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PhD projects

Australian Lifestyle of our Kids (LOOK) longitudinal project in physical activity relationships with nutrition, cardiology, psychological stress, depression, motivation, bone health, risk factors for chronic disease

1980 …2023

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Student Projects Available

1. Active Early Learning (AEL) physical activity based curriculum in Australian Early Learning Centres: a randomized controlled trial 

2. The PEPL approach Physical Education and Physical Literacy curriculum development in Australian Primary schools: a randomized controlled trial 

3. The LOOK study Australian Lifestyle of our Kids longitudinal study: the early adult phase. Areas of work include physical activity, nutrition, blood risk factors for chronic disease type II diabetes and CVD, body composition and obesity, ultrasound (echocardiography) heart and blood vessel structure and development, psychological markers of stress and depression, motivation for physical activity, motor skill, DXA bone measures, thyroid function


The career of Professor Richard (Dick) Telford AM PhD FACSM FSMA began in schools, teaching physical education and mathematics to secondary school children; followed by lecturing at Teachers’ College to prospective physical education teachers, and then to Physical Education, Sports Coaching and Nursing students at what is now called RMIT Melbourne.

For the last four decades, he has combined his research work in metabolic physiology, nutrition, and physical activity in children with hands-on sports science and coaching. Initially involving Australian Rules football and cricket as a player and coach in Victoria, including coaching/managing the Victorian Cricket team to two Sheffield Shield wins he accepted an invitation to take up the inaugural position in sports science at the AIS. Consequently in 1981 his sports science work switched to our Olympic and Commonwealth Games athletes, and he has coached Australia’s only Olympic marathon medallist and several Commonwealth games gold medallists, and physiologist to numerous Olympic medallists.

In his role in the University of Canberra Research Institute for Sport and Exercise, he is now also Research Director of the Lifestyle of our Kids (LOOK) project and published widely in science, medicine and physical education journals, with a recently published a book on the coaching science behind the preparation of distance runners titled “Running: through the looking glass.”

Professor Telford has been recognized for his work by his peers in being appointed a Fellow of both the American College of Sports Medicine and Sports Medicine Australia. He was recognised by the Australian Government in being awarded an Order of Australia in 1992 for his contribution to Sports and Sports Science, and by the sporting community in being was named Athletics Australia Coach of the Year and was an inductee of the Australian Sporting Hall of Fame in 2014 and the ACT Sporting Hall of Fame in 2018.


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

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Melbourne

Award Date: 1 Apr 1976

External positions

Board Member, Physical Activity Foundation

2 Mar 2020 → …

Athletic Coach, Bankstown and UC Ginninderra Athletics Clubs, Athletics Australia

1 Jan 2016 → …

Board Member , Indigenous Marathon Foundation


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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