The politics of implementation, scale up and sustainability in physical activity

Project supervisor(s)

Associate Professor Harriet Koorts



Successful scale-up of physical activity interventions is fundamental to equitable and sustainable population health improvement. Globally, issues surrounding the effective implementation and sustainability of physical activity interventions are well-documented, however, to date, there has been a lack of focus on the role of politics in implementation and scale-up outcomes. This is particularly problematic as an abundance of evidence-based interventions have developed to promote population activity, and yet Australia remains one of the most physically inactive countries in the world. Politics and political decision making plays a critical role in outcomes of interventions intended for implementation at scale, including their sustainability and embeddedness in real-world contexts (i.e., ‘successful scale up’).

This PhD will involve synthesising the current literature on the role of politics on implementation, scale up and sustainability outcomes of physical activity interventions globally, and collecting new data on the mechanisms affecting implementation and scale up sustainability. The PhD will involve mixed methods, including systems analysis approaches. This PhD will also provide the opportunity to collaborate nationally and internationally.

Project aim

To identify the role of politics (i.e., political climate and political will) on the implementation, scale up and sustainability of population physical activity interventions at scale.


  • Applicants must meet Deakin’s PhD entry requirements, be enrolling full time and hold an Honours degree (First Class) or an equivalent standard Master’s degree with a substantial research component. Please refer to the entry pathways to higher degrees by research for further information.
  • The opportunity is open to domestic and international students
  • Applicants must hold a Bachelor’s degree with Honours or a Master’s degree with a substantial research component, or equivalent, in health promotion, political science, implementation science, public health, nutrition or exercise science.
  • Applicants must have experience in quantitative and qualitative methodology.
  • Fluency in verbal and written English (evidence of English proficiency is required), highly motivated and able to work in a multidisciplinary team.
  • Previous research or practice-based experience in public health, government/non-government organisations, intervention implementation/evaluation, and/or health policy is desirable but not essential

How to Apply

Refer to our How to apply webpage for more information.

Back to PhD opportunities