Project Title

Developing and evaluating novel virtual reality treatments for youth mental health

Project Type

Either MPhil or PhD

Supervisors

Research interests of the research team offering the project

The Orygen Digital virtual reality (VR) research stream harnesses cutting-edge VR technology to develop novel digital interventions for youth mental health.

Three arms underpin this research area:

  1. Virtual worlds to support delivery of youth mental health services.
  2. Brief, gamified immersive VR tools for blended treatment targeting transdiagnostic processes.
  3. Immersive VR therapies targeting key processes underpinning psychosis.

With a focus on co-design, experimental validation, and implementation planning, we are seeking PhD student/s to join our multidisciplinary team and establish the evidence base for new VR treatments.

Details of the project

We are seeking MPhil or PhD student/s to join our multidisciplinary team to help develop, evaluate and deliver new VR treatments for youth mental health.

Potential projects include:

  • An evaluation of implementation barriers and facilitators for VR treatments within youth mental health services, primarily using qualitative methodologies.
  • An evaluation of the mechanisms underpinning VR treatments for a range of youth mental health conditions, primarily using experimental methodologies.
  • Development and evaluation of the feasibility and acceptability of new VR treatments across different youth mental health conditions, primarily using co-design and pilot trial methodologies.

Project references

  1. Bell IH, Nicholas J, Alvarez-Jimenez M, Thompson A, Valmaggia L. Virtual reality as a clinical tool in mental health research and practice. Dialogues in clinical neuroscience. 2022 Apr 1.
  2. Torous J, Bucci S, Bell IH, Kessing LV, Faurholtā€Jepsen M, Whelan P, Carvalho AF, Keshavan M, Linardon J, Firth J. The growing field of digital psychiatry: current evidence and the future of apps, social media, chatbots, and virtual reality. World Psychiatry. 2021 Oct;20(3):318-35.

Scholarships and fees

A stipend is not available for this project.

To complete this project as a MPhil:

Scholarships are available through the University of Melbourne. More information here.

Other scholarship opportunities may also be available but are highly competitive. Please speak to the contact person below for more information.

Domestic Master of Philosophy students do not incur fees. Information on University of Melbourne fees for international students is available here.

To complete this project as a PhD:

Scholarships are available through the University of Melbourne – find out more here.

Other scholarship opportunities may also be available but are highly competitive, so please speak to the contact person below for further details.

Information on fees for domestic and international students is available here.

How to apply

To complete this project as a MPhil:

  1. Read information for future students here, and check your eligibility here.
  2. Read our frequently asked questions here.
  3. Liaise with, and gain the support of, the supervisor/s. Please contact them using the details below and attach a copy of your CV and university transcript(s).
  4. Once you’ve gained supervisor support, submit your application here.

To complete this project as a PhD:

  1. Read information for future students here and check your eligibility here.
  2. Read our frequently asked questions here.
  3. Liaise with, and gain the support of, the supervisor/s. Please contact them using the details below and attach a copy of your CV and university transcript(s). 
  4. Once you’ve gained supervisor support, follow the steps outlined by the University of Melbourne here. You can go straight to Step 3. 

You are strongly encouraged to submit your application as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Contact

Dr Imogen Bell
imogen.bell@orygen.org.au
+61 3 9966 9177