The Sydney University Psychology of Intergroup Relations (SUPIR) Lab is dedicated to the psychological study of intergroup relations, diversity, and stigma.
We integrate a range of empirical methodologies from social psychology, social cognition, developmental psychology, field research, and psychophysiology. While our research has an Australian focus, its scope is international, with broad applications for social policy and interventions to promote social harmony.
Lauren J. Harvey
The SUPIR Lab welcomes both domestic and international candidates to pursue a rewarding higher research degree (including a Doctor of Philosophy or a Master of Science) within The University of Sydney's School of Psychology. The Lab provides students with a supportive and collaborative environment that helps nurture the critical mindset and diligent research approach necessary for them to succeed as future independent researchers.
The School of Psychology offers a well-resourced and stimulating intellectual environment for research students and offers competitive top-up scholarships, teaching fellowships, and financial support to attend national and international conferences. More information.
Research projects can cover any topic in the extensive field of prejudice, diversity, and intergroup relations.
Examples of current and previous research topics include:
The SUPIR Lab encourages undergraduate students to undertake their Honours’ empirical project under the supervision of principal investigator, Professor Fiona White. The Lab will provide students with a great research environment and a nurturing support network to guide them successfully through their Honours' year. More information.
Examples of current and previous research topics include:
We are no longer accepting applications for volunteer research assistants for 2019. Check back in November to apply for a position in 2020.
Fiona's work centers around the development of effective social-cognitive strategies to reduce the many types of stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination that continue to pervade society. In doing so, her research aims to improve intergroup relations for both minority and majority groups in the short- and long-term. Of particular interest are intergroup strategies that integrate cooperative contact (i.e., imagined, extended, and E-contact) and identity recategorisation (i.e., common vs. dual identity).
Lauren is a third year doctoral and masters of clinical psychology student. For her Honours' project in 2012, she devised a novel E-contact paradigm, whereby participants were vicariously exposed to intergroup contact online. Currently, she has been assisting in devising, piloting, and testing a new E-contact paradigm. Coming from a multicultural background herself, her research interests include: the impact of stigma and immigration on mental health outcomes, online interventions to promote behavioural change, and cognitive recategorisation strategies to facilitate prejudice reduction and acculturation.
Ruth is a PhD candidate whose research focuses on the school experiences of sexual minority and trans and gender non-conforming youth. The years she spent working as a pre-school teacher and teacher’s aide inspired her current research, which addresses the perceived and real obstacles that prevent teachers from implementing inclusive changes in their classrooms. In addition to an undergraduate background in psychology and English literature (CSULB), Ruth has earned a Master’s in English Literature and Master’s in Sexuality Studies (receiving the department’s Distinguished Achievement Award) from San Francisco State University. As her diverse academic background and social-justice focused research suggest, she believes in an interdisciplinary and solution-oriented approach to her research.
Rachel is a third-year PhD candidate interested in reducing stigma against people with mental illness. She joined in the SUPIR Lab in 2016 as an Honours student investigating the effectiveness of intergroup E-contact at reducing public stigma against people with schizophrenia. Now, her focus has expanded to include other intergroup contact strategies and mental illnesses. She seeks to inform future research and public stigma-reduction campaigns of factors that influence the effectiveness of contact interventions. Rachel is also interested in whether the contact hypothesis can be extended to intragroup contact as a means of reducing internalised stigma, an avenue that has not been considered previously. She is passionate about providing undergraduate students with research experience through the SUPIR Lab.
Elise is currently studying honours in psychology after completing a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts. Their research focuses on prejudice towards people who are transgender or gender non-conforming. They aim to work as a clinical psychologist in settings of social injustices/human rights abuses, where it is not uncommon for people to suffer due to the prejudice (in its various forms) of others.
Peta is currently working towards Honours in Psychology. Her research in 2018 explores aspects of public stigma toward members of same-sex families and possible strategies to reduce this stigma. Peta worked previously in research communications in international development and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.
Karina is a third year Bachelor of Psychology Student. She is very interested in clinical and social psychology and how one's group relations can impact their mental well-being. She grew up in an international environment where prejudice was practically non-existent and is therefore intrigued by prejudice formation and excited to discover strategies to reduce prejudice and bias.
