We welcome applications from students who have completed or are close to completing their studies. Both Doctor of Philosophy - Science (PhD - Science) and Master of Philosophy - Science (MPhil - Science ) are available, but most applicants apply directly for PhD - Science.
For more application information please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions list below.
Step 1 – Check your eligibility
Check if you are eligible by viewing our entry requirements.
Step 2 – Find a prospective supervisor
Before submitting an application, you are required to have the written support of a nominated academic supervisor. If you have not already received written support from an academic supervisor, you must obtain this by emailing the appropriate School the following documents:
- All higher education transcripts
- Brief summary of intended area of research
Depending on your preferred area of study these documents, with your request for supervisor support, should be emailed to one of the following:
- Earth Science
- Mathematics & Statistics
- Ecosystem & Forest Sciences
Each School will then ascertain if there is an academic available to supervise your study and contact you accordingly.
Step 3 - Check the scholarship deadlines
Applications will be accepted at any time of the year, but to ensure the highest chance of success in obtaining a scholarship you should submit your application before the relevant deadline. For information on deadlines and scholarships available see Fees & Scholarships.
Step 4 – Prepare your documentation
To ensure your application is assessed without delay, the following documentation should be attached in your online application. If you are currently completing a degree, we recommend that you apply before the application deadline to ensure the highest chance of success in obtaining a scholarship.
- A current CV outlining work experience relevant to your proposed field of research, prior research and education background and details of any research publications (if relevant).
- Copies of all higher education transcripts, completion statements (if relevant) and grading schemes showing numeric grades.
- A copy of an email or letter indicating that your nominated supervisor has agreed to support your application.
From May 25, 2017 there will be a new process for providing references. Read the information below to ensure your references and referee information are provided correctly.
Applications begun (saved) OR submitted before May 25, 2017.
Your referees must provide the reference report in the existing PDF format (below), using either the Academic Referee Report or Employer Referee Report Form as appropriate.
- Employer Referee Report Form – Only applicable if relevant work experience is either at least 5 years in duration or at least 1 year full time research based. You should send your referees these forms well in advance of submitting your application.
- Two Academic Referee Report Forms. You should send your referees these forms well in advance of submitting your application. Examiners reports and thesis, or abstract of thesis, if you have completed a thesis or research component that does not include a numeric grade in your transcripts.
Applications begun (saved) AND submitted on or after May 25, 2017.
All references must be submitted using the online tool.
- Applicants must provide contact details for their referees in the online application form.
- On submission of your application, the referees will be emailed a link to access the Graduate Research Referee tool and they must provide their references using this online tool.
- You will be notified when they submit the reference.
It is important that you contact your referees well before submitting an application. This ensures they expect the request for a reference and understand that the University of Melbourne referee request email contains both instructions on how to access the tool and submit their references through the attached link.
Step 5 – Submit an application
Submit an online application by selecting the link below.
Once you have submitted your application you will receive an email stating that your application has been received and is being assessed.
If your application is not complete, you will receive an email requesting additional documents. Only once you have provided all documents can assessment commence.
Step 6 - Wait for the Outcome
If your most recent, relevant qualification is complete at the time of submitting your application, then you can expect to receive a formal outcome within approximately 12 weeks of submission. More details on the outcome to applications submitted before scholarship deadlines can be found at Fees & Scholarships.
If your most recent degree is incomplete at the time of submission, then assessment will not commence until you have provided transcripts and/or a completion statement confirming the completion of your qualification. You will receive notification that your application has been placed on hold and further instructions on where to provide the required documents.
Frequently asked questions
How can I impress a potential supervisor when I contact them?
When you email a prospective supervisor you should include with your email your:
- Intended area of research
- Academic transcripts
- Copies of any refereed publications
In addition, you should:
- Address the academic formally by their title and surname ie Dear Associate Professor Smith
- Refer specifically to their research and how it aligns with your experience and interest
- Detail any other relevant skills and training that will make you a valuable member of their research team.
I am currently enrolled in a graduate research degree at the University of Melbourne and want to apply for a scholarship. How do I do this?
To apply for a scholarship you must apply via my.unimelb.edu.au.
Do I need to wait until I have met the University English language requirements before I submit my application?
No. We can assess your application on the basis of your academic record and any course or scholarship offer will be conditional on meeting our English language requirements.
What is the University of Melbourne TOEFL code?
0974. Please use this code so that your results can be reported to us.
What should I write for the Proposed Thesis Title/Topic for the required CV?
You should discuss this with your potential supervisor but this can be quite broad i.e. ‘Topics in animal behaviour’ or ‘Topics in stochastic processes’.
A 100 word summary of the proposed research is not required.
What should I include in the research and/or relevant professional experience in the online application?
You only need to advise of work experience or include this in your CV or provide an employer referee report form if that relevant work experience is either at least 5 years in duration or at least 1 year full time research based.
You do not need to provide details in the application or in the CV for any part-time tutoring or demonstrating as this will not assist your application.
I have completed or am completing a Masters with a thesis but I have not or will not receive a grade or numeric result on my transcript, or my thesis will not appear on my transcript. How will my application be considered?
You should include this detail in your online application or attach a separate statement to your application which explains this. In addition to providing examiners’ reports if possible, it is critical your academic referees can comment directly on your thesis. They should provide as much information as possible about your thesis by completing all relevant sections of the academic referee report and may also choose to attach a separate letter.
I have completed an undergraduate degree and have completed or am completing a Masters at an overseas university. For my two academic referees, should one be able to comment on my undergraduate studies and the other on my Masters studies?
No. Both referees need to be able to comment on your Masters as this is your most recent study.
Once I have received my email advising that my application is complete, if I have additional documents to provide, how do I provide these?
You can email these documents to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What sort of contact will I have with my potential supervisor once I have submitted my application?
You are welcome to maintain contact with your potential supervisor particularly in regard to the proposed area of research. In addition, your potential supervisor may organise a phone/skype conversation with you in regard to your application.