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Research and Innovation

Health supervisors

Higher Degree by Research
Menzies School of Health Research

The location of CDU makes us the ideal university for research into Indigenous populations and tropical illnesses.

For over 30 years, improving the health and wellbeing of Indigenous populations has been the dedicated work of Menzies School of Health Research, one of Australia’s leading medical research institutes.

Located on the CDU campus, Menzies is also a global leader in researching tropical illnesses and the effects of the tropics on child health and development.

“Our goal at Menzies is to address the health inequalities between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous Australians. We do this through meaningful research in partnership with the community,” said Heather D’Antoine, Associate Director, Aboriginal Programs.

To find the latest research opportunities with Menzies please go to their website for honours, Masters and PhD projects, or download the handbook by clicking here.

College of Nursing & Midwifery

The College of Nursing and Midwifery offers research expertise in midwifery and women's health, birthing on country, primary health care, mental health, cancer and chronic conditions. The College’s strategic plan has prioritised its research engagement in strengthening the College’s major research foci, research impacts, and research support environment. The College has been engaging in high impact research outcomes that make a difference in the lives of people in the Northern Territory, Australia and internationally.  The team has a strong track record, with more than 20 currently funded projects and many national and international collaborations.

The Molly Wardaguga Research Centre was a strategic investment by CDU in 2019. Established in honour of Burarra Elder and midwife who worked extensively to improve health outcomes, with a vision of returning birthing services to Indigenous communities and Indigenous control. The vision of the Centre is to support women’s cultural and birthing aspirations, especially in remote locations through research and use this to dismantle the barriers imposed by westernised approaches to birthing and maternal healthcare.

The Mental Health Care Research Group (MHCRG) leads and participates in studies that address the mental health of people experiencing severe mental illness, social adversities and those with comorbid physical/mental health care needs. Our main research focus is on developing and testing easily accessible psychosocial treatments for young people, marginalised groups and those experiencing psychosis, psychological trauma and multi-morbidities.

The Chronic Disease, Cancer and Ageing Research Group (CCARG) leads innovative research to improve supportive care outcomes for people with cancer, chronic illnesses, and age-related degenerative conditions. The research programmes of CCARG are centred on empirical development and evaluation of nurse-led and evidence -based non-pharmacological interventions that can be transferred quickly into practice to help alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life in people affected by cancer, chronic illnesses, and other life-limiting conditions.

To find the latest research programs and opportunities with the College of Nursing and Midwifery please visit our website.

College of Health & Human Sciences

The College of Health and Human Sciences offers research opportunities across a range health disciplines, including psychology, social work, health sciences, sports and exercise science, nutrition, occupational therapy and biomedical science.

Located in Australia’s Top End we are uniquely positioned to explore issues of national and regional importance such as Indigenous health, community resilience, disaster preparedness, allied health and mental health.

We are committed to develop evidence-based strategies for building more resilient communities.

Meet the supervisors

Bart Currie

Professor Bart Currie

Professor Currie leads the Tropical and Emerging Infectious Diseases team within the Global and Tropical Health Division at Menzies School of Health Research, Northern Territory, Darwin.

Research interests:

  • infection
  • melioidosis
  • bulholderia pseudomallei
  • scabies.
Meet Bart
Associate Professor Anna Ralph

Professor Anna Ralph

Anna is the director of Global and Tropical Health at Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. She is a National Health and Medical Research Council Career Development Fellow, and is the Clinical Director of Rheumatic Heart Disease Australia, as well as being a practising medical specialist in General Medicine and Infectious Diseases at Royal Darwin Hospital.

Research interests:

  • rheumatic fever and,
  • rheumatic heart disease in Australian Indigenous populations
  • tuberculosis control.
Meet Anna
jaquelyn hughes

Dr Jaquelyne Hughes

Dr Hughes is a clinician researcher, passionate about making a difference through new knowledge acquisition (research) to understanding:

  1. pathways (mechanisms) of decline in kidney health and
  2. the experience of health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and
  3. defining and testing innovations in kidney health. 


