Why do your Master by Research or PhD project with CHeBA?

Doing a Master by Research or PhD project with CHeBA provides an excellent opportunity for developing outstanding research skills and expertise within the field of brain ageing research.

Our graduates have gone on to successful careers as health care practitioners, post-doctoral researchers, academics, policy makers and consultants.

A Master by Research or PhD can also assist those working in relevant fields to develop new research insights which can impact practice and policy.

In addition to supervision, a range of specialised resources and support is offered through CHeBA. This includes:

  • Regular CHeBA Forums (at which students present their research, receive feedback from post-doctoral researchers & senior staff, and network with other researchers in relevant fields)
  • Educational sessions & seminars on key issues in research (including scientific writing, writing manuscripts for publication, grant applications, travel grants, presenting at conferences, statistics for ageing research)
  • CHeBA Higher Degree Research Student Mentoring Program (for UNSW School of Psychiatry Master by Research and PhD students in the final year of enrolment. The mentoring program links students with mentors in the field who help them develop and implement a post-doctoral career plan).


CHeBA has a number of opportunities including: available PhD topics, full scholarships and top-up scholarships.

For more information on applying to do a higher research degree such as a PhD or Masters by Research, please consult the links below:


As a multidisciplinary Centre, we are interested in applicants from a range of backgrounds who can apply new perspectives to current issues. Relevant academic qualifications & career backgrounds for conducting a Master by Research or PhD with CHeBA include:

  • Allied health workers (social work, occupational therapy, diversional therapy, welfare), with experience in the aged care or aged mental health sectors
  • Anthropology & social sciences (e.g. for studying aged care environments, social & cultural factors related to ageing, the experience of ageing and aged care services)
  • Architecture (e.g. for residential care)
  • Biostatistics
  • Electrical engineering & computing (e.g. for assistive living and technological aids)
  • Ethicists
  • Health economics
  • Information technology (including software engineering, programming, networking)
  • Laboratory expertise (including stem cell research, genetics, animal research)
  • Medicine
  • Pharmacology (e.g. for drug trials and therapeutic approaches)
  • Psychiatry or neuropsychiatry
  • Psychology or neuropsychology
  • Public health
  • Science


Catherine Dong

Prior to starting her PhD, Catherine Dong was a Senior Psychologist at National University Health System in Singapore. Supervised by Dr Melissa Slavin, Catherine’s PhD research topic is ‘Cognitive Outcome After Stroke (COAST). Her PhD project aims to bridge the current knowledge gap of vascular cognitive impairment (VCI) at the early stage of stroke through early detection of VCI, establishing cognitive phenotype and revascularisation with neurosurgical intervention.

I came to know my supervisors' publication when I was preparing the research protocol for COAST. This has planted the seed for me to consider UNSW Faculty of Medicine to undertake my PhD. I further consulted my clinical supervisors in Singapore regarding the plan of PhD program. They highly recommended me to undertake a PhD with my current UNSW supervisors as their view is that they are the experts in the field and great assets to their PhD students.  My primary supervisor, Dr Melissa Slavin, is very supportive and has gone the extra mile to render supervision support. I started my PhD as an external student as my research was primarily conducted in Singapore. It has been very challenging for me to fulfil the residency on campus requirement for my PhD. I could not return to campus due to intensive data collection in the first 1.5 years of my PhD work. In view of my constraints, Melissa travelled to Singapore to provide onsite supervision and helped me to train my research assistants. She even rendered monthly supervision support during her maternity leave. My co-supervisor, Professor Perminder Sachdev, provided fortnightly supervision support during Melissa’s maternity leave.

He always makes time to supervise me even when I request to meet him earlier than the scheduled supervision. I am very grateful of his kind consideration, especially as I have to travel frequently from Sydney to Singapore for data verification.

I am inspired by a great team of enthusiastic researchers who are devoted to academic research and working hard to make a difference in policy and practice through scientific evidence. My academic skills and research knowledge has developed substantially from the daily exchange with various researchers at CHeBA as they have highly specialised domain knowledge. They are very supportive and willing to share their knowledge with PhD students.

My PhD at CHeBA has established the foundation for research collaboration between CHeBA and the Memory Ageing and Cognition Center at National University of Singapore. Upon the completion of my PhD, I plan to consolidate this collaborative platform with CHeBA through ongoing collaborative academic studies and the training of PhD students."

For more information, see:

 HDR Students information Package (PDF)
 PhD Research Topics (PDF)
 PhD Full Scholarships (PDF)
 Top-Up Scholarships (PDF)

PhD Scholarship Opportunities

CHeBA is proud to announce new:

Student & Post Doc Contact

Dr Sophia Dean

Research Support Officer

CHeBA Directors

Professor Perminder Sachdev

  Professor Perminder
  Sachdev AM

  Scientia Professor

Professor Henry Brodaty

  Professor Henry
  Brodaty AO

  Scientia Professor


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