A multidisciplinary PhD Program in Mental Health

This Program brings together graduate researchers addressing mental health from diverse disciplinary perspectives - psychiatry, psychology, epidemiology and community mental health, history and philosophy of psychiatry, general practice, paediatrics, psychiatric nursing and social work, among others. Launched in March 2018, the Program is a joint initiative of the University of Melbourne's School of Psychological Sciences, Centre for Mental Health and the Department of Psychiatry. These were joined in 2020 by the Centre for Youth Mental Health and the Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health.

Our vision

Our goal is to provide all University of Melbourne PhD students researching mental health with a platform to connect, share and discover new disciplines so that they can become fully-rounded researchers who can approach the field of mental health from a multi-disciplinary perspective.

Host departments

The 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 and clinical science.

The Centre for Mental Health is part of the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health and aims to improve mental health and mitigate the impact of mental illness at a population level. It does this through high-quality, collaborative, interdisciplinary research, academic teaching, professional and community education, and mental health system development. The Centre contributes to evidence-informed mental health policy and practice in Australia and internationally through the work of its three units:

  • Global and Cultural Mental Health
  • Mental Health Policy and Practice
  • Population Mental Health.

The Centre's three units are involved in active and productive collaborations within the University and beyond. These relationships range from not-for-profit agencies like Mind Australia through to international NGOs such as the World Health Organization, and enables the translation of their research into policy and practice.

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 has unique strengths around biological and translational psychiatry research which are internationally recognised. Together with clinical collaborations and involvement in mental health policy and practice, this provides a stimulating environment for learning and research training programs. Their research is driven by pure and applied questions that require cross-disciplinary approaches and partnerships with diverse community organisations - especially those effected with mental illness. The research informs our teaching and clinical training and engagement with the wider community.

The Centre for Youth Mental Health brings together the experience and expertise of world leaders in the field of youth mental health and has become an internationally renowned research centre in this field. The Centre focuses on understanding the biological, psychological and social factors that influence onset, remission and relapse of mental illnesses in young people. Its research findings are actively translated into improved policy, practice and training that inform the development of 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, with unique global perspectives and the opportunity for an exciting exchange of ideas.

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.