About the Behaviour Change GRIP

Meeting demand

Around the world, government and industry leaders recognise the importance of using behavioural science - and how to influence people - in tackling public policy challenges. In fact, the behavioural sciences, which incorporate many different disciplines, are flourishing and there is strong demand for PhD-qualified researchers who are capable of straddling the worlds of academia and industry/government.

BehaviourWorks Australia (BWA), which is a research enterprise within the Monash Sustainable Development Institute (MSDI), has been working with some of Australia's leading government agencies since 2011 and was instrumental in getting the first-ever Monash University Behaviour Change Graduate Industry Partnership Program (GRIP) off the ground.

Commencing in March 2018, the Behaviour Change GRIP brings 16 talented PhD candidates together with their industry partners to address a range of public policy issues – see Projects and Partners.

The candidates are being supported by leading academics from BehaviourWorks as well as the Monash faculties of Arts, Law, Business and Economics and the Monash University Accident Research Centre.

Award-winning program

To enable the students to gain the technical and soft skills required to become behaviour change experts, the students commenced their PhD with a skills training and professional development program that involved industry placements, meetings with industry leaders, training on the policy process, self-directed cohort building, networking and industry liaison; whereby dedicated contacts help to ensure that the students’ research is exposed to the partner organisations.

The professional development program, among other things, was one of the factors that led the Australian Council of Graduate Research to give BehaviourWorks Director Professor, Liam Smith, and Monash University, Professor Felix Mavondo, the Award for Excellence in Promoting Industry Engagement in Graduate Research in 2019.

The award recognises the exceptional work that the leaders have done in establishing GRIP and those vital industry links.

The candidates will graduate with sophisticated and adaptive skills that will allow them to build careers in this rapidly-evolving multidisciplinary field.