Graduate Research

A higher degree by research is a way of exploring health inequalities in greater depth.

Students may also wish to undertake a PhD focusing on gender and women's health.  

Our Senior Research Fellows are available for PhD supervision.

More information on undertaking a graduate research degree at the University of Melbourne is available on the Future Students Website.

Current PhD Students

Zoe Aitken  -  How do demographic and socioeconomic characteristics influence the effect of disability acquisition on mental health?

Individuals who develop a disability experience substantial mental health deterioration; however, the extent of the deterioration varies among this group. My PhD thesis aims to form a better understanding of how people’s demographic and socioeconomic circumstances influence the effect of disability acquisition on mental health, in particular to identify protective factors which decrease the probability of experiencing poor mental health outcomes.

Supervisors: Prof Anne Kavanagh, Prof Julie Simpson, A/Prof Rebecca Bentley

Funding: Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship and a National Health and Medical Research Council Postgraduate Scholarship.


Alex Devine  -  The life circumstances of job seekers with psychosocial disability and their engagement with Disability Employment Services.

Supervisors: Professor Anne Kavanagh and Dr Cathy Vaughan

Australians with disabilities are less likely to have access to employment compared to people without disabilities (53.4% vs 83.2%), of which, persons with psychosocial disability have the lowest labour force participation rates (29%) and the highest unemployment rate (19%). This study aims to explore whether and how the life circumstances of job seekers with psychosocial disability are influenced by their engagement with government funded Disability Employment Services (DES) providers. This study is taking place in the context of forthcoming reforms to the DES sector which will be introduced in July 2018.

Funding source: PhD Scholarship funded through the Improving Disability Employment Study with support from research partner Ostara Australia

Liz Gill-Atkinson  -  How do women with disability in the Philippines understand  and experience participatory research practice.

Supervisors: Professor Marilys Guillemin and Dr Cathy Vaughan

Hala Nasr -  Sexual trauma and resettlement: Syrian refugee women and their stories of survival

Shaun Harrison - Responses to sexual violence against adolescent boys in humanitarian emergencies

Christina Marie Habito - Understanding adolescent pregnancy and parenthood in the Philippines: a mixed methods study

Liz Comrie-Thompson - Why might men's involvement in maternal, newborn and child health improve health outcomes?

Samantha Mannix - Gender equity, social transformations and education: Researching the prevention of gender based violence in the school setting

Lila Masood  - Understanding hope, resilience, strengths and well-being: an ethnographic study of young Pasifika women in Melbourne  

Emily Munro-Harrison - Urban Invisibility: Identities of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in urban Victoria

Alicia Yon - Recognition, redistribution and redress: Gender and disability in the context of violence prevention