I really love being an HDR student at IPPE, mostly because of the people.  Also, the supportive environment helps you to progress easily with your studies.  Another great thing about being here at the Institute is the number of world-renowned researchers we have here.  The opportunity to be around and work closely with many of the top researchers in my field was definitely a deciding factor for me to choose ACU as the place to do my studies.  The institute is an extremely supportive and encouraging place to be a PhD student.

Diego Vasconcellos


“Some say that raising a child “takes a village” and, in my experience, it takes one to “raise” a PhD Candidate too.  Luckily, I found my village at the Institute for Positive Psychology and Education (IPPE).  Initially, the world-class calibre of both the academic staff and my fellow PhD candidates was a little intimidating, but I was made to feel welcome by everyone from day one.  In fact, everyone was happy to offer up their world-class intellect (and personalities) to educate, excite and engage me throughout my PhD.  I was afforded ample autonomy to carve out my own path, but also given enough support to know that my chosen path wasn’t laden with thorns.  During my candidature, I was able to submit several first author papers, collaborate on a number of others, travel to three international conferences, and submit my thesis on time within the three years allotted (passed without amendment, if I don’t say myself).  There is no doubt about it, a PhD is a long and challenging endeavour, but it can be done and it can be remarkably rewarding if built on the right foundations.  Central to those foundations are experienced supervisors and colleagues who care, can guide you competently, and want to see you get the most out of your studies, all of which one finds at IPPE.”

Emma Bradshaw


"Doing a PhD at IPPE was an enriching experience.  I was surrounded by highly intelligent and productive academics and peers, each of whom was kind and compassionate.  It would be silly to think that doing a PhD is always sunshine and rainbows, but the important thing is that when it gets hard, you’re not alone.  I received support not only from my fellow PhD students and my supervisors, but also other academics who freely gave me their feedback and offered suggestions.  I think IPPE is unique in that everyone here wants you to succeed – and so they are always there to help.

Geetanjali Basarkod


Doing a PhD at IPPE was a transformative experience.  My supervisors provided me with an excellent blend of autonomy and structure.  I learned a lot about programming, writing, and how to think.  The skills I developed during my PhD serve me every day.  IPPE provides a wonderful environment to learn and push yourself.”

James Conigrave


“I love being a HDR student in the supportive and encouraging IPPE environment.  I recently and very hesitantly entered the Three-Minute Thesis Competition, and so the Deputy Director (Professor Alexander Yeung) kindly invited me to do a couple of practice run-throughs at the weekly Brown Bag sessions.  At these sessions, all the IPPE members provided me with constructive feedback and encouragement.  After the Competition, I received an overwhelming number of texts and emails saying congratulations.  IPPE is, without a doubt, the most supportive and encouraging environment in which to be a HDR student.”

Katherine Owen


“I have particularly enjoyed being a PhD student through IPPE as I have had not only outstanding support with advice and structure for my research, but also assistance in gaining an ARC Grant which provided financial support for the term of my enrolment.  This has helped me attend international conferences, travel and accommodation to carry out my research, and I’ll have sufficient funds for editing support and printing for my final thesis.”

Lynette Riley


I feel really lucky to have been a HDR student with IPPE.  I was working under the guidance of staff who had a genuine interest in my success.  The support from the administrative staff through to the Deputy Director was exceptional.  Even though I was in Melbourne and remote to the Institute I always felt included and my amazing supervisor was always available via phone, email or Skype.  It was a privilege to study with such highly regarded academics and I am proud to say I am a PhD graduate from IPPE.

Michelle Kehoe


“IPPE provides excellent opportunities for research candidates to develop their knowledge and expertise in areas they are passionate about.  As a world-class Institute, students are provided with ongoing support from their supervisors and the entire IPPE team.  Students have opportunities to engage with other students and present locally and internationally at research conferences.  I highly recommend IPPE to prospective research candidates.”

Michelle Nemec


“HDR life has given me time and tasks to move further into theories that underpin my job as a school teacher.  Reading and delving into the ideas of key people is exciting, but more exciting is applying those ideas in a project aiming to show that there is practical application possible — that ideas can show a measurable improvement on how we do things.  I like being part of that.”

Nicholas Green


“IPPE is such a friendly and supportive group of people with similar goals and interests.  Being a HDR student within IPPE has exposed me to a large intellectual support network.  It’s really inspiring to work around such successful academics, especially Professor Richard Ryan who co-founded Self-Determination Theory — the theory my entire PhD is based upon.  I feel so privileged to have the help and support of the IPPE academics, and their success encourages me to want to succeed.”

Rhiannon Lee White

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