IPAN Research Excellence Program

It’s never too early to start thinking about your future. The IPAN Research Excellence Program has been designed to help put emerging research stars on the path to a rewarding career.

High-performing second, third or fourth-year students enrolled in Deakin University’s School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences may be eligible to apply for the IPAN Research Excellence Program.  

The 12-week program offers selected students the opportunity to embed themselves within IPAN’s thriving research environment, which spans four research domains – Biology of health and disease; Preventing and managing chronic conditions; Healthy active living; and Food, nutrition and health – as well as the Baker-Deakin Department of Lifestyle and Diabetes; and the Centre for Sport Research.

Hands-on experience

Participation in the IPAN Research Excellence Program provides an immersive, practical research journey that unveils the extensive scope of physical activity and nutrition research within the Institute.

Guided by world-renowned research leaders, students will have access to invaluable insights into diverse career pathways and strategies for early career planning in the research field.

Successful applicants will have the chance to be directly involved in hands-on activities in the research environment, which may include:

  • engaging with researchers in team meetings,
  • data collection as part of live research projects,
  • research laboratory workshops/demonstrations, and
  • the opportunity to develop and present your own research idea/project in a conference environment.

Students will gain valuable research experience and access to networking opportunities, to provide a smooth transition into a thriving research career.

What’s involved?

Successful applicants are required to attend a 2-hour workshop each week over a 3-month period starting in mid-July.

Workshops will include interactive discussions focusing on the various aspects of a research career, including different career pathways and job prospects. Additionally, there will be discussions and hands-on demonstrations facilitated by various research domains, centre, and department housed within IPAN. Furthermore, professional development workshops will be offered to assist applicants in identifying a research topic, crafting a research proposal, and preparing for a conference presentation.

Students who have attended all workshops (unless there are extenuating circumstances) and completed and presented their research proposal at the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences Research Symposium will receive a $1500 payment in recognition for their time in the program.

Application criteria

Students interested in hands-on research experience are encouraged to apply for this competitive program. Eligibility criteria includes:

  • High-performing second, third or fourth-year student (achieving average marks of 75% or greater) enrolled in courses or majors with Deakin University’s School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences (including double degrees), and
  • Able to commit to participate for two hours each week over a 3-month period (mid-July to mid-October).

How to apply

Applications for the 2024 program have now closed. Up to 10 places will be offered to students who meet the eligibility criteria.

Download the application form

For further information please contact the program coordinators at and monitor this page for updates.

A/Prof Natalie Lander and Dr Lewan Parker, IPAN Excellence Scholarship Program coordinators