- Professor Nigar Khawaja
Faculty of Health,
School - Psychology and Counselling
- IHBI Membership
Institute of Health Biomedical Innovation (IHBI),
IHBI Health Projects,
IHBI Psych and Counc - HDHS
- Discipline *
- +61 7 3138 4540
- +61 7 3138 0486
- View location details (QUT staff and student access only)
- Identifiers and profiles
PhD (University of Queensland), MSc Clinical Psychology (University of Punjab), AdvDip Clinical Psychology (University of Punjab), BA (University of Punjab)
Clinical, transcultural and cross-cultural psychology, Scale development and validation, Culturally sensitive interventions, Cultural competency
Professional Memberships of National & International Organisations
Elected Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society (APS)
Elected member of APS College of Clinical Psychology
Registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)
Elected member of the Academy of Intercultural Relations
AHPRA Accredited Clinical Supervisor
Member of QUT’s Child Adversity Research Group
Member of APS Test and Testing National Group
Member of Refugee Health Neurodevelopmental Intervention and Cognitive Assessment National Group
Teaching & Learning I am a Clinical Psychologist. I have coordinated 18 and lectured in 19 undergraduate and postgraduate subjects. Most of my current teaching is in the Master and of Clinical Psychology programs. My teaching scholarship is evident by novel training strategies and innovations leading to competent psychologists. I have developed three new units and three educational DVDs and numerous digital resources. I have expertise in psychological assessment, cultural competency and various therapeutic modalities.
- Clinical Psychology
- Transcultural Psychology
- Cross-cultural Psychology
Specific interests include
- Culturally sensitive assessment
- Culturally sensitive intervention
- Cultural competency of professionals
- Test development and validation
- Students well being and success
As a Clinical Psychologist my research is aligned with international and national research priorities and QUT’s and mission to enhance the mental health of vulnerable individuals and communities. During the last decade I have focused on culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD [migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and international students] populations. Through my research I promote mental health promotion, integration, and social inclusivity of CALD populations. My strength-based interventions facilitate acculturation and resilience of diverse populations. My other salient contribution to the discipline is the development and validation of 19 questionnaires, 9 of which are for CALD adults and adolescents. These scales address gaps in the literature and are used nationally and internationally in clinical and research settings. My innovative and applied research has impacted national and international policies and clinical practice.
Course Coordinator Master & Professional Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (2015 to current)
Research Coordinator Master & Professional Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (2008 to 2019)
Unit Coordinator and Lecturer for
- PYN027 Clinical Psychological Assessment (Masters of Clinical Psychology)
Previously Unit Coordinator / Lecturer for
- HLN712- Units 1 to 4 (Master in Clinical Psychology – Thesis units)
- PY52 Units 1-8 (Professional Doctorate in Clinical Psychology – Thesis units)
- PYN030 Ethics and Professional Practice (Masters of Clinical Psychology)
- PYN603 Ethics and Professional Practice (Masters Educational and Developmental Psychology)
- PYB311 Psychological Assessment (Bachelors of Psychology)
- PYB360 Interventions for Addictive Behaviors (Bachelors of Psychology).
- PYN601 Counseling & Consultation (Masters of Educational & Developmental Psychology)
- PYn460 Advanced Interventions for Addictive Behaviors (Master in Clinical Psychology)
Specialist Lecturer for
- PYB 402 Counselling Psychology (Honors).
- PYB 309 Individual Differences and Assessment (Bachelors in Psychology)
- PYN 035 Supervised Practicum (Master of Clinical Psychology)
- PYN 028 Clinical Psychopathology (Master of Clinical Psychology)
I am a trained and registered multilingual Clinical Psychologist. I coordinate and teach into the Master of Clinical Psychology degree at QUT. I have embedded mental health and cultural diversity in my teaching, research, and professional engagement. I am enthusiastic about preparing culturally competent clinical psychologists. I have an extensive experience of conducting cultural competency trainings at national and international level. I am chair of 2 and member of 7 important committees. I am recognised as a Senior Fellow by HEA for my high-quality teaching and mentoring of other academics and researchers.
My research leadership is in the areas of clinical, transcultural, and cross-cultural psychology. I conduct multi/interdisciplinary research at the national and international level. I focus on the mental health and well-being of culturally and linguistically (CALD) populations in Australia and overseas. In Australia, these people are international students, migrants, refugees, or asylum seekers. CALD populations from refugee and asylum seeker background have often encountered severe adversities and traumas due to war, loss, and grief. Further, CALD may encounter language and cultural barriers and have to adapt to a country very different from their origin homeland. These pre and post migration stressors can have an impact on their mental health, and if not correctly identified and managed, these people can be alienated, marginalised and at-risk.
My research has focused on developing valid and appropriate psychological measures to detect these at-risk CALD individuals. I have developed and validated 19 scales (9 focus on CALD adults, adolescents, and parents). Further, I have used my research to develop and trial culturally sensitive and appropriate strength-based psychological interventions for this population. My research has direct impact on the national and international clinical practice and health and educational policies for culturally and linguistically diverse population nationally and internationally.
