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Monash Behaviour Change Graduate Research Partnership (GRIP) Program

Meet the next generation of behavioural experts

In 2017, Monash University announced that 18 new behaviour change PhD scholarships would be offered for the first time through the Graduate Research Industry Partnership (GRIP) program. The GRIP, which is being run in partnership with some of Australia’s leading government agencies, will create a new cohort of behavioural experts with sophisticated and adaptive research skills. Details below.

Vision and goals

For the behavioural sciences to really flourish in Australia, we need a new cohort of PhD-qualified researchers who are capable of stradling the worlds of academia and industry/government. 


Monash University’s Graduate Industry Partnership (GRIP) program is designed to do just that – bring talented PhD candidates together with government and industry professionals to tackle-real world problems and translate evidence into policy and practice.


Launched in 2017, the Behaviour Change GRIP is the fifth to be supported by Monash University and brings the successful candidates together with project managers and behaviour change practitioners in leading government agencies to address a range of public policy issues – see projects below.


The candidates are being supported throughout their GRIP journey by leading Monash University academics from BehaviourWorks Australia, the Faculties of Arts, Law, Business and Economics, the Monash University Accident Research Centre and Monash Sustainable Development Institute.

 

The candidates are being exposed to a range of research and industry challenges and will graduate with sophisticated and adaptive research skills that will allow them to build careers in this rapidly-evolving interdisciplinary field.

Collaboration

Collaboration is the driving principle behind the GRIP program and a core philosophy of BehaviourWorks Australia. 


By bringing academics together with project managers and behaviour change practitioners in government and industry, better solutions can be found.


The learnings that come out of these collaborations allow us to build the capabilities of the partner organisations and a culture that supports behavioural approaches to problem-solving.


See projects and candidate profiles below to learn more. 

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"GRIPsters" start their PhD journey

On 26 March 2018, the 18 successful “GRIPsters” started their PhD journey. They were welcomed by Monash Sustainable Development Institute (MSDI) Chair, Professor John
Thwaites, MSDI Director, Professor Rebekah Brown and
several BehaviourWorks Australia (BWA) staff including Director, A/Prof Liam Smith.  More news soon.

Partners and projects

The Behaviour Change GRIP is supported by Monash University. The GRIP parners and projects are:

  • Safer Care Victoria. Note * two projects: Following a consumer-driven healthcare priority from policy into practice.

  • Australia and New Zealand School of Government. Project 1: Sharing experience of violence as a prevention strategy.

  • Australia and New Zealand School of Government. Project 2: The impact of public sector training on behaviour back in the workplace.

  • WorkSafe Victoria. Project 1: Mental injury prevention.

  • WorkSafe Victoria. Project 2: Activating community co-ownership of wellbeing and safety outcomes.

  • Australia Post. Project 1: Greater utilisation of digital opportunities, particularly those who most stand to benefit.

  • Australia Post. Project 2: Encouraging Australians to be more inclusive.

  • VicRoads. Project 2: Understanding travel choices to influence behaviour.

  • VicHealth: Project 1: Exploring masculine identities as a means to preventing violence against women.

  • VicHealth: Project 2: Fostering knowledge translation between VicHealth collaborators.

  • Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. Project 1: Encouraging Victorians to participate in activities in line with Victoria’s Biodiversity Strategy.

  • Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. Project 2: Behaviour change programs to reduce single use plastics.

  • Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. Project 3: Understanding the role of behaviour and behaviour change in energy transformation.

  • Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. Project 4: Improving Victoria’s rental housing energy performance.

  • EPA Victoria. Project 1: A new general duty to prevent harm is coming to Victoria: How can EPA ensure its success among new stakeholder groups?

  • EPA Victoria. Project 2: Communicating and responding to public health risks from pollution and waste.

GRIPster profiles
  • Kim Borg is working with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning to reduce environmental harms associated with single use plastics. The project will consider behaviour change programs that supplement a plastic bag ban and whether behaviours that reduce the use of one kind of plastic can be used to encourage other plastic-reduction behaviours.

    Kim Borg
    Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
  • Joel Edwards, who has a background in urban and regional planning, is working with the EPA (Vic) to implement reforms that require the EPA to communicate public health risks from pollution and waste. The project aims to identify and trial approaches that engage Victorians to take more affirmative action in preventing their exposure to pollutants.

