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 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 Seminar Series which introduces students to the work of Southgate's researchers and presenttions by other PhD candidates.
  • Southgate Theory Club, which explores current issues from a variety of lenses
  • Southgate Journal Club, which critically analyses recent literature, examines methodological approaches, and helps to consider lessons and insights for writing your own papers.
  • Southgate Policy Club, which brings together policy makers, practitioners and researchers to examine evidence on topics associated with health and society, and to debate policy alternatives
  • The Southgate PhD support group which meets quarterly, led by the PhD Coordinator, presenting their work for peer feedback.

PhD Celebrations 

Congratulations to Kingsley Whittenbury, PhD candidate researching 'Resistance to the hidden curriculum: a comparison of social accountability among students in hospital-based and community-based medical education,' on winning The People’s Choice award in the ‘Students on Show’ Flinders Arts in Health exhibition. The theme for this exhibition was ‘black dog’ for depression awareness.





Adam Ridley, PhD Candidate researching 'A comparison of the effectiveness of multiculturalism, racial discrimination and social cohesion public policy models from Australia and abroad,' was recently awarded a small funding grant by the International Network of Universities to conduct PhD fieldwork in Sweden. For further information please see this link from the INU communique


 Southgate recently had 2 reasons to celebrate with their PhD students:


Louise Townend submitted her PhD thesis, accompanied by a bevvy 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”.




Congratulations go to Ms Emma Grace a PhD candidate who was recently awarded a NHMRC Public Health Postgraduate Scholarship as well as receiving an auDA Foundation Grant. Her PhD project is titled Participation in online conversations by young people with disabilities who are non-speaking: Does e-mentoring work? Ms Grace is co-supervised by Dr Lareen Newman. Her work will focus on individuals, who have limited or no natural speech use due to disabilities such as cerebral palsy or autism, or following a stroke. In this study, young people who are non-speaking will be connected with older mentors who are also non-speaking and who are experienced users of the internet and social media.


NHMRC CRE PhD Scholarship currently on offer

The Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity (Southgate Institute) and The Poche Centre for Indigenous Health and Well-being at Flinders University in Adelaide are offering a three-year PhD scholarship for full-time research within a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Centre for Research Excellence on the Social Determinants of Health Equity (CRE-Health Equity).

The aim of the CRE-Health Equity research program is to examine how political and policy processes in Australia could act more effectively on social determinants of health in order to improve health equity.  The CRE-Health Equity has a particular focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ health. The CRE-Health Equity is a collaborative project involving lead researchers from Flinders University, the Australian National University, University of Sydney and University of Ottawa.

For full details of the project click here.

Southgate welcomes MD Advance Studies Students

Southgate current projects include:

Brinna Lindley: Yoga and Health: Facilitating physical activity through yoga for people with plus size bodies (overweight and obese)

Sarah Friend: Mindfulness and health benefits in respect to individuals with a disability.

Available project:

Assessing yoga as an allied treatment to assist with pelvic pain and (with Dr Clare Fairweather (Pelvic Pain SA) and Leslie Howard advisor at UCLA.

For further information please contact Associate Professor Kathy Arthurson

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

inspiring achievement