Postgraduate Research

The contribution of postgraduate students to the research environment of the Discipline is highly regarded, with much research being directly performed by postgraduate students.

The postgraduate research degrees offered by the Discipline of Medicine are:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Candidates for the PhD degree must be graduates, usually of either Science or Medicine, and are expected to complete an appropriate research project and submit a thesis. Candidature lasts from 3 to 4 years full-time; 6 to 8 years part-time. Enrolment for this degree is made through the Sydney Medical School. The student conducts research under the supervision of a member of the academic staff of the Discipline, and therefore becomes a member of the research team of the supervisor's laboratory or clinic.

Most full-time students are funded by one of the following: Australian Postgraduate Awards (APAs); University of Sydney Postgraduate Awards; Sydney Medical School Scholarships; National Health and Medical Research Council Scholarships; and independent scholarships funded by research grants and foundations. For more information on scholarships go to the University's Research Scholarships page.

Master of Philosophy(MPhil)
Medical and Science graduates may enrol for the degree of Master of Philosophy, by research and thesis. Candidature lasts from 1 to 2 years full-time; 2 to 4 years part-time. Enrolment for this degree is made through the Sydney Medical School. The candidate is expected to complete an appropriate research project and submit a thesis.

Students wishing to be considered for MPhil or PhD candidature in the Discipline of Medicine must first have an agreed project and a supervisor. Current projects in the health sciences are listed at Find a Research Supervisor.

Further information is also available from the Postgraduate Co-ordinators in the Discipline of Medicine:

Postgraduate Co-ordinator Clinical School Email Faculty Profile
Professor Gary Halliday Central Clinical School Faculty Profile
Dr Sue McLennan (Deputy) Central Clinical School Faculty Profile
Dr Allison Abendroth Infectious Diseases & Immunology, Central Clinical School Faculty Profile
Associate Professor Chris Semsarian Centenary Institute, Central Clinical School Faculty Profile
Dr Alison Heather Heart Research Institute, Central Clinical School Faculty Profile
Associate Professor Vasi Naganathan  Concord Clinical School Faculty Profile
Associate Professor Diana Learoyd Northern Clinical School Faculty Profile
Professor Jacob George Westmead & Nepean Clinical Schools Faculty Profile

Once you have a project and a supervisor:

  • Complete the application form available at the Faculties of Health Postgraduate Student Administration Unit.
  • Ask your Supervisor to complete the Supervisor's Section.
  • Send the form with a summary of your proposed project, your curriculum vitae, a transcript of your academic record and evidence of Australian or New Zealand citizenship or Australian Permanent Residency, to the Postgraduate Co-ordinator at your supervisor's Clinical School for completion of the "Head of Department" page.
  • Then take your application to the Postgraduate Student Administration Unit, who will process your enrolment and send you an offer.

Students from overseas are also welcome to apply for candidature and, as the University's fees for overseas students are high, it is recommended the student's own government or institute provide a scholarship for them, or they can apply for an International Scholarship. The application for candidature process is similar except you use the form from the University's International Office.

Students normally commence postgraduate candidature at the beginning of 1st Semester (late February - early March), but it is possible to commence at the beginning of 2nd Semester (late July).

Each postgraduate research student is reviewed annually, commencing in the first year of candidature. The interview is confidential and designed to check on the student's progress and see if they are happy with their candidature, their project and their supervision.