• The University of Western Australia (M431), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


Personal profile


Emerita Professor Vera Morgan retired at the end of 2021 but continues to be actively involved in the research activities of the Neuropsychiatric Epidemiology Research Unit (NERU) in the University of Western Australia's (UWA) School of Population and Global Health, which is now headed by Dr Anna Waterreus.

Professor Morgan is a psychiatric epidemiologist with a special interest in studying schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. Her cross-disciplinary approach to the study of psychotic illness melds psychiatric, genetic, physical health, sociological and criminological perspectives on cause and course of illness to help unravel the complex nature of these disorders and improve outcomes for affected people. Her current research focuses on: environmental and genetic contributions to the risk of schizophrenia; rethinking recovery in psychotic illness to improve outcomes; and addressing the very poor physical health profile of people with psychotic illness

Professor Morgan has a very strong national presence and international profile as a psychiatric epidemiologist. In 2020, she was awarded the most prestigious award of the Society for Mental Health Research, the Founders Medal, for her research excellence and her leadership and contribution to mental health research in Australia and New Zealand. She was National Project Director and Convenor of the Technical Advisory Group for the Australian Government 2nd National psychosis survey (Survey of High Impact Psychosis—SHIP) and is convenor of the SHIP Study Group.

In addition to many years at UWA as Head of NERU (2008-2022), Professor Morgan's professional roles have included: President, Australasian Society for Psychiatric Research; Vice-President, Australasian Epidemiological Association; Chair of the Research Committee of the Mental Health Council of Australia;  Directo of the Centre for Clinical Research in Neuropsychiatry in the University of Western Australia Division of Psychiatry; and Member, The University of Western Australia Senate. 



Doctor of Philosophy with Distinction (2009: U Western Australia)

Master of Social Sciences (1992: U South Australia)

Graduate Diploma in Education (1974: U Melbourne)

Bachelor of Arts (1973: U Adelaide)


Awards (selected)

2022 In 2022, the Society for Mental Health Research named one of its top awards after Professor Morgan: The Vera Morgan Medal for Mental Health Epidemiology

2022 Australasian Epidemiological Association Lifetime Award

2021 Emerita Professor, The University of Western Australia

2020 Society for Mental Health Research Founders Medal.
The award recognizes the entire career of the individual nominated and takes into consideration the excellence of their research, the impact that this work has had, and their leadership and contribution to mental health research in Australia and New Zealand.”

2018 Australasian Epidemiological Association Mentoring Award
recognising “a senior member of AEA who has made a significant contribution to mentoring early-career practitioners in the fields of epidemiology, biostatistics or related disciplines”

2014 The distinguished Beattie Smith 80th Anniversary Medal Oration, University of Melbourne

1986 South Australian Children’s Interest Bureau prize: Child Welfare Law

Roles and responsibilities


Emerita Professor and Senior Honorary Research Fellow, School of Population and Global Health, The University of Western Australia

Adjunct Professor, Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania

Previous positions

Winthrop Professor and Head, Neuropsychiatric Epidemiology Research Unit, School of Population and Global Health, The University of Western Australia

Director, Centre for Clinical Research in Neuropsychiatry, Division of Psychiatry, Medical School, The University of Western Australia

President, Australasian Society for Psychiatric Research 2003-2006

Vice-President, Australasian Epidemiological Association 2004-2006

Chair, Research Committee, Mental Health Council of Australia 2003-2006

Vice-Chair, UWA Researchers’ Association 2004-2006

Member, UWA Senate 2005-2010. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research expertise keywords

  • Epidemiology and aetiology of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders
  • Risk factor epidemiology
  • Physical health and psychotic illness
  • Intellectual disability and co-occurring psychiatric illness
  • Forensic psychiatry
  • Pathways to care and recovery in psychotic illness
  • Record linkage research methodology
  • Survey research methodology
  • Schizophrenia and related conditions
  • Physical health of people with mental illness


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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