Dr Patricia Morgan

Dr Patricia Morgan

Senior Research Associate

PhD (Philosophy), University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, Australia, 2013.

Thesis: Learning Feelings: Foundations of Contemplative Education. APA Scholarship Recipient

Master of Arts (Theatre and Film), with Distinction, Victoria University, New Zealand, 2000.

Diploma of Arts (Theatre and Film), Victoria University, New Zealand, 1994.

Medicine & Health
School of Population Health

Dr Patricia Morgan is an interdisciplinary scholar specializing in qualitative phenomenological research (QPR). She combines 20 years of international experience in contract research, community and policy development with 13 years of academic research in her innovative scholarship. She works across the fields of Philosophy, Information Systems, Medical Research, the Arts and Social Sciences. She received an Australian Government scholarship to complete her PhD on pre-conceptual consciousness in education, which is the first of its kind in Australia. Since completing it in 2013 she has been a member of five research teams supported by ARC and Health Department funding, a post-doctoral scholar researching work life balance and Information Communication Technology (ICT), in a joint project with UNSW, the University of Canberra and ANU, and a Contemplative Practice Fellow at the prestigious Mind and Life Institute, USA.


Dr Morgan is currently an associate of the Australian Human Rights Institute. She has extensive experience of applying her expertise in QPR through her work in multidisciplinary research teams focused on social justice and human rights, and improving outcomes in education and health, specifically health outcomes for marginalised members of society. This began in a collaboration with the population health team, Christchurch School of Medicine, Christchurch, New Zealand, members of NZPC: Aotearoa, New Zealand Sex Worker's Collective, and sex workers researching the use of condoms by clients of sex workers. It continued in two collaborations with epidemiologists at the Kirby Institute, UNSW, Sydney. The first examined the importance of communication and relationality on recruitment and retention on the RCT ReINVEST pharmacological trial with violent offenders. The second explored the use of arts-based research with HIV positive women to enhance their wellbeing, address ongoing stigma, and develop effective health promotion campaigns. In this and all of her work Patricia seeks to provide holistic understandings of the phenomena under study by revealing the impacts of participants’ phenomenological experience on their motivations and actions. Currently she is researching the importance for violent offenders of their phenomenological or subjective experience of violence and the part it plays in their motivation to commit violent crime.

+61 2 90658818
Samuels Building, Level 2, Rm 215 F25, Samuel Terry Ave, Kensington, Sydney, NSW 2052
  • Book Chapters | 2018
    Bai H; Morgan P; Scott C; Cohen A, 2018, 'Holistic-contemplative pedagogy for twenty-first century teacher education: Education as healing', in International Handbook of Holistic Education, pp. 108 - 117, http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781315112398
    Book Chapters | 2017
    Morgan P, 2017, 'Per-(Me-Thou)-ability: Foundations of intersubjective experience in contemplative education', in Gunnlaugson O; Sarath E; Bai H; Scott C (ed.), The intersubjective turn in contemplative education: Shared approaches to contemplative learning & inquiry across disciplines, SUNY Press, Albany, N.Y., USA, pp. 141 - 158
    Book Chapters | 2016
    Bai H; Morgan P; Scott C; Cohen A, 2016, 'Prolegomena to spiritual research paradigm: Importance of attending to the embodied and the subtle', in Developing a spiritual research paradigm: Incorporating spirituality in research in the social sciences and education, Information Age Publishing, Charlotte, N.C., USA, pp. 77 - 96
    Book Chapters | 2016
    Vines P; Morgan P, 2016, 'Contemplative Practice in the Law School: breaking barriers to learning and resilience', in Promoting law student and lawyer well-being in Australia and beyond, Routledge
  • Journal articles | 2023
    Morgan P, 2023, 'Reflections on the heuristic power of Contemplative Art in teaching and research', Journal of Contemplative and Holistic Education, http://dx.doi.org/10.25035/jche.01.02.02
    Journal articles | 2023
    Vaughan P; Tewson A; Morgan P; Boydell KM, 2023, '“Chains Weigh Heavy”: Body Mapping Embodied Experiences of Anxiety', Qualitative Report, 28, pp. 583 - 606, http://dx.doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2023.5712
    Journal articles | 2018
    Morgan P; Abrahamson D, 2018, 'Applying contemplative practices to the educational design of mathematics content: Report from a pioneering workshop', The Journal of Contemplative Inquiry, 5, pp. 107 - 119, https://digscholarship.unco.edu/joci/vol5/iss1/10
    Journal articles | 2016
    Morgan P; Abrahamson D, 2016, 'Cultivating the ineffable: the role of contemplative practice in enactivist learning', For the Learning of Mathematics, 36, pp. 31 - 37
    Journal articles | 2015
    Morgan PF, 2015, 'A Brief History of the Current Reemergence of Contemplative Education', Journal of Transformative Education, 13, pp. 197 - 218, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1541344614564875
    Journal articles | 2012
    Morgan PF, 2012, 'Following Contemplative Education Students' Transformation Through Their ''Ground-of-Being'' Experiences', Journal of Transformative Education, 10, pp. 42 - 60, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1541344612455846
  • Working Papers | 2012
    Morgan P, 2012, The feeling nexus: An internal mechanism of change in educational philosophy, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand, http://dx.doi.org
    Working Papers | 2000
    Morgan P, 2000, The potential of creative arts as a medium for mental health promotion in schools, an exploration of meaning-making, belonging and identity, using creative processes: A briefing paper, Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, Auckland, New Zealand, http://dx.doi.org
  • Reports | 2023
    Henrickson M; Morgan P, 2023, “I need to come with heart”: A pilot project on access to intimacy for persons in residential care, Project report for the Massey University Research Fund (MURF), Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand

2022    Project 2, Phenomenology of Violence: Broadening understanding of violent offending by foregrounding first-person experience of violence, Centers of Research Excellence fund, Australian Government, National Health and Research Excellence, “Violence Perpetration: Profiling, Prediction and Prevention”.

2022    Massey University Research Fund (MURF), to conduct the Access to Intimacy research project, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand.

2022    Grant to conduct the Arts-based delivery of an Innovative Model of Aged Care: Systematizing and Disseminating the Eastern Bay Villages Model of Aging in Place project, funded by the New Zealand, Office for Seniors.

2021    Australian Human Rights Institute, UNSW, Associate Seed funding to support ongoing research into the Positively Women research project.

2020    Women’s Wellbeing Academy, UNSW, Grant to support ongoing research into the Positively Women Project, examining the use of meditation and art to increase wellbeing for women living with HIV.

2018    Travel Grant to attend the “Transformative Designs for Sustainability Symposium: Facilitating Mindshifts for Collective Action and Anthropocene Prosperity”, VolkswagenStifung, Hannover, Germany.

2017    Community Grant, Sydney City Council, to run a Mapjam and Community Workshops, Sharing Map Collective, Sydney

2015    Mind and Life Contemplative Fellow, The Mind and Life Institute, Massachusetts, USA.

2014    Macquarie University Research Development Grant (MQRDG) Scheme, 2015. Successful grant application, ‘The impact of meditation on attention and language in ageing adults with and without stroke: A behavioral and neurophysiological study’. With colleagues, G. McArthur, P. De Lissa, Y. Mahajan, P. Sedlmeier, V. Politi, N. Badcock, B. Biedermann.

2014    Grant to support the development of the Standing Still to Learn, Contemplative and Creative Approaches to Education: New Paradigms in Teaching and Learning Symposium, UNSW, 15th May 2014. Funded by the Student Success and Well-Being, Office of Teaching and Learning (OLT) Grant, CAPS and the School of Psychology, UNSW, Sydney, Australia.

Currently I am working on the Phenomenology of Violence: Broadening understanding of violent offending by foregrounding first-person experience of violence project, which is part of the CRE, "Violence Perpetration: Profiling, Prediction and Prevention." In this study we will investigate the subjective experience of perpetrating violent crime.  By engaging this unexplored aspect of the motivation to commit crime we are responding to Priority 7.4 of the National Crime Prevention Framework (NCPF) (2012). We, like the authors of the NCPF, believe it is important to address significant gaps in the existing evidence base to inform innovative Australian crime prevention strategies.  

Recent research projects include:

Researching Aging in Place in the, Arts-based delivery of an Innovative Model of Aged Care: Systematizing and Disseminating the Eastern Bay Villages Model of Aging in Place project, with the University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand. As the aim of this project was to identify the Virtual Eastern Bay Villages model of aging in place, and the Aging Well Together virtual exhibition and knowledge translation tool is one of two outputs with a project report available on request.

The Access to Intimacy project, which examined the benefits of training for sex workers working with older and differently-abled people and their caregivers with Touching Base Australia, NZPC: Aotearoa New Zealand Sex Workers Collective and Massey University, Auckland. This project sought to assess both the benefits of specialist training for older and differently-abled people, sex workers and caregivers of specialist training, and the reduction of stigma and discrimination for the first two cohorts. A project report can be accessed on request.

The Positively Women arts- and community-based research project with the Kirby Institute UNSW, women living with HIV, and HIV Community organizations and peak bodies, examined the efficacy of creative and contemplative practices for heighted self-awareness and agency, community development and the release of negative emotion with women living with HIV. The virtual exhibition Positively Women contains our research findings and has successfully been used as a knowledge translation tool.


I work in community and arts-based research, which means that I regularly work with communities, most recently this involved work with:

The Virtual Eastern Bay Villages an aging in place organization in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

A number of commuinity organizations and NGOs supporting people living with HIV, including Queensland Positive People, Positive Life SA,  Femfatales, National Association of People with HIV Australia; Positive Organisation Western Australia; Living Positive Victoria; Positive Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Network; Positive Women Victoria; Northern Territory AIDS & Hepatitis Counci; and Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations.

NZPC: Aotearoa, New Zealand Sex Worker's Collective

Body Positive New Zealand.