Postgraduate Research - Future Students
Find a Supervisor and/or Project
Research is conducted by multiple laboratories
- Behaviour and Genetics of Social Insects Lab
- Behaviour and Physiology Research Lab
- EICC Marine Ecology Laboratories
- Evolutionary and Ecological Physiology lab
- Insect Ecology Lab
- Molecular Ecology, Evolution, and Phylogenetics Lab
- Molecular Genetics Lab
- Plant Ecophysiology and Ecosystem Processes Lab
- Reptile Ecology Lab
- Terrestrial Ecology Lab
- Plant Molecular Biology Lab
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.
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
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.
Application to the Faculty of science
After finding a supervisor who has agreed to supervise your candidature, local
students should complete an application for candidature which needs to be lodged
with the Faculty of Science, who will assess your academic qualifications and
eligibility for a postgraduate degree, and confirm that a place and a supervisor is
available in the School.
Information from the Faculty of Science on how to apply for a research degree
plus an application check list can be found here
The application form can be found here.
The Research Training Scheme (RTS) covers tuition fees for local research
students for the following lengths of time:
Doctor of Philosophy: 8 full-time or 16 part-time semesters
Masters by research: 4 full-time or 8 part-time semesters
As long as local students complete their research degrees within the specified
periods, they are not required to pay tuition fees. Local students are not required
to apply for an RTS fee exemption since it is automatically awarded to students
enrolling in postgraduate research courses. If students take longer than the
specified period to complete their degree, they may be liable to pay tuition fees.
The contact details for the Faculty of Science are:
Phone: +61 2 9351 3021; Fax: +61 2 9351 4846;