PhD & Masters by Research

 The Southgate Institute

The Southgate Institute is an exciting research hub providing opportunities for postgraduate students to work on topics of relevance to the Institute:

  • social and economic determinants of health
  • health inequity and social exclusion
  • aboriginal health
  • community health
  • building capacity in others to conduct similar research

For more information, please contact either the staff member with expertise in your chosen area, or our PhD Coordinator Dr Lareen Newman by email or phone 08 7221 8488.  

 Why choose Southgate?

In addition to the standard academic support expected from an internationally recognised University, the Southgate Insitute offers a range of interdisciplinary educational opportunities to complement your education:

  • Southgate Early Career Researchers Group, which helps newer researchers build the skills and networks needed for a successful research career.
  • Southgate Theory Club, which explores current issues from a variety of lenses
  • Southgate Journal Club, which critically analyses recent literature, examine methodological approaches, and consider lessons and insights for writing your own papers.
  • Southgate Policy Club, which bring together policy makers, practitioners and researchers to examine evidence on topics associated with health and society, and to debate policy alternatives
  • We also run a Research Incubator that enables early career researchers to develop research ideas into firm proposals through mentoring, support and constructively critical processes.
A joint Southgate/Public Health PhD group meets regularly presenting their work for peer feedback, organising guest speakers and social activities. Southgate attracts leading overseas researchers to Flinders for short and long term visits.

PhD Celebrations

Southgate recently had two reasons to celebrate with their PhD students. Louise Townend submitted her PhD thesis, accompanied by a bevy of fellow students to watch her sign over her efforts to the Faculty Office. Louise's thesis analysed the equity impacts of the South Australian Government's healthy weight strategies. The previous week, Georgia Panagiotopoulos gave her Final Year Presentation for her PhD on the "Social Determinants of Health & Wellbeing in Widowhood for Older Greek Migrants in Australia".

Summer Scholarships

From time to time Flinders University offers various Summer Research Scholarship positions for students. These are designed to provide insight into what research in a research institute or graduate degree are like. In Summer 2013-2014, the Southgate Institute hosted 3 Summer Scholars. Further information is availble at and

Our Research Scholars for the Summer 2013-14 season were:

Gemma Prendergast is a 3rd Year Health Science student at Flinders University, majoring in Nutrition. Gemma worked with Dr Toni Delany as part of a research team examining the South Australian Governments’ approach to Health in All Policies (HiAP). HiAP is intended to motivate action across sectors to improve population health and health equity. Gemma undertook a critical literature review of the enablers and barriers to HiAP work internationally, and compared and contrasted the enablers and barriers discussed in the literature to survey data that was collected as part of the broader research project in 2013. Gemma produced a written report and two verbal presentations about the work she undertook during the Scholarship.

Pei-hua Tsai is a 2nd Year Nursing student at Flinderse University and worked on the Comprehensive Primary Health Care in Local Communities project with Dr Toby Freeman. She analysed data provided by three participating primary health care services to construct diagrams of the pathways and care received by clients with diabetes. The diagrams aided examination of the extent to which care is holistic, multi-disciplinary, incorporates prevention and health promotion, and the extent to which clients are supported with concerns related to their health, such as with housing, welfare, or social and emotional issues.

Harmonie Wong is a 1st Year Medical student at Flinders University. She worked on the Social Determinants of Health in Australian Health Policy project with Dr Matt Fisher and conducted a literature review on research about the uptake of evidence on the social determinants of health in health policies in high-income countries, and also analysed Australian policy documents.

Application process - PhDs and Masters by Research

Step 1: Check your eligibility to undertake postgraduate studies

For more information about doing a PhD at Flinders University, including admission requirements, go to

Applicants for direct entry into PhD candidature must have completed at least 18 units of research or equivalent at a satisfactory level of achievement.

For more information about doing a Masters by Research at Flinders University, including admission requirements, go to

International students should contact the International Office, please refer to

Information about tuition fees and other costs for international students is available at

Step 2: If you are eligible, the next step is to identify potential supervisors

View our list of staff to identify potential supervisors at Southgate. Please contact them by email to determine their willingness and availability to supervise your project.

Step 3: When agreement is reached about supervisors for your project

Submit an application for candidature (it incorporates a research proposal), through the Admissions Office:

Application process - Summer Scholarships

Step 1: Check your eligibility to undertake a summer research scholarship

For more information, go to and

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