Students graduating

Congratulations to our PREMISE PhD graduates!

16 August 2023
Two PREMISE PhD scholarship students awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Two of the Matilda Centre’s HDR students, Dr Samantha Lynch and Dr Lucy Grummitt, were awarded their PhDs and are embarking on their careers. We sat down with them to learn more.

A core focus of the Prevention and Early Intervention in Mental Illness and Substance Use Centre of Research Excellence (PREMISE) is training the next generation of prevention researchers.  

Through PREMISE support, Dr Samantha Lynch and Dr Lucy Grummitt had many great achievements during their PhD research at the Matilda Centre and were recently awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Sydney. 

Lucy Grummett

Dr Lucy Grummitt 

Thesis title: Understanding and addressing childhood adversity to prevent substance use and mental disorders: Does one size fit all? 

Supervisors: Associate Professor Emma Barrett, Dr Erin Kelly, Professor Nicola Newton

PREMISE PhD scholarship student, Lucy Grummitt, published seven scientific papers from her PhD research, including a literature review of the literature which she was invited to lead by the journal Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation.

Lucy’s research is cited in important policy documents, including position statements by the American College of Preventive Medicine and World Health Organization.

She presented her research at seven national conferences and five international conferences, and  received four awards: the Professor Helen Herrman Award for Social Mental Health (Society for Mental Health Research); the NHMRC PREMISE Travel and Career Development Support Grant; the Early Career Travel Award (Society for Prevention Research); and the Matilda Centre Award for Research Excellence.

Lucy was also awarded a Student Co-Chair position for the Trauma and Substance Use Special Interest Group (International Society of Trauma and Stress Studies) and invited to the editorial board for the Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma. 

Since completing her PhD, Lucy has started postdoctoral work at the Matilda Centre. In this role, she coordinates the OurFutures Mental Health project. This involves focus groups and interviews with young Australians, and consultations with research and clinical experts, to update the existing mental health program to be trauma-aware and LGBTQ+ inclusive.

She is now leading a randomised controlled trial to test the efficacy of the updated OurFutures Mental Health program in preventing symptoms of depression and anxiety in Australian adolescents.

Samantha Lunch

Dr Samantha Lynch

Thesis title: Advancing our understanding of general psychopathology among young people: Optimising prevention targets and timing. 

Supervisors: Professor Cath Chapman, Professor Nicola Newton, Associate Professor Matthew Sunderland

PREMISE PhD scholarship student, Samantha Lynch, shared her PhD research at four international and three national conferences.

This has included an invited presentation at the “Leading the Way to Mentally Healthier Schools Conference” hosted by the Black Dog Institute, Sydney, Australia.

At the inaugural Matilda Centre Conference, Samantha won the “Best Rapid Talk” for her 3-minute presentation on “Personality and the development of psychopathology during adolescence.” Sam has published four papers from her PhD research with a fifth currently under review.  

Since completing her PhD, Sam has started a postdoctoral fellowship with world-leading prevention researcher Dr Patricia Conrod at the Venture Lab at the Université de Montréal.  Sam’s fellowship focusses on understanding risk factors and causal processes that lead to the development of mental health and substance use problems among young people. 

She is collaborating with a multidisciplinary team to explore cognitive, neurodevelopmental, personality, behavioural and contextual factors that increase risk for the presentation of mental health problems. Additionally, she is helping to coordinate and develop the cognitive and behavioural phenotyping protocol for the Canadian Paediatric Imaging Platform (C-PIP). In her spare time, Sam is enjoying exploring the cafes, galleries, and restaurants of Montréal, attempting to learn French, and bracing for the impending Canadian winter. 

For further information about PREMISE please contact Felicity Duong: