Student research projects

Student research at Southern Synergy

Students at Southern Synergy include Honours, Masters and PhD students. Research areas are: Adult Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research with a focus on vulnerable populations.

View the student projects currently available with Southern Synergy.

Paige Lerman - 2019

When I came across Southern Synergy’s PULSAR Project, I was thoroughly impressed with the scope and truly interdisciplinary nature of their work. At the time I'd been conducting anthropological research on recovery-oriented community mental health care while completing a BA at Barnard College, Columbia University in New York City. With Southern Synergy I saw a unique opportunity to extend my research into inpatient settings, develop my translational research skills, and learn about another culture’s mental health system and approaches to reform.

With Dr Fran Shawyer and Prof Graham Meadows’ support, I received a Fulbright scholarship to work with Southern Synergy during 2019. Fulbright is an international scholarship program that fosters cultural understanding through collaborative research. My project sought to understand barriers to the usage of advance statements in Melbourne mental health services — a focus with relevance to both Australian and American mental health care reform.

Southern Synergy afforded an excellent environment to fulfill Fulbright’s dual emphasis on research and community engagement. Grounding their academic expertise, Southern Synergy researchers have first-hand experience with the very things I was researching: the formulation and operation of mental health law, clinical mental health practice, clinical training interventions and more. Intellectually and professionally, they provided tremendous support. My 9 months in Melbourne held opportunities to volunteer with advocacy services, contribute to educational resources on Victorian mental health care reform, present at conferences, work with stakeholders across different sectors, forge meaningful professional partnerships, and of course, deepen my understanding of mental health care reform through research and many other avenues.

Students with a range of interests and research experience would greatly benefit from working with Southern Synergy. As a collective, they demonstrate just how many ways there are to improve mental health services and improve people’s lives. Southern Synergy helped me cultivate a firm foundation — skills, experiences, and values — upon which I’m excited to build my medical career.

Bachelor of Medical Science (Honours) at Southern Synergy

Are you interested in wellbeing and mental health research with vulnerable groups such as refugees?  Enhance your MBBS experience, help people, get into research, make discoveries, and give yourself career options with a BMedSci research project. Southern Synergy has a wealth of mental health research expertise and dedicated researchers who are experienced mentors for students.

We have projects requiring students:

  • A comparative examination of the mental health needs of refugees and asylum seekers
  • Medicare services for mental health care: An examination of horizontal and vertical comprehensiveness
  • Effect of group-based mindfulness based cognitive therapy on medication adherence in people with major depressive disorder
  • Mental health and Recovery-Oriented Practice: Are consumers' experiences of recovery aligned with recovery oriented practice across mental health service sectors?

Find out more

Projects at Southern Synergy can be designed for topics concerning mental health services research.

For more information about doing a BMedSc(Hons) and research projects at Southern Synergy contact: