Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

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1992 …2023

Research activity per year

Personal profile


Professor Ellie Fossey is Head of Occupational Therapy in the School of Primary and Allied Health Care, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University.

Professor Ellie Fossey completed her professional qualification in occupational therapy at Dorset House School of Occupational Therapy (now part of Oxford Brookes University) in England in 1980; graduated from City University, London with a Master degree in Health Psychology in 1993; and completed a Doctor of Philosophy at The University of Melbourne in 2009. She has worked as an occupational therapist in mental health services in London (UK), New Zealand and Australia, predominantly in community teams, supported housing and employment programs. Her academic career in occupational therapy began at the University of South Australia and includes undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and research at Coventry University and La Trobe University, prior to joining Monash University in 2015.

She is a member of the Australia and New Zealand Occupational Therapy Mental Health Academics (ANZOTMHA) Steering Group; The Mental Health Services Conference of Australia and New Zealand (TheMHS) Network; and the National Mental Health Achievement Awards Assessment panel.


Research interests

Ellie's research is predominantly directed towards understanding participation and disability, experiences of everyday living with mental health issues, and the ways in which people's participation in occupations of daily life may be impacted by ongoing health conditions. She is particularly interested in qualitative, collaborative and participatory approaches to undertaking research.

Her recent funded projects have focused on tertiary education experiences and support of students with disabilities, implementation and evaluation of recovery-oriented practices in mental health care, and evaluation of Prevention and Recovery Care services in Victoria; and typically involve interdisciplinary and interagency collaborations. 

Supervision interests

Professor Ellie Fossey currently supervises Honours, Masters and PhD students. Recent completed supervised research projects include:

  • Constructing recovery through occupational engagement: a participatory Photo-Voice study with people experiencing persistent mental health issues (PhD thesis)
  • Moving clients forward: a grounded theory study of employment specialists’ views and practices (PhD thesis)
  • Work participation after spinal cord injury in Bangladesh and the usefulness of the Worker Role Interview (PhD thesis)
  • Capable and different: A grounded theory of studying at university for students with mental ill-health (PhD thesis)
  • Perspectives of student disclosure of mental illness in postsecondary education (PhD thesis)
  • Factors influencing participation in the workforce: Perspectives of people with upper limb loss (ClinScD thesis)
  • Play matters: Evaluation of a schoolyard based group intervention (ClinScD thesis)
  • Implementing recovery-oriented practices in primary mental health care (Masters thesis)
  • Use of CAPE in Early in Life Mental Health Services to evaluate the occupational participation (Masters thesis)
  • Implementing the Action over Inertia program: perspectives of adults experiencing persistent mental illness and occupational therapists (Masters thesis)
  • Program evaluation of vocationally-focused workshops to assist consumers with mental illness in their journey to employment (Masters thesis)
  • Time use and occupational engagement of adults with intellectual disability in supported living (Masters thesis)
  • A consumer and staff collaboration initiative in a community mental health service (Masters thesis)
  • Mixed methods investigation of weight stigma and occupational engagement (Honours thesis)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Participating as resisting: everyday life stories of people experiencing mental health issues, University of Melbourne

Award Date: 22 Aug 2009

Health Psychology, Master of Science (Health Psychology), Screening of referrals to a psychiatric day hospital: an exploration of the interview process, City University London

… → 1993

External positions

Adjunct Professor, La Trobe University

2015 → …

Honorary Research Associate, University of Melbourne

2007 → …

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or