Kerry O'Brien


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

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Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

Research Areas: Stigma & health; Health and social policy; Hazardous drinking & associated harms (violence, antisocial behaviour);  Psychosocial aspects of Obesity; Alcohol and gambling advertising & sponsorship; Health psychology; Social exclusion; Eating behaviour and Body Image; Addiction; Research Methodologies and Psychometrics. Psychosocial factors in Endometriosis and PCOS.



I am Director of the Behavioural Sciences Research Lab, and Assoc Dean Research. I joined the School of Social Sciences at Monash in December 2010 where I conduct research and teach a range of topics related to health and social behaviour, and health and social policy. Prior to this I was at the University of Manchester for three years where I helped establish the Masters in Clinical and Health Psychology, and taught courses and conducted research on the social determinants of health, social and health policy, and health and social psychology. From 2006-2008 I was at the University of Wollongong.

I received training in psychology and public health, completing an honours degree in psychology/neuroscience, and PhD in applied cognitive psychology. I have since broadened my research interests into a range of mental and physical health related topics, and social harms broadly, including the the potential antecedents and mediators. I am particularly interested in developing and testing new research methodologies and measures, including psychometric testing of new measures, and application research designs and program evaluations in complex real-world settings.

Since arriving at Monash, I have been lead chief investigator of co-lead chief investigator on over $4.5 million in competitive research grants. This includes two ARC grants, two NHMRC grants, and 12 competitive research grants totalling.

I am a lead member (representing the Faculty of Arts) on the $110 million Digital Health CRC (Co-operative Research Center). 

Monash teaching commitment

Courses designed, coordinated, and taught (undergraduate and postgraduate).

social and health policy, stigma and health, research methods in social sciences, public health, health promotion, applied social psychology, social identity, health psychology.

Supervision interests

I have substantial experience in managing HDR students, and have supervised over 35 research students (PhD, Masters, and Honours), and currently supervise 3 PhD students and 2 honours students.

PhD Research Opportunities


I am looking for suitable PhD (and Masters) candidates interested in any of the below broad topic areas:

  1. The impact of weight stigma on psychological well-being, eating behaviour, and participation physical activity and sport.
  2. The influence of alcohol, gambling, and fast food advertising and sponsorship on young people.
  3. Other topics related to prejudice, discrimination, body image and disordered eating, psychological and physical health.
  4. Evidence based health and social policy making.
  5. Psychosocial factors in Endometriosis and PCOS and associated wellbeing and mental health.


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 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research area keywords

  • Obesity
  • Addiction
  • Health Psychology
  • Stigma
  • Alcohol
  • Gambling
  • Sport, social inclusion, social policy, diversity
  • Womens Health
  • Digital Health, Data Science, Machine Learning, Statistical Signal Processing, Stochastic Filtering, Control Theory, Computational Neuroscience, Neural Engineering, Neuroimaging, Neurology, Epilepsy, Anaesthesiology

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