Postgraduate Research at VELiM

Information for future Higher Research Degree students

VELim phd candidates - group photo

VELiM has a large and thriving community of Higher Degree Research (HDR) students. These are mostly students completing PhDs, but also a few students doing Masters by Research (MPhil). Many of VELiM’s HDR students work in the VELiM office, close to our core academic staff. They participate in VELiM events like weekly seminars and monthly team meetings, contribute to our teaching programs in their areas of expertise, and self-organise peer support and skill-building activities like intensive writing retreats.

VELiM is strongly committed to providing our HDR students with the best possible support and training during their candidature. In turn HDR students are expected to take an active role in the life of the VELiM community.

Expression of interest to become a research student at VELiM

VELiM receives more requests for supervision that we can accommodate, so we needed to introduce a fair process for allocating HDR opportunities. People who want to enrol need to send a formal Expression of Interest to us.

screening process flowchart

Our academic staff will consider this Expression of Interest, and decide whether the intending student is a good fit for VELiM. If we decide the student is a good fit, we then support them to apply to the University of Sydney for an official HDR place.

The first step in the Expression of Interest process is to identify a VELiM academic who you think would be a good supervisor for the project you want to do. For help with this, refer to the VELiM Academic Staff page. If you have trouble identifying an appropriate academic to supervise your intended project, contact the for advice.

Once you have identified a potential supervisor, you need to prepare and submit your Expression of Interest with the help of that academic. If VELiM supports your Expression of Interest, you will work with your future supervisor to make an official application to the University for HDR candidature. If VELiM does not support your Expression of Interest, you remain free to contact other Faculties, Schools or Centres at the University of Sydney about potential HDR candidature.

It is important to understand that VELiM does not have the authority to offer an official place in an HDR program. This authority rests with the University of Sydney. An Expression of Interest is only the beginning of the process of entering a HDR program, not the end.

The VELiM Expression of Interest process is separate to applying to University for admission. VELiM support for your Expression of Interest is not an official offer of a HDR place at the University of Sydney. You must apply separately to the University of Sydney, with your supervisor’s help.

How and when to submit your Expression of Interest:

You can submit an Expression of Interest at any time. However, please ensure that you submit at least one month ahead of the relevant University application date. For information on the University application process and closing dates, please refer to How to start your research degree.

Your Expression of Interest should include:

  • Your CV
  • Copy of your academic transcript
  • Statement of support from an academic referee
  • Sample of written work (e.g. undergraduate assignment, thesis chapter, dissertation or published or unpublished paper)
  • "Statement of Purpose" describing your interests, reasons for pursuing an advanced degree at VELiM (max. 1-2 pages), and your long-term goals.
  • Project outline (max. 1-2 pages) including background, research aims and research questions, method and anticipated outcomes. This is not assumed to be a final product but assists us in assessing your ability to choose a topic to research, identify research questions and plan your investigation.
  • Brief outline of any formal discussions with VELiM staff and your preferences regarding supervision (if you have any).
student reception desk

Submit your Expression of Interest to:

Sydney Health Ethics
Attn: Mr Jay Lee
Medical Foundation Building, K25
Level 1, 92-94 Parramatta Rd, Camperdown NSW 2006
Fax: +612 9036 3436

Your Expression of Interest will be reviewed by a team of VELiM senior academics, who will decide whether our Centre will be able to support your project and your official University application for a HDR place.

Once you have successfully enrolled into your preferred research degree, your main point of contact for advice, information and resources to support your candidature will be the Higher Degree by Research Administration Centre (HDRAC).


Contact VELiM’s for a confidential discussion.

Meet our current PhD and MPhil-candidates.