HDR Scholarship - Psychology and Public Health Research

Applications now open. Several PhD scholarships are available to research Psychology and Public Health


Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus

Research topic

Forty per cent of Australian children in low socioeconomic position communities commence school with significant neurocognitive vulnerability, perpetuating a cycle of poor educational attainment, limited opportunities and adverse health outcomes across the life course.

Despite a clear need for evidence to correct this public health and moral imperative, these families are dramatically underrepresented in most birth cohort studies. A team of leading researchers from Deakin University and Barwon Health, led by Professor Peter Vuillermin, is offering PhD stipends for graduate researchers to work on an exciting program of research to study adverse early life neurocognition in low socioeconomic position communities.

Successful applicants will be hosted by the School of Psychology, with co-supervision across the Schools of Psychology, Health and Social Development and the Deakin University School of Medicine. Candidates who live or work in the Barwon region are particularly encouraged to apply.

Project aim

The research program will address a glaring gap in current knowledge and inform biologically targeted strategies for primary prevention of neurocognitive vulnerability. The focus of these scholarships will include the role of maternal diet, microbiome, and systemic inflammation in maternal postnatal depression or anxiety, and infant behaviour. The supervisory team has capacity and interest in observational cohort and mechanistic studies, and so encourage applicants with a range of training and experience.

Important dates

Applications close 5pm, Tuesday 15 February 2022


This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $28,900 per annum tax exempt (2022 rate)
  • Relocation allowance of $500-1500 (for single to family) for students moving from interstate
  • International students only:  Tuition fees offset for the duration of 4 years. Single Overseas Student Health Cover policy for the duration of the student visa.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must:

  • be either a domestic or international candidate. Domestic includes candidates with Australian Citizenship, Australian Permanent Residency or New Zealand Citizenship.
  • meet Deakin's PhD entry requirements
  • be enrolling full time and hold an honours degree (first class) or an equivalent standard master's degree with a substantial research component.

Please refer to the research degree entry pathways page for further information.

Additional desirable criteria include:

  • Experience working with teams comprised of different disciplines, including basic and applied science, and/or clinicians (medical, nursing and midwifery, allied health).
  • Interest in pregnant people’s health, well-being, and mental health
  • Experience working with vulnerable or disadvantaged populations
  • An ability to work collaboratively and collegiately with peers in support of common goals
  • Excellent time-management skills and strong research methods knowledge

How to apply

Please apply using the Find a Research Supervisor tool


Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact Professor Amanda Wood or Prof Peter Vuillermin

Prof Amanda Wood
Email Prof Amanda Wood
+61 3 924 46740

Prof Peter Vuillermin
Email Prof Peter Vuillermin