Current graduate research

MCSHE oversees the Higher Degree by Research (HDR) education portfolio of the FMNHS.  We have over 30 PhD students currently doing HPER projects across the education portfolio and other schools and departments of the Faculty (e.g. School of Nursing & Midwifery etc.).  What follows are some examples of HPER PhD projects for students with MCSHE as their primary affiliation.

MCSHE PhD projects

PhD candidateSarah Lee

Sarah is the recipient of a Faculty international scholarship; Sarah’s research forms part of a Victorian Department of Health and Human Services funded project that endeavours to enhance supervision training across the DHHS workforce. Her PhD research aims to enhance the supervision of students and peers, the research is investigating ‘what supervision training works (or fails to work) for whom, under what circumstances, how and why’. The aim is to develop supervision training that works effectively across a variety of contexts. The research will include a realist synthesis of the supervision literature and a realist evaluation of supervision workshops.

Sarah’s supervisors are Professor Charlotte Rees and Associate Professor Claire Palermo.


PhD candidate: David Brewster

David is the Director of Medical Education and Clinical Dean at Cabrini Hospital whilst also working as the Deputy Director of the Intensive Care Unit. David’s research aims to enhance the understanding of leadership within intensive care medicine (ICM). It aims to explore the inter-professional team members' understandings of team leadership, their leadership experiences and the perceived facilitators and barriers to leadership within ICM. This project will include a synthesis of the leadership literature within ICM and focus group discussions with staff from multiple intensive care units. The differences in leadership emergence will be further explored using video-reflexive ethnography (VRE) within ICM teams in two contexts: high acuity emergent situations and low acuity clinical encounters

David’s supervisor is Professor Charlotte Rees, with co-supervision from adjunct Professor Warwick Butt (Monash University), Professor Rick Iedema (London) and Dr Lisi Gordon (Scotland).


Recently completed PhD candidate: Charlotte Denniston

Charlotte is a recipient of an NHMRC Postgraduate Scholarship and her PhD research is investigating:‘What is important to learn in healthcare communication?’ Her research explores what constitutes effective communication in healthcare from the perspective of the patient, practitioner and the researcher. The aim is to develop pragmatic implications for high quality educational research and healthcare communication practice. She has completed three phases of her research so far, including: 1) Systematic Literature Review and Qualitative Synthesis, 2) Health Professional Interview Study, and 3) Patient Questionnaire Study.

Charlotte’s supervisors are Professor Elizabeth Molloy, Professor Charlotte Rees and Professor Jenny Keating.