HDR Scholarship - Peer-led mental health support for farmers

Applications now open. A PhD scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'Peer-led mental health support for farmers'.

Project Supervisor


National Centre for Farmer Health (Hamilton, Victoria, Australia)

Research topic

Farmers face a range of contextually-influenced situational factors that negatively influence mental health and suicide risk. Most farmers live in communities in which access to evidence-based face-to-face mental health support is limited. Where support is available, providers may have poor understanding of the realities of life and work in the farming environment. The unique barriers to support seeking identified in farming communities may be a barrier to people seeking support, particularly when they have a negative support seeking experience. Working with farmers to co-design an approach for delivering peer-led support may be one solution to increase accessibility to evidenced-based, appropriate and acceptable mental health support for farmers living with depression or low mood.

Project aim

The research will build on initial co-design findings to test the feasibility of peer-led evidence-based mental health support to enhance wellbeing in members of the farming community experiencing mental distress.

Important dates

Applications will remain open until a candidate has been appointed


This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $33,500 per annum tax exempt (2023 rate)
  • Relocation allowance of $500-1500 (for single to family) for students moving from interstate

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must:

  • be a domestic 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.
  • required to be located at the office of the National Centre for Farmer Health in Hamilton, Victoria.

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

Additional desirable criteria include:

  • A demonstrated understanding of life and work in a farming community
  • Demonstrated community engagement experience
  • Previous mental health experience (employment, research or lived experience)

How to apply

Please email a CV and cover letter to A/Prof Alison Kennedy. The CV should highlight your skills, education, publications and relevant work experience. If you are successful you will then be invited to submit a formal application.

Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact A/Prof Alison Kennedy

A/Prof Alison Kennedy
Email A/Prof Alison Kennedy
+61 3 5551 8533