Meet Jaquelyne
Associate Professor Heidi Smith-Vaughan

Associate Professor Heidi Smith-Vaughan

Heidi heads Child Health Laboratory Research and is Director of HealthLAB at the Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia.

Research interests:

  • child health (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, Asia-Pacific region)
  • haemophilus influenzae
  • bronchiectasis
  • streptococcus pneumoniae
  • otitis media.
Meet Heidi
Michael Binks

Dr Michael Binks

With expertise in biomedical science, clinical trials and epidemiology, Dr Michael Binks leads a collaborative and multidisciplinary research program dedicated to achieving sustainable improvements in the respiratory health of Indigenous children.

Research opportunity:

Projects with the capacity to support PhD students are clinical trials of evaluating perinatal vitamin D supplementation, antenatal vaccination and neonatal probiotic therapy as key preventative strategies against early childhood acute respiratory infections. 

Meet Michael
Dr Kamala Thriemer 

Dr Kamala Thriemer

Kamala Thriemer is a senior researcher and lecturer at the Menzies School of Health Research.

Research interests:

  • malaria elimination
  • public health strategies
  • primaquine
  • plasmodium vivax.
Meet Kamala
Associate Professor Benjamin Tan

Professor Benjamin Tan

Professor Benjamin Tan is a Professor of Nursing and Associate Dean Research in the College of Nursing and Midwifery at Charles Darwin University. 

Research interests:

  • cancer symptom management
  • integrative medicine
  • evidence-based practice for chronic disease management.
Meet Benjamin
Professor Yu Gao

Associate Professor Yu Gao

Yu practiced as a Resident Obstetrician in a large teaching hospital in China for a year before being chosen to conduct doctoral studies at Charles Darwin University, completing in 2008.

Research interests:

  • midwifery (maternal and infant health)
  • rural and remote health
  • Aboriginal health.
Meet Yu
Associate professor Yvette Roe

Dr Yvette Roe

Yvette has more than 25 years’ experience working in the Indigenous health. As an Aboriginal scholar, Yvette’s research and priority has been to identify opportunities to improve health outcomes for First Nations peoples by delivering and evaluating services that are client, family and community focused.

Research interests:

  • midwifery (maternal and infant health)
  • rural and remote health
  • Aboriginal health.
Meet Yvette
Professor of Primary Health Care Sue Kruske in Alice Springs

Professor Sue Kruske

Professor, midwife and child health nurse, Sue Kruske has worked in the primary care setting for over 30 years.  She has a background in midwifery and child health nursing and worked for many years in remote Indigenous communities.

Research interests:

  • midwifery (maternal and infant health)
  • rural and remote health
  • Aboriginal health.
Meet Sue
Dr Sarah Ireland

Dr Sarah Ireland

Sarah is an early career researcher, medical anthropologist, nurse and midwife. She has expertise in cross-cultural qualitative research methods, especially collaborative approaches with Aboriginal people.

Research interests:

  • midwifery (maternal and infant health)
  • rural and remote health
  • Aboriginal health.
Meet Sarah
Professor Sue Kildea

Professor Sue Kildea

Professor Sue Kildea is internationally recognised as a midwifery leader at the cutting edge of Indigenous maternal and infant health and Birthing on Country Service design.

She has strong links with Indigenous researchers and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Organisations across the country, built across a 35-year career in clinical, research, education and policy.

Research interests:

  • midwifery (maternal and infant health)
  • rural and remote health
  • Aboriginal health.
Meet Sue
Associate Professor Sandy Campbell

Associate Professor Sandy Campbell

Aboriginal public health researcher with Masters (ANU) and PhD (UniSA) qualifications in epidemiology, Sandy was born on Mandandanji country her Indigenous ancestry follows her father’s family line. Sandy has a professional background in nursing and midwifery.