Aidan is a third year Bachelor of Psychology completing a second major in philosophy. He is particularly interested in personality research including gaining a more comprehensive understanding of the unique dispositions of individuals and thus, how this understanding could potentially lead to the development of theory and programs that reduce stigma for marginalized groups. Further, he aims to apply this knowledge of personality in a clinical setting, whether it be to enrich the process of therapy or facilitate self-improvement and the attainment of goals.
Aya is a third year Bachelor of Arts student, majoring in Psychology and Government and International Relations. She is interested in the intersections between psychology and political science, and looks forward to using her knowledge of both to reduce intergroup prejudice and enrich the multicultural landscape of Australia and elsewhere.
Georgie Henry is a third year student undertaking a Bachelor of Psychology, also majoring in anthropology. She is passionate about social justice and is interested in researching ways to reduce prejudice as well as promote acceptance and appreciation between different social groups. She is eager to find strategies to enhance communication and cooperation between different cultural groups. She also has a special interest in discovering how individuals can best learn to understand and be inclusive of people with disabilities. Having recently conducted research about disability stigma in Indonesia, she is keen to contribute to meaningful research that has the potential to improve the lives of others.
Sylvia is a third year Bachelor of Arts student majoring in Psychology and Philosophy. She is particularly fascinated by the influence of social psychology and cognition on developments in the philosophy of ethics. Due to her love of ethics, Sylvia is interested in minimising social inequality particularly with modern technology, such as E-contact, that proves to be reducing stereotyping.
Zara is currently undertaking a Graduate Diploma of Psychology, having worked in banking for five years. She recently discovered her passion for mental health by volunteering at a crisis hotline. She is currently in her final year and is passionate around understanding the complexities and reducing the stigma of mental illness, injustices for women and isolation of refugees.
Sujeong is currently studying to attain a Bachelor of Social Work and has previously completed a major in psychology. Sujeong is interested in understanding why people behave the way they do, such as in different social groups, what psychological process influence behaviour, and mental health. Sujeong is looking forward to exploring intergroup relations and the psychology of stigma.
Claudia is a third-year Bachelor of Arts student majoring in Psychology and Socio-Legal Studies. She is particularly interested in examining the impact that the law has on bias and discrimination within society, and is interested in investigating methods of reducing both explicit and implicit discrimination and bias. She is passionate about helping individuals and looks forward to the research she will undertake in the SUPIR lab this year.
Celeste is a second year Bachelor of Psychology student. She is passionate about reducing prejudice towards women and the LGBT community - a cause that she is devoted to. She is also interested in exploring the intergroup dynamics in a multicultural environment.
Merran is currently studying a Graduate Diploma of Psychology, after completing a Bachelor of Political, Economic, and Social Studies previously at the University of Sydney. She is particularly interested in reducing the stigma surrounding mental health and exploring a broader range of treatments for learning disabilities, like ADHD, for children other than medication.
Jordon is a third year Bachelor of Arts student studying Psychology and Sociology. She was introduced to psychology at a young age by her mother who is a clinical psychologist and she has grown up with a keen interest in it. Jordan is particularly interested in clinical and social psychology. She is looking forward to researching the stigma surrounding mental illness and how the reduction of such stigma and prejudice can enhance people's lives. Finally, Jordan is interested in exploring the formation of racial prejudice and learning about the strategies for reducing prejudice between members of different groups.
May-Zin completed her honours in psychology with the SUPIR Lab in 2017. Her honours project was on reducing intergenerational resource threat and ageism. She is interested in investigating how technology and media can be utilised in promoting intergroup harmony and facilitating behavioural change.
Betty completed her PhD in 2014, with Professor Fiona White as part of her supervisory team. She is currently a Research Associate at the Institute of Open Adoption Studies within the School of Education and Social Work at the university. While her background is in developmental psychology, she has contributed to research projects within a range of topics including: early childhood education, open adoption from out-of-home care, and intergroup contact and prejudice. Betty has a firm research interest in understanding how the early environment can best support children’s development, and what can be done to tackle social inequality and disadvantage.