PhD Scholarship – Mindfulness in Children

Through the AXA Research Fund, the Melbourne Graduate School of Education is offering up to two PhD scholarships to join the Minds@Play research project. The first three years of primary school are pivotal for establishing a firm foundation for long-term student academic, social and well-being outcomes. Students with a poor transition to primary school are at increased risk for a host of detrimental outcomes including poorer academic performance, early school dropout, behavioural and emotional problems, and poor peer and teacher relationships. As schools around the world shut down during COVID-19, this is likely to have led to poorer child mental well-being due to family stress and anxiety about the situation. In addition, as schools return, many schools will be looking for ways to support students during the transition back to school to ensure they have the appropriate skills to navigate this period. Mindfulness is an approach that has rapidly gained popularity in Australia and internationally. Mindfulness-based interventions aim to improve student skills in areas such as attention, self-regulation and executive functioning. Although there has been rapid uptake of mindfulness-based interventions, there are a glaring lack of robust randomised intervention trials (RCTs) examining whether mindfulness interventions lead to improved long-term outcomes for students. The two potential projects for the PhD scholarships are: Project 1: Understand how the social isolation associated with not being able to go to school has influenced the immediate and long-term mental health outcomes of children and parents. Project 2: Understand whether a school-based mindfulness intervention can improve primary school students’ outcomes once they have transition back to face-to-face learning.

Applications open

30 Nov 2020

Applications closed

24 Jan 2021

Application type

Application required
How to apply

Benefit type

General allowance
Full benefit details

Citizenship requirements

Australian / domestic student
International student

Total value

up to $93,600

Applicable study areas

Education, teaching and training

Number of scholarships awarded

Approximately 2

  • Eligibility & selection criteria


    To be eligible for this scholarship, you need to:

    • satisfy the School’s PhD entry requirements.
    • commence by July 2021

    It is desirable that applicants have:

    • a study background in education, psychology or child health.
    • experience working with primary school-aged children
    • experience in statistics

    Full-time enrolment is a condition of the funding received from AXA Research Fund. We encourage you to contact us  if you wish to discuss your eligibility or any other aspect of the scholarship.

    Selection criteria

    Applicants will be considered based on:

    • a completed online application (including curriculum vitae and references)
    • faculty scholarship score and eligibility check
    • interview, for shortlisted applicants.

    The PhD opportunity

    • The PhD must fit within the research agenda of the Minds@Play project.
    • The award will be offered to the student based on their ability to complete a research higher degree through a combination of academic study, research experience, professional experience and overall knowledge of the proposed area of study.

    For Application, research project enquires and support for applicants, please contact: Dr Jon Quach at

  • Application process

    Applicants will need to apply for a PhD place as well via the online admissions system

    Applications for the next selection round closes on 18 April 2021.  Applicants will need to meet the entry requirements. Please note, meeting the minimum entry requirements does not guarantee admission into the course, as entry to candidature is very competitive.

  • When will I know the outcome?

    Candidates will be advised of the outcome of their application by email as soon as possible.

What are the benefits?

The successful candidate will receive a scholarship of approximately $31,200 pro rata per year for 3 years of the PhD (fulltime), funded by the AXA Research Fund.

Interested in a scholarship? Register now

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For complete listings of faculty-specific scholarships, please see individual faculty websites.

The information listed here is subject to change without notice. Where we have listed information about jointly run scholarships programs, please also see our partners' websites. Information describing the number and value of scholarships awarded is indicative.