Child and Adolescent Health PhD Program


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The Child and Adolescent PhD Program is a supplementary learning opportunity to enrich your graduate research experience. The program offers an opportunity to share your research with other disciplines and expand your peer network.

You can find existing Graduate Research courses using our Find a Course search.


The Child and Adolescent Health PhD Program complements your PhD studies. Participating in the program will enhance your graduate research experience, assist with timely completion and develop your future career options.

As a participant, you will join more than 200 graduate researchers at the Melbourne Children’s Campus. This campus is a fully integrated paediatric teaching hospital, University department and research institute. Our research streams include:

  • cell biology
  • genetics
  • clinical sciences
  • population health
  • infection and immunity.

We undertake multidisciplinary research in the following areas:

  • clinical trials
  • genomics
  • stem cell medicine
  • global health
  • life-course (longitudinal population) studies
  • health services research
  • digital health
  • data science.

What are the key benefits of the program?

Through the Child and Adolescent PhD Program, you will:

  • learn to ask scientific questions and design research projects
  • learn how to translate discoveries into practice
  • understand how your research intersects with other disciplines that seek to improve child and adolescent health
  • understand the changing health needs across the life course
  • understand the importance of being a child health advocate
  • understand the health system in which your research is situated
  • have opportunities to work with an industry partner on a research challenge.


While you undertake your PhD, you will have the opportunity to participate in a coordinated training program. You will gain knowledge in a broad range of disciplines. These include global health, genomics, bioinformatics, health services research and digital health.

Develop your research capability

  • ethics of research with children and adolescents
  • qualitative research methods
  • clinical trial design and research in child and adolescent populations
  • managing data and privacy
  • biostatistics
  • translating research into health outcomes

Hone your writing and communication skills

  • social media skills
  • engaging with the media
  • data presentation
  • publishing your research

Acquire transferable skills that will accelerate your career

  • progress planning and project management
  • teamwork and collaboration
  • time management


We offer internships for eligible graduate researchers. If successful, you will receive a stipend to work with an industry partner for three to five months.

Melbourne Children’s Campus Research Students Association (RSA)

You can join the Melbourne Children’s Campus Research Students Association (RSA). This is a student-led body supported by the Department of Paediatrics and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. The association:

  • provides academic and social support for all research students on the Melbourne Children’s Campus
  • organises frequent social events, workshops and opportunities for students to showcase their work
  • represents students on Melbourne Children’s Campus committees
  • represents the Melbourne Children’s Campus at University of Melbourne events
  • organises the Postgraduate Retreat and manages the Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT) sessions.

Peer mentoring

As a new graduate researcher, you can sign up to the peer mentoring program. This program links new graduate researchers with students in their second or third year.

The experience

Our PhD Program will enrich your PhD experience. You will join a large and active group of graduate researchers working towards a doctorate in child and adolescent health.

You will form connections with peers, clinicians and researchers. These connections will expose you to a broad range of health-related disciplines. And your wide network will also improve your career prospects.

We will help you develop research capabilities specific to child and adolescent health. And skills in communication and project management to use in your future career.

As a member of the graduate researcher group, you will help shape the program and activities on offer.

Recent PhD graduates have won the following awards:

  • A competitive fellowship to undertake groundbreaking genomic research at Yale University
  • A national Public Sector Innovation Award for a new digital platform. This platform monitors pharmaceutical supplies in lower resource countries.
  • The Gustav Nossal Award, for the highest ranked application for an NHMRC Postgraduate Scholarship in the field of medical and dental research.


To take part, you must be enrolled in a PhD at the University of Melbourne. You must be undertaking your research at the Melbourne Children’s Campus.

When you join the program, you will remain enrolled in your current department.

You can join a PhD Program at any time during your candidature. You will remain part of the Program until you complete your doctoral studies.

If you’re a current University of Melbourne PhD candidate

  • If you are enrolled through the Department of Paediatrics, you will be enrolled automatically in the Child and Adolescent Health PhD Program.
  • Otherwise, talk with your supervisor about participating.
  • Contact the PhD Program Officer.

If you want to apply for a PhD at the University of Melbourne

First published on 21 February 2022.

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