Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

- Clinical Intervention on Sleep during Cancer
- Clinical Intervention on Emotions during Cancer
- Intensive longitudinal studies (daily diary)


Research activity per year

If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile


Dr. Joshua Wiley is a behavioural medicine researcher with a focus on understanding and improving sleep and mental health, particularly in people after a cancer diagnosis. Dr. Wiley is currently appointed as a senior research fellow (equivalent to Asst. Professor) at Monash University in the School of Psychological Sciences and Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health (2016-present). He studied health psychology and behavioural medicine, completing his PhD at the University of California at Los Angeles in 2015. Subsequently, he trained in pragmatic randomised controlled trials (RCTs) through post doctoral with a primary care and prevention group.

Research interests


Through our research, we strive to understand the connections between sleep (behaviour), psychosocial factors, and health. Reflecting our belief that both mental and physical health are important and interconnected, many of our research projects integrate mental and physical health.

Topics our team has expertise in include sleep and insomnia, emotion regulation, depression and anxiety, and cancer.

Methods our team has expertise in include clinical trials, ecological momentary assessment, actigraphy, digitomics1, and statistics.

We leverage the latest science from our team and others to evaluate and optimise interventions to improve sleep, reduce insomnia symptoms, and promote mental health, particularly in people who are or have been treated for cancer or are experiencing other sources of high stress.

Joshua Wiley

Dr. Wiley’s research includes basic science and applied intervention work. In basic science, his work focuses on understanding the daily and longitudinal dynamics of sleep, psychosocial factors and health, emphasising potentially malleable mechanisms driving poor sleep and health. His intervention work targets the basic science mechanisms identified to attempt to improve population health. His intervention research focuses on accessible and feasible sleep/behavioural and emotion regulation interventions with potential for broad dissemination. Aligned with recent calls for personalised medicine, his group combines digitomics and cutting edge data analytics to drive personalised predictions and recommendations to help optimise the content, targetting, and delivery of their interventions. New tools and data analytic pipelines developed for his projects are routinely shared freely and have been picked up in many other studies and projects.

Reflecting the global reach of his research, Dr. Wiley has helped obtain competitive federal grant funding from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Australian Research Council (ARC), United States National Institutes of Health (US NIH), United States Department of Defense (US DoD), and UK Wellcome Trust, totaling >$10 million in funding. He has >100 publications and >6,000 citations (GS).

Monash teaching commitment

I have taught into:

  • PSY3130 on health psychology, partciularly stress, coping, and behaviour change
  • PSY3062 on methods
  • PSY4120 on mental health in cancer contexts
  • PSY4210 on statistics and data science
  • PSY4270 on assessment and intervention in health psychology
  • PSY6103 on statistics and machine learning

Supervision interests

Across my education and training, I have been fortunate to have worked with wonderful mentors.  These experiences taught me a deep respect for not only passing on knowledge, but actively supporting students to reach their potential. I consider myself a hands-on supervisor, and I tend to be actively involved throughout the development and implementation. My aspiration as a mentor is to provide supportive mentoring and to ensure that for every member of my lab we prioritise wellbeing and then academic/research success.

My first priority is the wellbeing of my lab and to have a lab culture of support that values being friendly, collaborative, and supportive of each other, both me supporting you and you supporting each other.

What is the supervision experience like?

For both doctoral and honors students, the core supervision involves individual meetings where we plan and discuss projects, progress, set goals, and address barriers or support needs (e.g., for specific training).  This core is supplemented through realtime messaging (via Teams) and written feedback (e.g., on drafts, presentations, etc.), lab meetings, and supplementary meetings when needed to overcome obstacles or meet deadlines.  I believe in being proactive about seeking additional opportunities for students beyond just meeting the requirements of the doctoral or honors program.  Example opportunities that I support and seek out for my students are:

  • Presentation at national/international conferences
  • Specialized training (e.g., workshops on clinical psych, training in the conduct of clinical trials, advanced statistics)
  • Involving students as co-authors on publications beyond just their own research. This can help strengthen CVs bolster (e.g., for honors students to get into doctoral programs, or for doctoral students to get positions after graduation)
  • Identifying and supporting applications for research grants or scholarships
  • Peer reviewing for scientific journals
  • Nominating students for leadership positions in professional societies
  • Nominating students for awards

What topics are available?

My broad research interests are in how psychology and behavioral scientists can promote health and well-being, particularly for people after a cancer diagnosis.  Specifically, I have expertise in:

  • cancer and psycho-oncology
  • sleep and wake behaviour
  • stress and coping/emotion regulation
  • mental health

Projects in my lab typically include at least two of the above domains. For example, we conduct clinical interventions targeting sleep in people treated for cancer. We also study how stress and coping are associated with daily sleep or how daily sleep influences mental health.

I am happy to discuss projects that fall under broad umbrella of topics described above.

Our current focus is on research in people with cancer. As people live longer, more individuals will experience a cancer diagnosis and treatment during their lifetime and so research understanding adjustment to cancer and designing or testing novel interventions to improve health and well-being in people with cancer is particularly urgent now.  In terms of designs, my lab primarily works with observational studies or intervention studies. Although laboratory studies are not excluded, they are less common.

What types of students do you accept?

I am happy to supervise both doctoral and honors students.  Monash University has criteria for entry and for scholarship awards.  Personally, I look for students who are motivated and passionate about their work.  Although I strive to provide my students with extensive support and numerous opportunities, I also have high expectations.  I am flexible with when and where students work (it is completely fine to work from home or take holidays), but you should be passionate enough about your work that you genuinely enjoy it and want to engage.  That does not mean you need to love every aspect of a doctorate or honours, but if you are not curious about what the outcome of your independent project is or find the thought of spending hours designing a study, reading the literature to develop novel hypotheses, collect and analyze data, and share the results with others tedious or frustrating, I am probably not the right supervisor for you.

How can I learn more?

You can look at our lab website to learn more about our team and projects by going here.

I encourage anyone interested in working with me to email me to discuss your interests.  If it seems like we might be a good fit, we can schedule a call or in person meeting.  I encourage students to contact me at any stage, even if you are not applying immediately, it can be helpful to talk and plan early.

Finally, if you are serious about joining my lab, I encourage you to reach out to some of my current students.  Talking with current or former students can give you a better sense of what working with me is like.  Several of my students have agreed to have their contact details listed so that you can contact them directly and confidentially and hear what their experience working with me has been.

Student contacts:

  • Victoria Dax (
    clinical psychology PhD program, final year

  • Flora Le (
    research psychology PhD program, second year

  • Tania Wallace (
    clinical psychology PhD program, first year

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 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth

External positions

Honorary Research Fellow, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

2017 → …

Research area keywords

  • Sleep
  • Cancer
  • Behavioural Medicine
  • psycho-oncology
  • Emotion Regulation
  • Insomnia
  • Coping
  • Health Psychology
  • Affective science

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