Profile image for Simon Knowles

Associate Professor Simon Knowles

Associate Professor


Since 2004, Simon has been a clinical and health academic in the Psychology discipline. Over this time, Simon has attained over AUD$4.5 million in competitive funding, published over 100 peer reviewed publications, and led three edited books, with the most recent “Psychogastroenterology with Adults: A Handbook for Mental Health Professionals” published by Routledge Press in 2019.

Simon is a recognised leading expert in the field of Psychogastroenterology, which is the application of psychological science and practice to gastrointestinal health and illness. Simon’s clinical and research interests relate to the biological and psychological interactions of gastrointestinal conditions and the brain-gut axis, particularly how to ameliorate the significant impact of living with chronic gastrointestinal conditions through psychological interventions.

Simon has an active interest in mHealth and eHealth research, having developed and evaluated mobile apps to improve inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) management/identification of psychological issues, and is the creator of several websites that provide up-to-date information and free 5-week resilience programs for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (; formerly, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (; formerly, Gastroparesis (; formerly, Coeliac Disease ( and Bladder and Bowel Anxieties (also known as shy bladder, shy bowel, and incontinence anxiety;; formally Together, since 2013 these free eHealth resources have provided over 570,000 individuals around the world with comprehensive and accurate expert-reviewed sources of information and evidence-based psychologically-focused resilience programs. Reflecting the significant impact of these eHealth resources, Simon was awarded 1st place in the Swinburne University FHAD impact award in 2019.

Due to his expertise, Simon has multiple honorary clinical and research positions with St Vincent’s Hospital (Melbourne), Royal Melbourne Hospital, The Alfred Hospital. Simon regularly provides lectures and workshops in relation to the psychological impact of gastrointestinal conditions, the interplay between the brain gut-axis, and developing and implementing psychological-focused interventions for individuals living with gastrointestinal conditions.

As an academic, Simon has an excellent teaching profile. After completing his PhD in 2003, Simon has been an active lecturer at several universities in Australia. He has taught in a range of areas including Psychology, Medicine, and Biotechnology. Simon teaching has been recognised both within the university (Swinburne University VC award for early career teaching, FHAD 2019 Supervision Excellence Award, Highest Clinical Postgrad Student Unit Satisfaction Award Semester 1 2019) and externally (UniJobs has identified Simon as one of the top 3 lecturers at Swinburne University across multiple years). Simon has lectured and convened from the 1st year Introduction to Psychology unit to the final year clinical postgraduate unit, Foundations of Health Psychology.

Over the last 17 years at Swinburne, Simon has also held several senior administrative positions at Swinburne University, including mentoring junior and senior staff, Deputy Head of the Psychology Discipline, Facility Research Committee member, Facility Academic Committee member, Psychology Selection Coordinator, Psychology Major Coordinator, Coordinator of B.Soc.Sci, B.Arts, B.Sci and B.Health.Sci degree programs, Graduate Diploma of Psychology Coordinator, and Swinburne Psychology Clinic Board Member.

Simon is a member of numerous professional organisations including: Australian Psychological Society (APS), APS Clinical College for psychologists, APS college of Health psychologists, Gastroenterological Society of Australia, and a Life-member of the Australian Association for Clinical Hypnosis. He is currently a member of the APS college of Health psychologist’s national executive. Simon has a clinical-health practice that specialises in working with individuals with chronic illnesses of the gastrointestinal system, see

Research interests

Clinical Psychology; Health Psychology; eHealth; Gastroenterology; Chronic illness

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Supervisor.

PhD topics and outlines

Disordered eating, eating disorders and their overlap with gastrointestinal symptoms and conditions: Dataset to be collected 

Experiences of brain fog in gastrointestinal conditions: Dataset to be collected 

Exploring resilience in individuals living with a gastrointestinal condition : Dataset to be collected

Functional dyspepsia and psychological well-being: Dataset to be collected 

Hypnosis versus mindfulness as a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome: Dataset to be collected 

Living with a stoma: Psychosocial processes associated with adjustment: Dataset to be collected 

Psychological aspects of GI conditions: Dataset to be collected

Sexual health and gastrointestinal conditions: Dataset to be collected 


Available to supervise honours students.

Honours topics and outlines

Bowel and bladder anxieties: Irritable bowel syndrome versus healthy controls: Dataset collected

Experiences of brain fog in gastrointestinal conditions: Dataset to be collected

Predictors of phubbing and social networking addiction: Dataset to be collected

Predictors of problematic mobile phone use: Dataset includes over 600 participants

Predictors of problematic mobile phone use while driving: Dataset includes over 600 participants

Problematic social media and smartphone engagement: Exploring the role of personality, the fear of missing out, and resilience. : Data to be collected.

Psychological processes associated psychological distress and quality of life in gastroparesis (Idiopathic versus diabetic): Dataset includes 500 participants

Psychological processes associated psychological distress and quality of life in inflammatory bowel disease : Dataset includes 190 participants

Psychological processes associated psychological distress and quality of life in Irritable bowel syndrome (constipation versus diarrhoea): Dataset includes 900 participants

Psychosocial predictors of incontinence anxiety: Dataset includes over 500 participants

Psychosocial predictors of shy bladder (paresis) or shy bowel (parcopresis): Dataset includes over 500 participants

Teaching areas

Clinical Psychology;Health Psychology


  • 2019, Swinburne, Highest Clinical Postgrad Student Unit Satisfaction Award Semester 1 2019, Swinburne University of Technology
  • 2019, Swinburne, Faculty of Health Arts and Design Supervision Excellence Award, Swinburne University of Technology
  • 2019, Swinburne, 1st place in the Faculty of Health Arts and Design Research Impact Awards, Swinburne University of Technology


Also published as: Knowles, Simon; Knowles, S.; Knowles, S. R.; Knowles, Simon R.; Knowles, Simon Robert
This publication listing is provided by Swinburne Research Bank. If you are the owner of this profile, you can update your publications using our online form.

Recent research grants awarded

  • 2015: Online psychoeducation and support service for Adolescents with Inflammatory Bowel Disease transitioning to adult services. *; Telematics Trust Grants
  • 2012: A validation of an irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) online support program involving two studies *; Melbourne Health
  • 2012: Mindfulness and coping in chronic illness: insights from a study of joint replacement surgery *; ARC Discovery Projects Scheme
  • 2011: IBDeTherapy: Development and validation of the world's first evidence-based, automated online program for the assesment and treatment of IBD-associated anxiety and depression. *; Broad Medical Research Program Inflammatory Bowel Disease Grants
  • 2010: Assessing the anxiolytic effects of a proprietary magnolia and phosphatidylserine extract: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial (Canopus BioPharma) *; Canopus BioPharma

* Chief Investigator