AusAsian Mental Health Research Group Our Projects Social Psychology in Mental Health Studies: Showcase of Postgraduate Research in the Asia-Pacific Region

Social Psychology in Mental Health Studies: Showcase of Postgraduate Research in the Asia-Pacific Region

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Unlock your research potential at the Small Group Meeting (SGM) Social Psychology in Mental Health Studies: Showcase of Postgraduate Research in the Asia-Pacific Region, proudly supported by the Asian Association of Social Psychology (AASP). This event is tailored for postgraduate researchers investigating the relationship between social/societal/political/psychosocial factors and mental health and/or wellbeing. The College of Healthcare Sciences at JCU is proud to co-host the HDR Seminar Day in conjunction with this SGM.

Stressors, including environmental, social, and psychological stressors, have long been recognised as crucial factors that affect individuals’ mental state and social behaviour. These stressors are not stand alone. Instead, they are associated with social structure, socioeconomic status, race, gender, and age. These systems may lead to an unequal distribution of resources and opportunities. Consequently, people with low status in the systems are more likely to experience stressful life conditions, which often lead to mental distress and even mental disorders. Extant studies on mental health largely focus on the potential stressors of individual experiences, and often ignore the possible structural factors as origins of these stressors. This limitation highlights the need of bringing social psychology into mental health research. Focusing on the interface of social psychology and mental health research across Pacific-Asian societies, this SGM will enrich the interplay between social psychology and mental health in theory and research.

Date:  27th - 28th of June 2024

Venue: James Cook University (JCU: 1 James Cook Drive, Townsville, QLD, Australia).

What to expect

  • Research Showcase: Immerse yourself in presentations of our next generation of researchers working in the interface between social psychology and mental health through engaging sessions and presentations, including the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition (For details of 3MT competition, please see below).
  • Research Capacity Building Workshop: Learn about the latest developments in open and replicable science at the research capacity building workshop. Includes advice on how to plan and implement many labs and many analysts research projects for more robust and impactful science.
  • Publishing Insights: Explore academic publishing through discussions in "Conversations with Editors," offering tailored support for researchers in the Asia-Pacific region. Editors of the Asian Journal of Social Psychology, Journal of Pacific Rim Psychology, Journal of Political Psychology, and Australian Journal of Psychology will join the conversation.
  • Insightful Dialogues: Learn from experienced academics as they share insights from their postgraduate journeys in "‘What Next’ Dialogues with Academics. "The Dialogues will provide the postgraduate students with guidance toward finding an answer to the question “What comes after a postgraduate research degree.” The topics will include postdoctoral fellowship, industry research, grant writing, publication strategies, social outreach, and community engagement.

How to participate

Registration for the SGM will be open on 15 March 2024.

The SGM will invite 15-20 postgraduate students and 8-10 academics (including early- and mid-career researchers and senior academics) to join this SGM. The topics of the postgraduate students’ research must be aligned with the theme of the SGM that emphasises the interface of social psychology and mental health and wellbeing.

For student presenters, please submit a structured abstract (including sections of Background, Methods, Results/Findings, and Conclusions) with no more than 250 words by the 15th of April 2024 via the link below. The outcome of the selection will be notified by the 30th of April 2024.

Highlights of the AGM for postgraduate researchers:

If your research explores the intricate connections between social factors and mental health, seize the opportunity to showcase your work at the SGM. This gathering offers the chance to:

  • Win the following awards:
    • Best presentation awards (1st prize: US$300; 2nd prize: US$200; People's choice: US$200)
    • 3MT awards (1st prize: US$200; 2nd prize: US$200; People's choice: US$200)

Important notice: To qualify for prizes, individuals must be members of AASP. The one-year student membership fee varies from AUD $10 to $20.

  • Hone your presentation skills in the 3MT competition, presenting your research in just THREE minutes.
  • Delve into the exciting realm of multi-lab projects, contributing to the development of your ever-first multi-lab project.
  • Engage with editors of prestigious journals and academics.

SMG activities (Australia QLD time)

  • 9:00am - 9:05am: Acknowledgment of Country by A/Prof Wendy Li, Associate Dean for Research, College of Healthcare Sciences, James Cook University (JCU)
  • 9:05am - 9:20am: Welcome speech by the Dean of Graduate Research School, JCU
  • 9:20am - 10:00am: Keynote speech by Prof James Liu, Massey University, New Zealand; Editor of the Journal of Political Psychology; Former president of AASP
  • 10:00am - 11:00am Morning tea and networking
  • 11:00am - 1pm: Postgraduate Research Presentations
  • 1:00pm – 2:00pm: Lunch and networking
  • 2:00pm – 4:00pm: Postgraduate Research Presentations
  • 4:00pm – 4:30pm: Afternoon tea and networking
  • 4:30pm - 6:30pm: Research Capacity Building Workshop
  • 6:30pm - 8:30pm Conference dinner and networking
  • 9:00am – 11:00am: Postgraduate Research Presentations
  • 11:00am -11:30am Morning tea and networking
  • 11:30pm -12:30pm: Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition
  • 12:30pm – 1:30pm: Lunch and networking
  • 1:30pm – 3:00pm: Dialogue with Editors
  • 3:00pm – 4:00pm: ‘What Next’ Dialogue with Academics
  • 4:00pm – 4:30pm: Best presentation prizes and 3MT prizes ceremony and SGM closing
  • 4:30pm onward: Afternoon tea and networking

About the 3MT Competition


The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia. The competition supports research students’ capacities to effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. Many universities in the Asia-Pacific region have a proud history of participating in the event.
Communicating your research simply and directly in ways that a wide range of non-experts can understand is increasingly understood as being intrinsic to research practice. Successful communication involves a lot more than mere dissemination of results but a thoughtful engagement with potential research users and audiences.


More 3MT resources: