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Prospective students

How we support our students

The support that the research unit provides to its students includes the following:

  • A cohesive team approach with projects conducted by multidisciplinary teams including endocrinologists and other clinical specialists, general practitioners, dietitians, psychologists, natural therapists, social scientists and exercise physiologists
  • An experienced multidisciplinary senior research team provides expert consultation on a wide range of women's health in both clinical and research areas
  • A research support stream including a research manager, biostatistician, project assistants and research nurses
  • Close links with both Public Health and Not-for-Profit sectors
  • Opportunities to participate in the translation of research outcomes into education for the community and health professionals
  • Opportunities for students to present their research at local and international scientific meetings

The Jean Hailes Research Unit supervises Honours, Masters and PhD students. Students are supervised primarily by one of the senior post-doctoral research fellows. External co-supervisors may be included when appropriate. All student projects must be aligned with the focus areas of the research unit.

It is strongly preferred that PhD students enrol through the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, which belongs to the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University, and are supported to pursue their PhD by publication. While all students are expected to apply for scholarship funding, if accepted into a PhD program, some financial support may be provided where scholarship applications are unsuccessful.

Monash University and the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine provides a comprehensive graduate education program and professional development opportunities including seminar programs. PhD students are given opportunities to work with the research team early in their PhD on existing data sets to learn about literature review, evidence synthesis, methodology, data analysis and writing. In general, subsequently (with support and guidance), students develop their own specific project that forms the majority of their PhD work.

Available projects and next steps

If you wish to meet with members of the research team to discuss the possibility of studying with the unit, please This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  stating your areas of interest, relevant experience and qualifications, your estimated start date and whether you are considering full-time or part-time enrolment.

If, after initial discussions, you remain interested in research with Jean Hailes, you will be asked to draft and send a one-page document about a project that you might like to conduct.

The following are some focus areas where projects may be developed. Due to the multidisciplinary nature of our research, there is often collaboration between project leaders and teams.

1. Women's Mental Health Program: Prof. Jane Fisher

The Women's Mental Health Program at Jean Hailes adopts a cross-disciplinary life-span approach to understanding women's lives. Women's mental health is considered within a social model of health, underscored by an appreciation of the significance of gender.

We offer students a chance to work with outstanding researchers in areas, including:

  • Mental health promotion, including in the perinatal period
  • Psychosocial aspects of fertility and infertility
  • The ramifications of cancer and its treatment, especially for reproductive and sexual mental health
  • The links between chronic illness and reproductive and sexual mental health
  • Women's mental health in resource-constrained countries, particularly during adolescence and in the perinatal period

Our researchers have expertise in both quantitative and qualitative research and evaluation methods. They are drawn from diverse disciplinary backgrounds in the social and biological sciences including psychology, gender studies, nursing, biostatistics, human biology, health promotion and implementation science.

Our research staff and students are involved in many collaborative projects, both locally and internationally.

Research Higher Degrees (Honours, Masters and Doctor of Philosophy) are available in the wide range of areas covered by our Research Team, and candidates undertake a research project under the direct supervision of a member of the academic staff. Students are enrolled through the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University.

If you would like to discuss the possibility of undertaking a Research Higher Degree with the Women's Mental Health Program, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

To find out how to apply for Research Higher Degrees in the Monash University School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, visit the school's website.

2. Healthy Lifestyle Program: Dr Cate Lombard

This practical research area is of immediate relevance to women and health professionals. The area focuses on community interventions to prevent excess weight gain, and improve nutrition and physical activity behaviours to address preventable lifestyle related diseases.


  • Prevention of weight gain in women
  • Weight gain in pregnancy / gestational diabetes
  • Nutrition and physical activity behaviour change,
  • Prevention of chronic disease through lifestyle change, early detection and intervention
  • Community interventions
  • Translation including implementation science

Target groups

Young women
Women at mid age
Women at high risk of chronic disease 
Vulnerable populations e.g  ethnically diverse, rural, low SES

3. Menopausal / Endocrine research: Dr Amanda Vincent


  • Early / Premature menopause
  • Breast cancer
  • Vitamin D in women
4. PCOS research program: Professor Helena Teede


  • Epidemiology of PCOS
  • Mechanisms of disease
  • Interventions in PCOS
5. Diabetes Research: Dr Jennifer Wong

This research area focuses on improving management of patients with diabetes.   There are two main focus areas of research, which are:

  1. Improving delivery of health services to patients with diabetes in the ambulatory and in patient settings to optimise care and improve short and long term outcomes.
  2. Development and implementation of evidence based medicine in clinical practice.


  • Health services research in Diabetes
  • Evidence synthesis and appraisal
  • Public Health research


Content updated 2 March 2012

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