 years old
    • parent living in Victoria
    • Interested in being contacted about the evaluation surveys at 12 and 18 months.

    What is involved?

    • Sign-up to the free My Baby Now App and opt to participate in the evaluation.
    • Parents and caregivers living in local government areas providing the INFANT program may be invited to attend INFANT group sessions when their baby is around 3, 6, 9 and 12 months old.
    • Parents and caregivers who opted to participate in the evaluation will be invited to complete 2 online surveys, one when their child is around 12 months old and another when their child is 18 months old.
    • Each survey will take around 20-30 minutes to complete and will ask about infant feeding, activities, and questions about the parent/caregiver.

     What participants will receive? Parents and caregivers will have access to up-to-date and trusted information about feeding and active play, for giving their baby the best start to life. Additionally, parents and caregivers who opt to be involved in our research will also receive a $10 grocery voucher for each completed survey at 12 and 18 months (two total) as compensation for their time.

    Interested? Sign up for the My Baby Now App

    You can also download the app from the App Store or Google Play and register for a new account.

    For further information please contact the INFANT research team at

  • TransformUs Secondary Schools Workshops

    The TransformUs Secondary School Workshops aim to develop school-based strategies to promote physical activity and reduce sedentary time in Australian secondary school students.

    We are looking for year 7-10 secondary school students, secondary school teachers and school leaders, academics, and stakeholders from across Australia (excluding Victoria) to take part in a 3-hour co-design workshop that will be conducted via video-conference (i.e., Zoom). You will receive a $20 voucher to compensate you for your time.

    With your help, the co-design workshops will explore the different ways to make Australian secondary schools more active.


    Click this link if you are a STUDENT:

    Click this link if you are a TEACHER, SCHOOL LEADER, ACADEMIC or STAKEHOLDER:

    For more information, please email

  • Nut butter study

    Researchers at the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN) are investigating whether eating nut butter can improve the health of older adults.

    If you are aged 60 years or over, we invite you to participate in our research study.

    Volunteers will be required to visit Deakin Burwood twice over 12 weeks, and our researchers will:

    • measure your weight, height, waist and blood pressure
    • ask you to perform simple tasks e.g. sitting, standing, walking
    • ask you to complete some simple questionnaires and provide two fasting blood samples.

    You will receive $50 gift voucher for your time if you complete the study.

    To enquire or participate, email

  • 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 two 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 6 hours spread out over the two 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:


  • 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  

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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