Student Research Opportunities

Project Details

There are a range of additional research questions, topics and short-term projects suitable for students that could be hosted in Population Interventions Unit. Below is a list of the current projects PI is working on.

Centre for Research Excellence on Achieving the Tobacco Endgame (NHMRC funded CRE)

This CRE aims to develop the evidence base for endgame strategies and will identify the most promising policies that could end the tobacco epidemic in Australia, and beyond. Our ambitious goal is to determine the optimal mix of strategies that will help Australia become a smoke free nation and produce a roadmap which outlines how to achieve a smoke free Australia.

This centre brings together a multidisciplinary team of experts in health policy, behavioural science, epidemiology, biostatistics, law, health economics, Indigenous health, environmental health, psychology, and mental health and substance use disorders from institutions in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, and  is committed to contributing to research training and development of the next generation of public health research leaders. For more information on this centre please visit the official website.

The Population Interventions Unit contribution to this CRE will be in two areas:

  • Causal inference analyses of existing data, especially longitudinal data.  For example, repeated measures on participants in ITC studies (International Tobacco Control) to determine ‘causes’ for people to take up vaping. Methods used here will blend contemporary counterfactual approaches to epidemiology (e.g. G-computation, marginal structural models, causal mediation analysis), blended with econometrics.
  • Simulation modelling on future health gains and costs of tobacco control interventions.  For example, are tobacco taxes inequality widening or narrowing between socioeconomic groups and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Aboriginal people? Methods used here will include processes to select, conceptualize and specify interventions, rapid reviews, simulation modelling (e.g. using our proportional multistate lifetable), and policy engagement.

Australia New Zealand Health Intervention League Table (ANZ-HILT)

In collaboration with BODE3, University of Otago, we have assembled 100s of Australasian evaluations of public health intervention impacts on health gains (in quality/disability/health adjusted life years), health system costs and cost-effectiveness. ANZ-HILT allows you to compare interventions on health gain, cost and cost-effectiveness, for many interventions evaluated by BODE3. It enables researchers and policy-makers to get an informed 'first impression' of which health interventions to give further consideration.

The league table has proved a useful starting point for discussions with all of health professionals, researchers and policy makers – few people have much quantitative understanding of the relative magnitude of health impacts of a salt tax versus dietary counselling, or smart phone apps for quitting versus a colorectal cancer screening programme.  Yet this is exactly the information we expect prioritization of policy and research to be based upon.

Going forward, PI aims to extend this league table in the following ways:

  • adding new Australian and NZ interventions
  • including comparable evaluations from other countries, such as the UK
  • adding new outputs for evaluations, such as:
    • productivity costs
    • health gains and costs in the first 10, and 10 to 20 years, after intervention commencement.

National Health and Medical Research Council Centre for Research Excellence in Healthy Housing.

The Healthy Housing CRE is a 5-year project funded by the NHMRC from 2020-2025. It involves over 20 researchers from across Australia and the world.

‚ÄčA quarter of Australia’s disease burden is comprised of cardiovascular disease, COPD, anxiety, depression, asthma, falls and injury. All such health issues have been at least partly attributed to housing. While other high-income countries have actively and successfully used housing to reduce their burden of disease, Australian policy and research has failed to bridge disciplinary silos.

Through the collaboration and connections encapsulated in the Centre, this 5-year project will deliver new knowledge through three interconnected research streams that focus on housing over the life course, quantifying the health gains of housing focused interventions and measuring and responding to the complexity of exposure to housing.

The Centre for Research Excellence will leave a legacy of creating the right conditions to answer emerging questions in a timely way - clearly demonstrating the benefits of interdisciplinary applied research that is necessary for successful integrated knowledge translation (e.g. understanding the health benefits of improving public housing) whilst fostering the creation of the next generation of healthy housing researchers equipped with knowledge and partnerships to take the Centre’s research impact forward. For more information please visit the official website.


To express interest in any of the above projects, please contact population.interventions@unimelb.edu.au.

The following should be supplied with your query:

  • Academic CV including relevant skills and experience
  • Academic transcripts of your undergraduate/postgraduate studies
  • Confirmation of current location (are you in Australia?)
  • A statement of interest in the research topic, including aspects of the project and research questions that interest you
  • Proposed project preferences and context (e.g. masters project, PhD*, full-time, part-time, intended start date, etc)
  • Citizenship/visa details for Higher Degree Research applicants.

To undertake a PhD, you will need to meet the University of Melbourne criteria for entry (and scholarship if seeking funding support). There may be opportunities for a stipend top up, for certain projects.

Research Opportunities

This research project is available to PhD students, Masters by Research, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science, Post Doctor Researchers to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the Research Group Leader to discuss your options.

Research Group




Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

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