Julia Caruana

Study Background:  I completed my B.Science Hons (Psychology) in 2017 at The Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences. My undergraduate studies included neuroscience, statistics, and economics. Outside uni, I have worked in acute trauma-response services, which afforded me unique insights into the interdisciplinary teams that trauma survivors may first encounter upon entry into the mental health system. This work left me with a lasting impression of the tremendous importance of effective research translation into rigorous, evidence-based policy and practice guidelines in community settings.

Current Projects: I am delighted to continue my honours research into a PhD with my supervisors: Prof. Kim Felmingham (Director, Trauma Anxiety & Stress Lab, MSPS) and Prof. David Forbes (Director of Phoenix Centre for Posttraumatic Health, Dep. Psychiatry).  My PhD research will incorporate a mixed-methods research programme (involving both qualitative phenomenological assessment and quantitative neuroimaging and psychophysiological techniques) to identify social information processing mechanisms and modifiable risk factors underpinning posttraumatic anger and aggression.

Academic Aims for the Future: My vision is to support clinicians by providing treatment-oriented studies of complex psychopathology that promote understanding and hope for recovery. I am interested in methodological and analytical rigour in translational research; I am hugely impressed by the open science movement and hope to incorporate these principles into my own PhD research.

What you hope to contribute to the mental health graduate circle? I hope to contribute to the Graduates Circle by sharing resources with my peers (interesting papers, learning materials, syntax), assisting with events, lending friendly support during challenging moments of graduate study, and participating actively in a vibrant research community.

What you hope to learn from mental health hub members? I would love to learn more about how to make a great poster and interesting ways to present complex analyses and data!