PhD in Health Economics

Find out more about the PhD experience from:

Why study a PhD with the Health Economics Unit?

We are a world class group of researchers producing cutting-edge research of high quality and impact. We provide a diverse range of research interests. We hold close links with leading clinical research across the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, and other researchers forming part of the University of Melbourne Health Economics Group (UHMEG). The latter draws on those from the Nossal Institute, Melbourne Institute, and Department of Economics. We also work closely with the ISPOR Victorian Student Chapter to provide support to PhD students.

A particular strength of the Health Economics Unit is its collaborative relationship with clinicians and health care providers. This provides an applied lens to our research and access to rich patient datasets and clinical expertise. We have collaborative research projects across the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Royal Women’s Hospital, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Royal Children’s Hospital, Peter MacCallum Cancer Hospital, St Vincent’s Hospital, Austin Health, Western Health, Northern Health, Walter and Eliza Institute and Doherty Institute.

We provide an active and growing PhD program with structured mentoring and an active seminar series. A talented and dynamic current PhD cohort provides a great community of support and will enhance your PhD experience. We place a critical emphasis on the development of early career researchers and provide regular training and mentoring sessions. International visitors are regularly hosted and the unit has key collaborations with the University of Oxford, University of Michigan, University of Sheffield, University of Birmingham, University of York and University of Antwerp.

You can find further information about the Doctor of Philosophy - Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences here.

PhD opportunities are generally available through supporting application for a University of Melbourne postgraduate scholarship, although additional funds and stipends are sometimes available.  Further information is available here.

We look forward to hearing from you and discussing the opportunity to join our vibrant and talented PhD group.

For further information or to express interest please contact the Health Economics Group at

Associate Professor Kim Dalziel

Health Economics Unit
Centre for Health Policy

Current higher degree students

Rachel O’Loughlin, PhD Candidate

Research: Rachel’s PhD project is exploring concepts of value in children’s healthcare – specifically, examining the impacts of mental health and physical health comorbidity on children’s quality of life; comparing the validity and reliability of various quality of life measures in children; and examining how the use of these measures can add value in a clinical setting.

Start date: 05 October 2020


Marie-Anne Boujaoude, PhD Candidate

Research: This PhD project aims to develop and apply equity-based methods in the context of health technology appraisal in Australia. A methodological and empirical study of equity in economic evaluation will build upon 2 newly developed economic evaluation methods (DCEA and ECEA). This will contribute to an understanding of Australian health regulatory and reimbursement decisions through an equity lens.

Start date: May 2020


Lachlan Cameron, PhD Candidate

Lachlan is a PhD student whose research explores the relationship between psychological distress and problem gambling. He is developing a theoretical model of how environmental factors and attitudes towards gambling affect gambling behaviour, both the participation in gambling and the likelihood of developing problem gambling, which could help to inform policy on interventions for problem gambling. Lachlan will test the model empirically and use it explore the relationship between psychological distress and problem gambling.

Start date: Feb 2020


Emma Watts, PhD Candidate

Research: Emma’s postgraduate research will focus on vaccine programs in LMIC and include a distributional cost effectiveness analysis of rotavirus vaccine introduction in Indonesia. Additionally, within a study of severe health events in Lao, sources of household vulnerability to catastrophic health expenditure, and financial coping mechanisms will be explored.

Start date: February 2019

Xiuqin Xiong, PhD Candidate

Research: Children are the future and their health is very important.
Xiuqin's PhD project mainly focuses on the health economics of child health. At the current stage, Xiuqin is using the LSAC data to study the quality of life of children.

Start date: October 2019


Completed PhDs

Michelle Tew Advancing economic evaluation  methods for better medical decision making through real-world longitudinal data, 2020
Xinyang Hua Health economics and chronic disease, with a specific focus on diabetes, 2018
Chris Schilling Increasing the value from individual-level observational data: practical applications in health economics, 2017
Foruhar Moayeri Health-related quality of life; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and smoking, 2016
Rachel Knott Empirical studies in socioeconomic-related health inequalities, 2015
Thomas Lung Health economics, simulation modelling and Type 1 diabetes mellitus, 2015

Selected publications

Below are some selected publications of former graduate students undertaken while doing PhDs at the University of Melbourne:

TEW, M., DALZIEL, K., Thursky, K., Krahn, M., Abrahamyan, L., Morris, A. M., & CLARKE, P. (2021). Excess cost of care associated with sepsis in cancer patients: Results from a population-based case-control matched cohortPloS one16(8), e0255107.

TEW, M., DALZIEL, K., CLARKE, P., Smith, A., Choong, P. F., & Dowsey, M. (2020). Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs): can they be used to guide patient-centered care and optimize outcomes in total knee replacement?Quality of Life Research29(12), 3273-3283.

TEW, M., CLARKE, P., Thursky, K., & DALZIEL, K. (2019). Incorporating future medical costs: Impact on cost-effectiveness analysis in cancer patientsPharmacoEconomics37(7), 931-941.

HUA, X., ERREYGERS, G., Chalmers, J., Laba, T. L., & CLARKE, P. (2017). Using administrative data to look at changes in the level and distribution of out-of-pocket medical expenditure: An example using Medicare data from Australia. Health Policy. Early online.

HUA, X., McDermott, R., Lung, T., Wenitong, M., TRAN-DUY, A., Li, M., & CLARKE, P. (2017). Validation and recalibration of the Framingham cardiovascular disease risk models in an Australian Indigenous cohort. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. [Epub ahead of print].

SCHILLING, C., PETRIE, D., Dowsey, M. M., Choong, P. F., & CLARKE, P. (2017).The Impact of Regression to the Mean on Economic Evaluation in Quasi‚ÄźExperimental Pre–Post Studies: The Example of Total Knee Replacement Using Data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative. Health Economics. Volume 26(12).

MOAYERI, F., HSUEH, Y., CLARKE, P., & DUNT, D. (2016). Do Model-Based Studies in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Measure Correct Values of Utility? A Meta-Analysis. Value in Health. Jun;19(4):363-73.

ONG, JJ., Fairley, CK., Carroll, S., Walker, S., Chen, M., Read, T., ... & CLARKE, P. (2016). Cost-effectiveness of screening for anal cancer using regular digital ano-rectal examinations in men who have sex with men living with HIV. Journal of the International AIDS Society, 19(1).

LUNG, TW., CLARKE, PM., Hayes, AJ., Stevens, RJ., & Farmer, A. (2013). Simulating lifetime outcomes associated with complications for people with type 1 diabetes. Pharmacoeconomics, 31(6), 509-518.

KNOTT, R., Cass, A., Heeley, E., Chalmers, J., Peiris, D., & CLARKE, P. (2012). How fair is Medicare? The income-related distribution of Medicare benefits with special focus on chronic care items. Medical Journal of Australia, 197(11), 625-630.