Higher research degrees

As a Systemic Practice-Research Centre, our aim is to understand and enhance social and emotional health in context, across all life stages and generations, through the promotion of relational health, and healing of relational trauma.

We collaborate, share knowledge and prioritise research translation to better equip communities, organisations and workforces to support the wellbeing of families.

Why study with us

Our clinical family therapy program sees families presenting with complex issues including serious mental illness, experiences of trauma or abuse and gambling and alcohol and other drug problems. Our unique position allows us to collect information about the health, wellbeing and relationship experiences from these families.

Our collaborative partnerships with state-wide public health and welfare services, and family and carer organisations and networks, also provide an ideal context for clinical model development, and for continued research into what supports interventions being embedded in services, leading to real world outcomes.

These joint research efforts offer significant opportunities for higher degree research students.

Our key research areas

We seek to better understand:

  • how challenges such as trauma, mental illness and social marginalisation affect families and family relationships.
  • how family processes and family relationships contribute to health and wellbeing, particularly among marginalised and vulnerable populations.
  • what practices and models promote health and wellbeing in families confronting complex challenges
  • how service systems can be best supported to deliver care that effectively addresses the needs of individual service users and those close to them.

Our research projects span across many of these areas and we are keen to hear from you if you are interested in similar areas of study. Examples of research topics conducted at Bouverie include:

  • clinical family therapy
  • cultural diversity and family life
  • families affected by mental illness
  • family life and social change
  • family resilience
  • implementation of family oriented practice in the health, community health service and mental health sectors
  • measuring the impact of stressful life events on families
  • same-sex or gender diverse families
  • the efficacy of family centred practice
  • the impact of social marginalisation on couple and family relationships
  • the impact of trauma on families.

Support during your candidature

  • Dissertation supervision
  • Opportunity to present your work to peers at The Bouverie Centre, through a seminar series
  • Seminars and events to support you in developing skills and knowledge in research methods, theory, and content specific to your interests.

How to apply

We encourage you to look up our staff and their research interests to find a possible match with their area of interest.

Send us a formal introductory email and include:

  • your Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • your unofficial University academic transcripts
  • your writing sample (e.g. minor thesis, published article)
  • a research project proposal (300 words).

If your research proposal is assessed as relevant to our research priorities and a suitable supervisor is available, we will arrange a meeting with you to discuss the details of your project and suitable supervision arrangements, in preparation for the formal application.

Read more information about how to apply for a PhD candidature.

Closing date

Applications for candidature are welcome all year. Scholarship applications close on 31 October (for Australian and New Zealand citizens) and 30 September (for all other international applicants).

More information

Contact our Postgraduate Research Coordinator, Dr Anna Booth or call (03) 8481 4800 for more information.