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Designing Technology for Personalised Nutrition

   Department of Biomedical Engineering

   Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

This PhD investigates the design of technology to provide personalised nutrition advice. Non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease are major challenges globally, and can be addressed, in part, by eating a healthier diet. Yet, we know that general diet advice such as the "5 a day" campaign in the UK is largely ineffective. There is also evidence that personalised nutrition advice – that is, advice that is *tailored* to the person – can be more effective in changing people’s diet. There is scope within this project for designing new human-computer interfaces for capturing a person’s diet, researching methods for automatically deriving appropriate food-based recommendations that are tailored for that person, and/or designing technologies that can support people to adopt healthier diets. The project is a collaboration with the Human Nutrition Unit at the University of Reading.

School of Biological Sciences, University of Reading:

The University of Reading, located west of London, England, provides world-class research education programs. The University’s main Whiteknights Campus is set in 130 hectares of beautiful parkland, a 30-minute train ride to central London and 40 minutes from London Heathrow airport.  

Our School of Biological Sciences conducts high-impact research, tackling current global challenges faced by society and the planet. Our research ranges from understanding and improving human health and combating disease, through to understanding evolutionary processes and uncovering new ways to protect the natural world. In 2020, we moved into a stunning new ~£60 million Health & Life Sciences building. This state-of-the-art facility is purpose-built for science research and teaching. It houses the Cole Museum of Zoology, a café and social spaces.

In the School of Biological Sciences, you will be joining a vibrant community of ~180 PhD students representing ~40 nationalities. Our students publish in high-impact journals, present at international conferences, and organise a range of exciting outreach and public engagement activities.

During your PhD at the University of Reading, you will expand your research knowledge and skills, receiving supervision in one-to-one and small group sessions. You will have access to cutting-edge technology and learn the latest research techniques. We also provide dedicated training in important transferable skills that will support your career aspirations. If English is not your first language, the University's excellent International Study and Language Institute will help you develop your academic English skills.

The University of Reading is a welcoming community for people of all faiths and cultures. We are committed to a healthy work-life balance and will work to ensure that you are supported personally and academically.


Applicants should have a bachelor's (at least 2.1 or equivalent) or master's degree in Computer Science, Engineering, Human Computer Interaction or a strongly-related discipline. 

Applicants will also need to meet the University’s English Language requirements. We offer pre-sessional courses that can help with meeting these requirements.

How to apply:

Submit an application for a PhD in Biological Sciences at


Further information:  

Funding Notes

We welcome applications from self-funded students worldwide for this project.
If you are applying to an international funding scheme, we encourage you to get in contact as we may be able to support you in your application.


Fallaize R, Franco RZ, Hwang F, Lovegrove JA. Evaluation of the eNutri automated personalized nutrition advice by users and nutritional professionals in the UK. PLoS One. 2019 Apr 3;14(4):e0214931.
Zenun Franco, R., Fallaize, R., Hwang, F. and Lovegrove, J. A. (2019) Strategies for online personalised nutrition advice employed in the development of the eNutri web app. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 78 (3). pp. 407-417
Zenun Franco R, Fallaize R, Lovegrove JA, Hwang F. Online dietary intake assessment using a graphical food frequency app (eNutri): Usability metrics from the EatWellUK study. PLoS One. 2018 Aug 10;13(8):e0202006
Zenun Franco, R., Alawadhi, B., Fallaize, R., Lovegrove, J. A. and Hwang, F. (2017)A web-based graphical food frequency assessment system: design, development and usability metrics. Journal of Medical Internet Research Human Factors, 4 (2).  10.2196/humanfactors.7287

Franco, R. Z., Fallaize, R., Lovegrove, J. A. and Hwang, F. (2016) Popular nutrition-related mobile apps: a feature assessment. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 4 (3). e85

Please see further references on the following link:

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