I am a fellow of the Australian Psychological Society (APS), a member of APS College of Clinical Psychology and International Academic of Intercultural Research. I have been a national chair of the APS Culture and Psychology Interest group (2008-2015) and since 2016 I am a member of the APS Tests and Testing Expert Committee. I am a member of Refugee Health Neurodevelopmental Intervention and Cognitive Assessment National Committee (2017-current). I am a recipient of ARC Linkage, Education Queensland, and Brisbane Catholic Education grants. I have supervised more than 70 students for PhD, Professional doctorate, MPhil, Course-work Masters and Honours degrees. I offer consultation to a range of government and non-government organisations.
- Khawaja N, Hebbani A, (2018) Does employment status vary by demographics? An exploratory study of former refugees resettled in Australia, Australian Social Work p71-85
- Mullins C, Khawaja N, (2018) Non-Indigenous psychologists working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: Towards clinical and cultural competence, Australian Psychologist p394-404
- Khawaja N, Abdelrahman O, Schweitzer R, (2017) Mental wellbeing of students from refugee and migrant backgrounds: The mediating role of resilience, School Mental Health p284-293
- Khawaja N, Hebbani A, Obijiofor L, Gallois C, (2017) Refugee parents' communication and relations with their children: Development and application of the Refugee Parent-Child Relational Communication Scale, Journal of Family Communication p372-385
- Khawaja N, Chan S, Stein G, (2017) The relationship between second language anxiety and international nursing students stress, Journal of International Students p601-620
- Khawaja N, Allan E, Schweitzer R, (2018) The role of school connectedness and social support in the acculturation in culturally and linguistically diverse youth in Australia, Australian Psychologist p355-364
- Khawaja N, (2016) Acculturation of the Muslims settled in the West, Journal of Muslim Mental Health p1-7
- Khawaja N, Khawaja S, (2016) Acculturative issues of Muslims in Australia, Journal of Muslim Mental Health p43-53
- Khawaja N, Stein G, (2016) Psychological services for asylum seekers in the community: Challenges and solutions, Australian Psychologist p463-471
- Khawaja N, McCarthy R, Braddock V, Dunne M, (2013) Characteristics of culturally and linguistically diverse mental health clients, Advances in Mental Health p172-187
For more publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.
Awards and recognition
- Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
- Reference year
- I have been a recipient of QUT prestigious awards: VC's Performance award recognised my leadership and excellence in teaching, research and engagement (2016). VC's Performance award recognised my leadership in the Clinical Psychology Program and Professional Services (2009).Pioneer Compassionate award recognising my teaching and learning scholarship (2003).
- Advisor/Consultant for Industry
- Reference year
- Cultural Competency Training: On invitation by Cultures & Psychology Interest group and Australian Psychological Society's Institute I conducted 6 full day workshops in different Australian cities on the "assessment of culturally and linguistically diverse clients". I offer advice and consultancy to government and non-government organisations on cultural diversity. As an expert in the psychological assessment, I assist Psychology Board, (AHPRA) in determining the competencies of psychologist.
- Membership of a Statutory Committee
- Reference year
- Elected member of the Australian Psychological Society's (APS)Test and Testing Expert Group (2-16-current). My portfolio is "testing of CALD Clients". I have prepared guidelines for psychologists on how to use psychological tests with minors from ethnic minorities. The guideline is available to the 25,000 members of APS. Member of Child Adversity Research Program and Menzies National research group.
- Editorial Role for an Academic Journal
- Reference year
- 2004 to date: I have been the Associate Editor of Pakistan Journal of Psychology. 2008 to date: I have been the Asociate Editor of the Journal of Muslim Mental Health. I am a regular reviewer of Q1 high impact journals, which focus on clinical, transcultural and cross cultural research. Some examples are : Transcultural Psychiatry, International Perspectives in psychology, International Migration and Review, Cross Cultural Psychology, International Journal of Intercultural relations. Journal of Affective Disorders, Clinical Psychologist, Australian psychologist and the Journal of Australian Psychology.
Grants and projects (Category 1: Australian Competitive Grants only)
- Refugees Employment Aspirations and Inter-Generational Communication about Future Occupational Pathways
- Primary fund type
- CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
- Project ID
- Start year
- Refugees; Sociology of Migration; Intergenerational Communication; Intercultural Communication
- Examining the influence of war-related trauma on refugees' social adjustment: Developing a multi-dimensional intervention
PhD, Mentoring Supervisor
Other supervisors: Dr Kate Murray, Dr Zahra Izadikhah Najafabadi
- Understanding and treating obesity related eating behaviours in Pakistani University Students
PhD, Associate Supervisor
Other supervisors: Associate Professor Esben Strodl
Completed supervisions (Doctorate)
- Married South Korean migrants with children in Australia: Investigation of their Acculturation (2017)
- The Psychopath Next Door: How Similar Are They to Those Behind Bars? Criminality, Executive Functioning, and Emotion Processing in 'Noncriminal' Psychopathy (2017)
- Navigating emotion research during a paradigm shift in psychology (2015)
- Postnatal Depression in Central Vietnam (2013)
- A Psychometric and Clinical Investigation of Anxiety Sensitivity in Anxiety Disorders (2004)