Mental Health PhD Program

The Mental Health PhD Program is a supplementary learning opportunity to enrich your graduate research experience. The program offers a unique opportunity to share your research with other disciplines, within a supportive cohort experience. You will also have access to professional development activities specific for mental health research.

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

Logo for the Mental Health PhD program featuring stylised heads


A multidisciplinary PhD Program in Mental Health

This program brings together graduate researchers addressing mental health from diverse disciplinary perspectives, including:

  • Psychiatry
  • Psychology
  • Epidemiology and community mental health
  • History and philosophy of psychiatry
  • Psychiatric nursing
  • General practice
  • Paediatrics
  • Psychiatric nursing
  • Social work.

Launched in March 2018, the program is a joint initiative of the following schools and departments:

Our vision

Our goal is to provide a platform for all University of Melbourne PhD students who are researching mental health. Through this platform, they can connect, share and discover new disciplines. They can become fully-rounded researchers who can approach mental health from a multi-disciplinary perspective.

Host departments

School of Psychological Sciences

Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences is one of the most highly regarded schools of psychology in Australia. The School attracts some of the best students nationally and internationally to its broad range of APAC accredited undergraduate, graduate, professional, and research programs. The School's teaching is underpinned by excellence in research across a range of fields, including:

  • Cognitive and behavioural neuroscience
  • Quantitative psychology
  • Social psychology
  • Developmental psychology
  • Clinical science.

Centre for Mental Health

The Centre for Mental Health improves mental health and mitigates the impact of mental illness at a population level. It does this through research, academic teaching, professional and community education, and mental health system development. Its approach is collaborative and interdisciplinary.

The Centre contributes to evidence-informed mental health policy and practice in Australia and internationally, through the work of its three units:

These units collaborate within the University and beyond. They have relationships with not-for-profit agencies like Mind Australia, through to international NGOs such as the World Health Organization. These collaborations enable the translation of research into policy and practice.

Department of Psychiatry

The Department of Psychiatry is committed to the prevention of mental illness and improved quality of life for individuals affected by mental illness, both nationally and internationally. The Department is internationally recognised for its strengths in biological and translational psychiatry research. Clinical collaborations and involvement in mental health policy and practice provide a stimulating learning and research environment.

Research is driven by pure and applied questions. This requires cross-disciplinary approaches and partnerships with diverse community organisations. Research outcomes informs our teaching, clinical training and engagement with the wider community.

Centre for Youth and Mental Health

The Centre for Youth Mental Health brings together the experience and expertise of world leaders in the field of youth mental health. It has become an internationally renowned research centre in this field. The Centre investigates the biological, psychological and social factors that influence mental illnesses in young people. And it considers these factors at the point of onset, remission and relapse.

Its research findings improve policy, practice and training. In turn, this leads to better interventions, treatments and service systems for young people at different stages of mental ill-health. The multidisciplinary nature of its research provides a diverse and stimulating environment for students. The local and international collaborations with other universities and research institutes link it with a broader research community. Collaborations provide unique global perspectives and the opportunity for exciting exchange of ideas.

The Florey Institute of Neuroscience Mental Health

The Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health (The Florey) is the largest brain research group in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the world’s top brain research centres. It is an independent medical research institute with strong connections to other research groups, globally. Our scientists are found at three research facilities, one on the grounds of the University of Melbourne in Parkville, one in the adjacent Royal Melbourne Hospital, and the other at Austin Health in Heidelberg.


Mental health is a multidisciplinary, complex and rapidly growing research domain. As a graduate researcher, this is the perfect time for you to broaden your skill set, build your network and expand your multidisciplinary understanding of this dynamic field. We have more than 50 graduate researchers in our community. They come from more than a dozen different Centres and Schools within the University. We would love you to join us.

Our online platform

Our online platform has different channels, where you can:

  • Explore current topics within mental health and expand your understanding via webinars with experts
  • Develop your research skills and make the most of professional development opportunities, such as online workshops and skills training
  • Ask any questions you might have around all aspects of your PhD, get peer support, and learn from alumni in our “Life after a PhD” interview series
  • Practise your talks/poster presentations/research pitches in a safe and supportive environment in our “MHPP Member Invited Talk Series”
  • Relax and socialise with your fellow PhD students during regular online coffee moments
  • Stay up to date with University events related to mental health, including talks by local and visiting experts.

Finally, we have an MHPP Newsletter, where you can learn about past and future MHPP events. You will also hear about professional development opportunities and mental health research events at the University.


To join the Mental Health PhD Program, you must be currently enrolled in a PhD at the University of Melbourne. Your doctoral research topic must relate to mental health.

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

Applications to join the program can be submitted throughout the year. You can join 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 meet the eligibility criteria, and would like to join your peers on a multidisciplinary program, please fill out the application form.

If you want to apply for a PhD with us

For more information please contact Dr Anna Schroeder, the Mental Health PhD Program co-ordinator at:

First published on 22 February 2022.

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