    Joel Edwards
    Environment Protection Authority Victoria
  • Nadia Chaves is a doctor whose passion for healthcare improvement has seen her take on PhD with SaferCare Victoria. The project is looking at the policy foundations and underlying evidence behind a new framework that seeks to empower patients to become active partners in their healthcare.

    Nadia Chaves
    SaferCare Victoria
  • Formerly a journalist and communications professional, Lisa Wheildon is working with the Australian and New Zealand School of Government to investigate the efficacy of women sharing their lived experience of domestic violence as a primary prevention tool to prevent violence against women.

    Lisa Wheildon
    Australian and New Zealand School of Government
  • Wing Hsieh, who studied economics and law, is working on an Australia Post project that seeks to make Australia a more inclusive society. Wing will also help to specific develop tools that members of a new association called Inclusive Australia can use to evaluate the impact of their inclusiveness programs.

    Wing Hsieh
    Australia Post
  • Fareed Kaviani, who has a Masters in Literature, is working with VicRoads on a project examining the efficacy of interventions designed to encourage drivers to stay focused on the road. The project will also investigate how the distractions caused by mobile phones and touchscreens are being exacerbated by longer journey times.

    Fareed Kaviani
    VicRoads
  • Corina Crisan studied psychology and political science. Her PhD, with WorkSafe Victoria, is looking at the topic of mental wellbeing in the workplace. The project will investigate how to encourage communities to take greater ownership of their wellbeing and safety outcomes.

    Corina Crisan
    WorkSafe
  • A qualified environmental chemist, Madeline Thomas is undertaking her PhD with the EPA (Vic). The project will support the EPA's efforts in promoting new legislation that requires Victorians to take reasonable and practical steps to prevent harm to human health and the environment from pollution and waste.

    Madeline Thomas
    Environment Protection Authority (Vic)
  • Michaela Lang, who has 15 years' experience working in local government roles, is undertaking her PhD with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. It is investigating the motivations and barriers for landlords to make investments in transitioning rental properties to low carbon homes.

    Michaela Lang
    Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
  • Priscilla Weaver has a background in psychology and forensics. She previously worked with the Victorian Police Force and is now working with WorkSafe to develop and test evidence-based interventions which encourage Victorian employees, and employers, to be more active in preventing mental injuries in the workplace.

    Priscilla Weaver
    WorkSafe
  • Kathie Pawluk De-Toledo has a background in public relations and policy development in the education sector. Her PhD, which is with VicRoads, is investigating the correlation between information and its influence/impact on our travel behaviour in the context of reducing road congestion.

    Kathie Pawluk De-Toledo
    VicRoads
  • Eunice Wong is a trained psychologist who has worked in the community and health/aged care sectors. She is working with SaferCare Victoria to investigate if a consumer-driven healthcare policy can help patients feel more empowered and more in control of their healthcare.

    Eunice Wong
    SaferCare Victoria
  • Rebecca Stewart has a background in psychology and normative behaviours in partner violence. Her PhD, with VicHealth, will explore masculine identities as a means to preventing violence against women.

    Rebecca Stewart
    VicHealth
  • Lisa Brocker studied philosophy and gained extensive experience working in the public sector with a focus on environmental protection. She is working with the Australia and New Zealand School of Government to look at the impact of public sector training on behaviour back in the workplace.

    Lisa Brocker
    Australia and New Zealand School of Government
  • Jennifer has a background in psychology and currently works in support services for a mental health care provider. She is partnering with VicHealth to undertake a PhD looking at how to foster knowledge translation between VicHealth collaborators.

    Jennifer Owen
    VicHealth
  • Melissa Hatty has a background in health psychology but is interested in environmental issues. She is working with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning to investigate ways of encouraging Victorians to get out and enjoy nature, in line with Victoria’s new Biodiversity Strategy.

    Melissa Hatty
    Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
  • Kylie Lewis, who has a Masters in e-business and communications, is working with Australia Post to investigate how to increase digital participation and give vulnerable Australians the skills and knowledge they they need to take up digital technology and thus gain greater access to online services.

    Kylie Lewis
    Australia Post
  • Dominique McCollum Coy studied climate change and environmental ecology. Her PhD, which is being undertaken with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, seeks to understand the role of behaviour, and behaviour change, in energy transformation.

    Dominique McCollum Coy
    Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning