Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Briony welcomes expressions of interest in PhD projects relating to weight stigma, lifestyle, behaviour change and psychosocial wellbeing in preconception women.


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Briony Hill (Glidden) is an ARC DECRA Fellow (2023-25).

She completed her PhD in Health Psychology in 2015 at Deakin University, Australia, exploring a psychosocial and behaviour change approach to preventing excessive gestational weight gain. For her thesis, she was awarded an Alfred Deakin Medal for Doctoral Thesis and an Australian Psychological Society (APS) Health College Award for Excellent Higher Degree Thesis in Health Psychology. Briony received an Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in 2016 and completed an NHMRC Early Career Fellowship (2017-2022) in the area of preconception wellbeing based in the Health and Social Care Unit, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine. 

Research interests

Briony's research interests centre on weight stigma before (preconception), during (antenatal) and after pregnancy (postpartum). Briony also has a strong interest in health behaviour change and psychosocial wellbeing (including depressive, anxiety and stress symptoms, body image, and coping skills) and understanding the mechanisms that lead to the attainment of healthy diet and physical activity practices and weight for women during their reproductive years. She also applies an Ecological Systems Theory lens to her research to recognise the broader impacts on weight management that extend through the community, society and government. As part of this work, Briony is one of only a small handful of researchers globally, pursuing research to understand how we can eradicate weight stigma at all levels to reduce the burden and blame on women across the reproductive life phase; she is perhaps the first researcher globally to begin exploring this topic in preconception women. She is an advocate for co-design methods in her research, to ensure relevant stakeholders have their say in the development and implementation of interventions to meet their needs.

Briony's PhD students are central to this work: Ms Pragya Kandel is exploring the motivations for diet and physical activity behaviour change among preconception women. Ms Seonad Madden (Universty of Tasmania in collaboration with Monash University) is co-designing a workplace digital health promotion intervention to asisst working women across the preconception, pregnancy and postpartum periods with their health and wellbeing. Ms Haimanot Hailu and Ms Michelle Dever are investigating weight stigma against and experienced by women across the preconception, pregnancy and postpartum periods using a socioecological approach. Ms Chloe Tran is investigating weight stigma against preconception women from the perspectives of healthcare providers. Ms Ravisha Jayawickrama (Curtin University) is exploring weight stigma in healthcare students.

Supervision interests

Briony is currently supervising students across the field of health in preconception and pregnancy (HIPP), with a focus on weight stigma, behaviour change, and psychosocial wellbeing. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Research area keywords

  • Maternal obesity
  • Preconception
  • Pregnancy
  • Gestational weight gain
  • Health behaviour change
  • Psychosocial wellbeing
  • Postpartum
  • Lifestyle behaviours
  • Weight stigma

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or