A portrait photo of Simon Handley

Professor Simon Handley

New HDR Candidates are invited to attend the Pro Vice-Chancellor's HDR Welcome, held early in each semester.


"You are about to embark on one of the most exciting, stimulating and challenging journeys in your academic life. A research degree is a unique opportunity to dedicate yourself fully, for a prolonged period, to the pursuit of knowledge and discovery in an area in which you have a deep and passionate interest. I encourage you to embrace this opportunity and savour every moment as you make your own personal contribution to the research life of this University.

I wish you the very best in your studies and I hope that your time at Macquarie is both academically successful and personally satisfying. I very much look forward to supporting you in your journey and meeting you along the way."

Professor Simon Handley
Pro Vice-Chancellor, Higher Degree Research Training and Partnerships

Pro Vice-Chancellor's (HDR) Welcome

Semester 1, 2021

Date: Thursday, 18 February 2021
Time: 10am – 11.30am
Venue: online session via Zoom

An event to welcome new Higher Degree Research candidates to Macquarie University will be held by the Pro Vice-Chancellor of Higher Degree Research Training and Partnerships. This event will include guest speakers from key HDR support and services as well as representatives from the Faculties.

Registration to this event is open, RSVP now. Access instructions will be issued via email to attendees who have registered the day prior.

If you would like any further information, email hdr.induction@mq.edu.au.

About Professor Simon Handley

Simon is an accomplished academic whose passion for psychology has seen him teaching and supervising in universities for the past 26 years. He currently sits as the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Higher Degree Research Training and Partnerships, which is part of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) portfolio at Macquarie University; also served as Dean of the Faculty of Human Sciences from 2015 to 2020.

While Simon holds a PhD in Psychology from Cardiff University, his academic career in psychology was fostered and developed during his 22-year tenure at the University of Plymouth, moving from a psychology lecturer to the Head of Psychology and Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology in that time.

Simon remains an active researcher with a focus on human reasoning. His work primarily looks at the impact of knowledge and beliefs on thinking in children and adults and the psychological processes underpinning rational thought. Simon has authored almost 100 peer reviewed research publications, been awarded more than $3m in grant funding, and has supervised 17 PhD students to completion.

His portfolio incorporates the Office of Higher Degree Research and Training (OHDRTP) which oversees research training at Macquarie University, working in collaboration with faculties and the University’s broader research community to deliver an exceptional experience for Higher Degree Research (HDR) candidates.

The OHDRTP is responsible for:

  • Providing academic and strategic leadership of the University’s HDR programs.
  • Developing the policy framework for research training.
  • Developing tailored support and development programs to ensure candidates are world-ready and highly employable.
  • Providing opportunities for career-enhancing exposure to industry and the community.
  • Developing programs to build outstanding supervisory expertise and mentorship.
  • Providing operational management of the candidate lifecycle, including recruitment, admission, progression, and completion.
  • Overseeing scholarship investment to attract high potential candidates in areas of research strengths and developing relationships with external funding agencies.
  • Building and maintaining research training partnerships, including Australia’s largest cotutelle, joint PhD and Master of Research exchange program.