Postgraduate Research - Future Students

Find a Supervisor and/or Project

Research is conducted by multiple laboratories

You can find a supervisor by visiting the University of Sydney’s Research Supervisor Connect site or by directly contacting staff members working in your area of interest. Staff members should be contacted by email or phone.

Checklist of topics to discuss when choosing a supervisor

  • How will the project topic be decided? This can range from the supervisor offering a range of projects to the student being expected to come up with their own topic.
  • How will the research be funded?
  • How frequently should there be meetings for supervision?
  • Who should initiate the meetings?
  • Will the meetings be structured?
  • Will the student prepare written material for discussion?
  • What role is the PhD student to have in the lab?
  • Expectations for seminar presentations?
  • Expectations for conference attendance/funding?
  • Expectations for manuscript preparation.
  • Expectations for manuscript authorship.
  • What style of supervision is desirable? Hands-off, or hands-on?
  • Should the student be autonomous in their research pursuits?
  • How are conflicts among lab members resolved?

Postgraduate Studies Handbook

All the formal requirements regarding your candidature may be found in the Postgraduate Studies Handbook.

This booklet summarizes formal requirements PhD, HECS, fees, part-time studies, time away, suspensions, examination, supervision etc.

Funding Sources

University wide Financial Support Australian Postgraduate Awards (APA)

The Australian Postgraduate Awards (APA) are open to Australian citizens, New Zealand citizens or permanent residents of Australia. Awards are funded by the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) and are tenable at an Australian tertiary institution for doctoral and masters research degrees. Full-time award holders receive a stipend of $23,728 p.a. (2012 rate) which is currently exempt from taxation. Students relocating their place of residence to take up the APA may be eligible for the relocation allowance (please review the APA information document). Part-time award holders receive a taxable stipend of $12,898 p.a (2012 rate). The stipend rate is indexed on the anniversary of the commencement date of the award, relocation and thesis allowances. Competition for the APA is extremely high and successful applicants must have a first class Honours degree or equivalent. Application forms are available from Research Training, Research Office from 31 August in the year prior to the first year of enrolment in the Masters or PhD. Applications close 31 October.

University of Sydney Postgraduate Awards (UPA)

The University of Sydney Postgraduate Awards have conditions and allowances similar to the APA. However, the awards are funded by The University of Sydney and are not transferable to other institutions. Applicants for APA will be automatically considered for UPA. Applications close 31 October. Some UPAs are also available for students commencing in Semester 2 and applications close in mid June. Contact Research Training, Research Office in May.

Vice-Chancellor's Research Scholarships

The Vice-Chancellor’s Research Scholarships (VCRS) are offered to attract students with an outstanding track record of academic achievement and research potential to pursue full-time PhD study at the University of Sydney. Up to 20 VCRS will be awarded every year.

Applicants must be an Australian citizen, a New Zealand citizen or an Australian permanent resident who will commence their full-time PhD candidature in the semester that the scholarship is awarded. A separate application for the VCRS is not required and highly ranked applicants for the Australian Postgraduate Awards or University of Sydney Postgraduate Award will be automatically considered. The VCRS will be awarded by the Vice-Chancellor on recommendation by a selection committee consisting of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), the Dean of Graduate Studies and a Federation Fellow nominated by the Vice-Chancellor. Academic excellence and outstanding research potential will be the
selection criteria.

This scholarship is offered as a top up scholarship to an APA (Australian Postgraduate Award)/UPA(University Postgraduate award. The value of the VCRS will be $35,000 p.a. (tax-exempt) for up to three years for full-time PhD students. A maximum extension of up to six months is possible provided the student is making satisfactory progress, and the grounds for the extension relate to the study and are beyond the control of the student. A relocation allowance of up to $5,000 may be provided for students who need to relocate to Sydney to take up the scholarship.

The VCRS can be held at any Faculty at the University but is not transferable to other universities. All other conditions of award including leave will be the same as those offered by the Australian Postgraduate Awards.

University Postgraduate Awards (Science)

The Faculty of Science Postgraduate Research Scholarships are available to full-time research candidates, normally PhD, in any discipline or research unit associated with the Faculty of Science at the University of Sydney. They are open to either Australian citizens or permanent residents of Australia. The stipend is offered at the same rate as the Australian Postgraduate Award. Application is automatic upon submission of an application for an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) at the University of Sydney. Applications close 31 October.