Students can learn about ageing research at the undergraduate level, or become involved in research at Honours, Masters and PhD levels.


CRAHW and the Research School of Psychology offer a third year undergraduate course, Late-life development and ageing, which is designed to give students an understanding of the psycho-social-biological changes that people experience as they grow older. This includes identifying examples of changes in cognitive and physical capacities, examining the forces that underlie these changes and implications for both the individual and society. The course will emphasise the role of empirical research and the central importance of life span developmental theory to understand the psychology of late-life development and ageing, and will focus on topics relating to relevant research techniques, theoretical approaches, memory, intelligence, personality, health and wellbeing, work and retirement, care-provision, and psychopathology. The course will enable students to apply prior knowledge gained through their earlier psychology studies.


Academics at CRAHW offer Honours supervision under the ANU Honours in Psychology program. Some examples of previous and current Honours projects are listed below.

  • The benefits of positive ageing self-perceptions across the life span: A study of ageing self-stereotypes, personality and life satisfaction in three age groups.
  • Ageing stereotype threat and driving performance.
  • The impact of simulated cataract and low visual contrast sensitivity on neuropsychological test performance in older adults.
  • Personality as a predictor of self and psychologist administered online cognitive testing for older adults.
  • Influence of background noise on performance on auditory memory tasks in late life.

For potential supervisor research interests please see our staff pages.

Masters & PhD

Students with an appropriate background can apply to study towards a Masters or PhD at CRAHW.

A number of potential research projects related to adult life span development and ageing are directly relevant to the medical field and well suited in scope to medical students' research projects. They may include investigating the associations between risk factors (eg diet, exercise, medication, lifestyle, genetic predisposition) and health outcomes such diabetes, hypertension, mood disorders, cognitive decline, and dementia or studying how certain health conditions relate to changes in brain structure and function. They may involve systematic searches of the literature, advanced statistical analyses, or hands-on processing of MRI scans.

Supervision topics

Kaarin Anstey


  • Cognitive Ageing
  • Older Drivers
  • Risk Factors for Mild Cognitive Impairment, Dementia and Cognitive Decline
  • Midlife Development
  • Psychology
  • Epidemiology

Hal Kendig


  • Healthy and Productive Aging
  • Socio-economic Determinants of Health and Wellbeing
  • Aged Care, Health, and Social Policy
  • Sociology
  • Epidemiology
  • Life-span Development, Intergenerational Equity and Social Change

Peter Butterworth


  • Mental Health
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Psychiatric Epidemiology

Rebecca McKetin


  • Epidemiology
  • Energy Drinks and Alcohol Consumption
  • Drug and Alcohol Use / Impact of Drug and Alcohol Use on Health in Older Adults
  • Etiology and Prognosis of Substance-induced Psychosis

Nicolas Cherbuin


  • Cerebral Gyrification, Ageing and Cognitive Decline
  • Dementia, Mild Cognitive Impairment Risk Factors
  • Laterality, Handedness, Brain and Cognition
  • Type 2 diabetes and Neuroimaging

Kerry Sargent-Cox


  • Age-attitudes / Stereotypes
  • Healthy Ageing
  • Attitudes and Health Behaviours

Richard Burns


  • General interest in areas of Wellbeing and Mental Health
  • Organisational Demands and Work-Life Balance: Implications for Employee Wellbeing and Family Cohesion
  • Flourishing across the Lifespan

Sarah Olesen


  • Mental Health
  • Epidemiology
  • Health Service Research
  • Psychology

Liana Leach


  • Work and Family Life Transitions and Mental Health
  • Mental Health
  • Epidemiology
  • Psychology

Alex Bahar-Fuchs


  • Cognitive Training in Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment
  • Mood Induction in Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment
  • Clinical Neuropsychology
  • Health Promotion and Behaviour Change Theory

Moyra Mortby


  • Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Apathy and Depression in Dementia
  • Risk Factors for Dementia and Neuroimaing
  • Neuropsychiatric Symptoms associated with Dementia

Marnie Shaw


  • Using Neuroimaging to Investigate Age-related Changes in Brain Structure

Cathy Gong


  • Healthy and Productive Aging
  • Spatial Disparity and Age Friendly Communities for Older People
  • Inequality and Mobility in Health, Employment and Economic Well-being
  • Labor Market and Retirement Choices
  • Microeconometrics for Cross-sectional and Longitudinal Analysis
  • Indexation, Microsimulation and Applied Statistics

Kim Kiely


  • Determinants and Impacts of Age-related Changes in Cognition, Sensation and Perception
  • Mortality and Healthy Life-expectancies

Supervision in other areas of research is also offered. To discuss research ideas please see our staff pages and contact potential supervisors directly.

Updated:  20 September 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director/Page Contact:  Business Manager