Researcher in Insecure Work and Mental Health
Monash University Centre for Health Economics Monash University

PhD Research Opportunity – Insecure Work and Mental Health

Job No.: 610156

Location: Caulfield campus

Employment Type: Full-time 

Duration: 3.5-year fixed-term appointment 

Remuneration: Up to $39,000

The Opportunity

The Centre for Health Economics at Monash University invites expressions of interest for a PhD scholarship covering all fees and a tax-free stipend (up to $39,000 per annum for outstanding students). The PhD research opportunity will commence in February 2021 and is associated with an Australian Research Council (ARC) project in partnership with the not-for-profit mental health organisation Beyond Blue. The project will explore the relationship between insecure work and mental health of workers and their families, by analysing large survey and administrative datasets, and newly collected survey data.

Centre for Health Economics Monash University

The Centre for Health Economics is an internationally renowned institution that contributes to academic research and public policy in the economics of health and health care. As a student in the centre you will be part of a team of academics and researchers at the cutting-edge of important international research, using the latest methods. We offer excellent research facilities including a dedicated student study space, a behavioural laboratory, high quality computing facilities, and frequent seminars. Monash is one of the top 100 universities in the world, ranked top in health economics in the Asia Pacific. The Business School contains both a leading Economics Department and a distinct Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics with an international reputation in theoretical and applied econometrics. 

The Person

The project would suit someone with a strong research background in economics, econometrics, statistics or health economics, with an interest in applying these skills to the economics of mental health. Applicants must have an excellent academic track record with a first class honours degree or master’s degree (with research component) in a relevant quantitative field (economics, econometrics, statistics, psychology).

Domestic and overseas applicants will be considered, provided they fulfil the criteria for PhD admission, and demonstrate excellent research capacity.


Under the supervision of Professor David Johnston and Professor Michael Shields, the project will provide new policy-relevant evidence on how insecure work and job insecurity influence the mental health and wellbeing of workers, their families, and the broader community. It will also aid in the identification of populations, industries and geographical areas that are, due to economic or labour market upheaval, at high-risk of health problems. Ultimately, this evidence should help in the development of targeted, cost-effective workplace and employment programs.

Some possible research topics include:

  • Quantifying the effects of insecure work on the mental health of workers and their families
  • Exploring why people with depression and anxiety conditions acquire less secure jobs
  • Investigating whether mental illness affects economic preferences, leading to different socioeconomic outcomes

As part of the PhD program, the candidate will undergo rigorous training in advanced health economics and related studies. There are further opportunities for conference travel and the potential for a research visit to one of our international partner institutions.

Expression of interest

Interested candidates should send an expression of interest to as early as possible. In your expression of interest please include your CV (with details of two referees), a copy of your academic transcripts and a 1-2 page cover letter which outlines your research skills, experience and why this PhD opportunity interests you. Those applicants who pass the expression of interest stage will be invited to submit a full scholarship application before the scholarship closing date.

Further enquiries

Further information on our PhD program can be found here.

If you have any questions about the research project please contact David Johnston,

If you have any questions about the PhD Program or the application process please contact

Closing Date

Domestic students – EOI by 20 September 2020, applications by 31 October 2020

Closing date

Sunday 20 September 2020, 11:55 pm AEST

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Psychoneuroxy


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