Research interests:

  • midwifery (maternal and infant health)
  • rural and remote health
  • Aboriginal health
Meet Sandy
Marilynne Kirshbaum

Professor Marilynne N Kirshbaum

Professor Marilynne N Kirshbaum is Chair of the Human Research Ethics Committee and was previously Head and Professor of Nursing at CDU.

Research interests:

  • cancer-related fatigue
  • chronic fatigue
  • physical exercise in cancer care
  • energy medicine/integrative health and wellbeing
  • art, music and dance for wellbeing
  • development of theory.
Meet Marilynne
Dr Sophie Hickey

Dr Sophie Hickey

Dr Sophie Hickey is an applied sociologist and postdoctoral researcher at the Molly Wardaguga Research Centre. She currently manages the Indigenous Birthing in an Urban Setting (IBUS) Study.

Research interests:

  • health services research
  • midwifery (maternal and infant health)
  • Aboriginal health
  • public Health
  • social science
  • participatory action research
  • institutional ethnography
Meet Sophie
Dr Michelle Moss

Dr Michelle Moss

Dr Michelle Moss is a lecturer/ researcher and course coordinator in Creative Therapies in the College of Health and Human Sciences. She has been at the forefront of therapeutic/ healing practice development for remotely based Aboriginal children and families.

Research interests:

  • creative arts therapy
  • working therapeutically with Indigenous people 
  • working therapeutically in cross-cultural contexts
  • critical pedagogy
  • sociology
  • child protection.
Meet Michelle
Associate Professor Janine Joyce

Associate Professor Janine Joyce 

Dr Janine Joyce is Associate Professor/ Head of Discipline (Acting) at the College of Health and Human Sciences at Charles Darwin University.  She is  available to supervise interdisciplinary projects that give practical improvements for communities in the areas of wellbeing, empowerment and resilience/ transformation.  

Research interests: 

  • empowerment and resilience processes in post conflict and disaster community context
  • peace education and building.
Meet Janine
Dr Penny Haora

Dr Penny Haora

A health/maternity services and public health researcher and midwife, Penny is the BOOSt project research manager embedded at Waminda South Coast Women’s Health and Welfare Aboriginal Corporation (Yuin Nation). 

Research interests

  • midwifery (maternal and infant health), including Indigenous midwifery care
  • maternity and healthcare systems
  • Aboriginal health
  • realist synthesis and evaluation
Meet Penny
Daniel Bressington

Professor Dan Bressington

Professor Dan Bressington is Professor in Mental Health at the College of Nursing and Midwifery.

Research interests:

  • Multimorbidity in people diagnosed with a severe mental illness

  • Developing/testing psychosocial interventions to improve psychosis and other mental health conditions.

  • Mental health literacy/stigma.

  • Complex PTSD and PTSD.

Meet Dan
Dr Daniel Liu

Dr Daniel Liu

Daniel is an Outstanding Future Researcher at CDU and Deputy Lead of the Chronic Disease, Cancer and Ageing Research Group (CCARG). Daniel’s research background is centred on the healthcare of patients with cancer and chronic diseases. Daniel has a distinguished research record as evidenced by internationally recognised publications and success in attracting research funding.

Meet Daniel
Dr Abel Dadi

Dr Abel Dadi

Dr. Abel is a researcher at the Centre for Child Development and Education (CCDE) at Menzies School of Health Research. Abel is currently working on a range of studies in the areas of childhood early development, mid-year school outcomes, and maternal mental health and perinatal outcomes using large-scale, linked, administrative data.

Meet Abel

I can't find a supervisor who matches my research interest. What can I do?

If you've been unable to find a supervisor from the list above, you can use the researchers portal to find researchers from related fields.

  • Use one or two keywords to narrow down the list of researchers.
  • Each research profile will indicate if the researcher has the capacity to supervise.

Once you've found a suitable supervisor, you can contact them using the CDU directory.

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