Our research students - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Our research students

Research students are fundamental to the success of the Sexual Violence Research and Prevention Unit.

We strive to provide:

  • Innovative research projects to support emerging research scholars;
  • Collegiate, stimulating and challenging environment e.g. active writing groups driven by students;
  • Supervisory teams with broad skill base; and 
  • Skills and capacity to work as part of trans-disciplinary teams.

Our students

PhD students

Student Project Title Year/s Institution/s Supervisors

Isabelle Hull

Offending Patterns and System Responses to Female-Perpetrated Child Sexual Abuse and CSAM Offences in Queensland


USC Australia

Dr Nadine McKillop, Dr Susan Rayment-McHugh, and Dr Lara Christensen 

Tashena Biffanti Determining the Relationship between Experimental and Aggravated Sexting in Young People: Self-Produced Online Child Sexual Exploitation Material 2020 - 2023 USC Australia Dr Nadine McKillop, Dr Sue Rayment-McHugh and Dr Lara Christensen 
Timea Molnar Validation of the JSOAP-II on Australian Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth who sexually harm 2017 - 2020 Griffith University Associate Professor John Rynne and Dr Troy Allard (Griffith University); Dr Nadine McKillop (USC)
Andrew Allen Sexual Violence and Fantasy: Investigating the Utility of EMDR Therapy 2019 - 2023 USC Australia Dr Prue Millear and Dr Nadine McKillop (USC); Professor Mary Katsikitis (Flinders University)
Melinda Osbourne The sexual extortion of children using cyberspace and telecommunication devices 2019 - 2023 USC Australia Dr Rachael Sharman, Dr Lara Christensen and Dr Ben Lane 
Belinda Peacock Development, implementation and evaluation of a program for individuals at-risk of, or engaging with, online child exploitation material in Australia 2019 - 2027 USC Australia Dr Nadine McKillop, Dr Sue Rayment-McHugh and Dr Lara Christensen 
Danielle Labhardt A cross-cultural study using sequential triangulation and immersive technology to advance bystander intervention research in sexual assault Completed 2018 Coventry University Dr Emma Holdsworth, Professor Sarah Brown and Dr Douglas Howat (Coventry University); Dr Nadine McKillop and Professor Christian Jones (USC)

MASTERS students

Student Project Title Year/s Institution/s Supervisors

Bricklyn Priebe

Professionals’ perceptions of the need for tailored, efficacious rehabilitation and reintegration programs for female child sex offenders: An international study


USC Australia

Dr Lara Christensen, Dr Nadine McKillop and Dr Sue Rayment-McHugh

Rachael Stubbs

Intimate partner violence prevention among young people–exploring the interface of respectful relationship education and direct practice.

2020-2024  USC Australia Dr Philip Crane, Dr Susan Rayment-McHugh and Dr Karen Struthers 

Honours students

Student Project Title Year/s Institution/s Supervisors
Jessica Lockitch Barriers to guardianship in youth-serving institutions: Implications for enhanced prevention.

Completed 2020

USC Australia Dr Sue Rayment-McHugh and Dr Nadine McKillop
Yolandi Breedt Revenge porn and rapidly advancing technology: A comparison of the Australian laws. Completed 2020 USC Australia Associate Professor Kelly Burton 
Isabella Damiris
Sentencing disparities for female and male sexual offending on Queensland: Do they exist, and what is the impact? Completed 2019 USC Australia Dr Nadine McKillop, Dr Susan Rayment-McHugh and Dr Lara Christensen 
Richard Bojack Investigating the onset of child sexual abuse in emerging adulthood: A comparison across developmental life stages Completed 2018 USC Australia Dr Susan Rayment-McHugh and Dr Nadine McKillop 
Melinda Osbourne Critical life events: Pathways to child sexual offending Completed 2018 USC Australia Dr Lara Christensen 

Current students can find information to support you in your program through HDR Candidature and through Student Blackboard / Research and Research Training / Graduate Research Studies Management.

Study with us

Explore options for research students or contact the co-leaders of Sexual Violence Research and Prevention Unit for guidance on what specific projects within the Unit might suit your research interests.

Honours students study for a year full-time or for two years part time and should refer to honours applications for more information.

You may also be interested in enrolling in a Masters or Doctorate research program and further information can be found at HDR Applicants 

Potential research topics

Research projects are available for Honours and Higher Degree by Research students (from a range of disciplines) in the following areas: 


  • Understanding onset and progression of child sexual abuse
  • Female sexual offending 
  • Youth sexual violence and abuse
  • Online sexual offending trajectories
  • Victimology of sexual abuse
  • Understanding endemic sexual violence


  • Contextual and place-based prevention models
  • Situational prevention of child sexual abuse
  • Child-safe organisations
  • Bystander interventions and sexual assault


  • Assessment and treatment of youth and adults who sexually abuse
  • Evaluation of sexual offender rehabilitation and reintegration
  • Sentencing of child sexual offenders
  • Attrition of sexual abuse cases
  • Responding to sexual violence and abuse in Indigenous communities


Students in an Honours, Masters or Doctoral program need to identify a potential supervisor.

We suggest reviewing SVRPU unit members and identifying potential people who may align with your research interests.

Send a copy of your resume or CV, a brief summary of your work experience history, and research interests to your potential supervisor.

If you are unsure of which academic to approach feel free to contact us by email with your resume or CV, a short statement about you and SVRPU co-leaders will consider mentors who may be available to support your research aspirations.


Explore scholarships available (filter by study level Postgraduate - research).