New information following the change in COVID-19 alert levels.

Nutrition and Dietetics

Tackling malnutrition in aged residential care

Location: Auckland campus

Aged couple in retirement village

We're looking for a PhD candidate, with a background in nutrition who is interested in improving the health of older people. You will preferably have experience in dietary assessment and body composition measurement and want to undertake research in the field of aged care.

For this project, you will undertake a needs assessment and develop interventions to assess the effectiveness of food based, supplement and dining room interventions against nutritional, health and social (QOL) outcome measures among older adults in aged residential care.

Need for long-term care rises with age-related morbidity and disability, with some people unable to retain independence at home and moving into residential aged care. Sarcopenia, an age-related decline in muscle mass and function, is a significant health problem in older people with a high rate of adverse outcomes including falls and fractures. Additionally bone and muscle interact. With osteo-sarcopenia, there is a high prevalence of fat infiltration and falls, fractures, frailty and functional loss are further increased with significant burden on both individuals and the healthcare system. Nutrition is a modifiable factor however evidence based protocols to improve nutritional status, bone and muscle health in residential care are currently not available. Therefore the aim of this project is to assess the presence of sarcopenia and osteoporosis in volunteers in residential care; and secondly, to evaluate the effectiveness of food based, supplement and dining room interventions to improve nutrition, health and social status.


You must:

  • preferably have dietary assessment experience
  • be familiar with SPSS.
  • To be eligible for a scholarship, a minimum New Zealand GPA of 7.5 is required (approximately A- average; or >3.33 on USA GPA scale).

Closes 30 May 2020

Enquire now

Please send the following documents with your enquiry email:

  • Cover letter
  • CV with referees
  • Academic record.
  • Prof Carol Wham

    Prof Carol Wham

    Professor of Public Health Nutrition - School of Sport, Exercise and Nutrition


    Experienced dietitian with expertise in paediatric and gerontology nutrition, dietary assessment, longitudinal studies, dietetics and public health nutrition. A lead author for the Ministry of Health background papers for the Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Infants and Toddlers (2008) and Healthy Older people (2009). Expert reviewer of nutrients (protein, AMDR) for the NHMRC Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand (2005). Member of the NZ Dietitians Board 2007-2015 and Associate Editor of Nutrition and Dietetics since 2005. Awarded external research funding from the Health Research Council, the Ministry of Health and the National Heart Foundation.


Contact us Mon - Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey