Apply for a graduate research scholarship

Maximilian de Courten
Maximilian de Courten

A range of graduate research scholarships are available for graduate researchers undertaking a higher degree by research at Victoria University.

The 2017 Victoria University Graduate Research Scholarship main rounds are now closed.

If your application is not dependent upon a main round graduate research scholarship you can apply for a research degree at any time throughout the year. In addition to these scholarships there are a range of other options for funding your research degree.

Which scholarship do I apply for?

Applicants need only submit one application to be considered for a graduate research scholarship.

All international applicants will be considered for the IPRS, VUIPRS and College Centenary Postgraduate Research Scholarships and are not required to nominate a particular scholarship on their application form.

All domestic applicants will be considered for the APA, VUPRS and Vice Chancellors Graduate Research Award. Domestic students are only required to nominate on the scholarship application form if they are applying for the Diversity scholarship.

More information about these scholarships including value and eligibility is available on the Graduate Research Scholarships page. Applicants are also advised to read the Graduate Scholarship Application Guide.

How to apply for a research scholarship?

Step 1: Select a degree

Research scholarship applicants must specify which research degree they are applying for and the College they will be studying within.

  • Masters by Research: build on skills and knowledge from an undergraduate degree.
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD): conduct research that leads to new knowledge or re-interprets existing ideas, theories and approaches.
  • Professional Doctorates: focus on issues in a particular profession and develop your ability to conduct independent research that makes an original contribution to improving practice. Research scholarships are offered for the following Professional Doctorates:

Students within Year 1 of the PhD (Integrated) are not eligible for a scholarship but are able to apply for Year 2 onwards.

Step 2: Check your eligibility for a graduate research scholarship

Eligibility for scholarships varies depending on the scholarship, and whether you are a domestic applicant (defined as an Australian citizen/permanent resident/New Zealand citizen) or an international applicant.

Information about eligibility is available on the graduate research scholarships page and in the Graduate Scholarship Application Guide .

Step 3: Meet minimum academic entry requirements

  • All PhD, Professional Doctorate and Masters by Research applicants must meet the University's minimum academic entry requirement of a 70% (Distinction VU standard) average in the most relevant qualifying degree.
  • To be considered for a graduate research scholarships in what is always a highly competitive process, applicants are expected to have at minimum 1st class honours (80%+ average) or the equivalent to 1st class honours.
Degree Name Minimum Entry Requirement
Doctor of Philosophy

A four-year bachelor degree with honours, or an honours degree at H2A/Distinction (above 70% VU standard) >
>Masters by coursework degree with minor thesis with average grades of at least H2A/Distinction (above 70% >VU standard)
Masters by research degree, or demonstrated exceptional ability during partial completion of a research project in a Masters by research degree

Master by Research

A three or four year bachelor degree with average grades of at least H2A/Distinction (above 70% VU standard) in the final year,
Other equivalent qualification or professional experience demonstrating a capacity to undertake a Masters by Research.

Doctor of Business Administration

A Master of Business degree or its equivalent with average grades of at least H2A/Distinction (70% VU standard)
Have completed at least two years appropriate work experience

Doctor of Education

(Australian residents only)

A four-year Bachelor of Education with honours at H1 (80 -100% VU standard) or H2A (70 - 79% VU standard) honours level

A Master of Education by coursework degree with minor thesis with average grades of at least H2A/Distinction (above 70% VU standard)

An acceptable alternative Masters qualification

Significant professional experience of at least three years

For details on Australian comparability of your overseas qualification(s), please refer to the international academic requirements for a higher degree by research.

English requirements

English language examination method Result
IELTS (academic module): Overall score (no band less than) 6.5 (6.0)
TOEFL Internet: Test score 79 (Listening19, Speaking 19, Reading 18, Writing 22)
Pearson Test of English (PTE ): Overall score (with no section score less than): 58-64 (50)
University of Cambridge - Advanced (CAE ): Total score of 58
VU English - University Preparation UPP (Postgraduate) Achieved
English Language School in Sydney (ELSIS ) - EAP 2 (advanced) A grade

In some circumstances we will accept test results from other methods of examination not listed in this table.

If you have completed a qualification where English was the primary language of instruction, you may be eligible for an English language exemption. Check our Guide to English Language Requirements to find out if you qualify for an exemption.

Step 4: Review our Areas of Research Focus

Applications are ranked on the basis of merit with preference given to applicants who pursue a research degree in one of Victoria University’s areas of research focus.

As a graduate research scholarship applicant you are required (within the application form) to name the Research Focus Area which most closely aligns with your area of research.

Step 5: Prepare your Research Proposal and CV

Research proposal

All Higher Degree by Research applicants are required to prepare a research proposal for submission.
Your research proposal should be 1- 2 pages (typed, A4) containing:

  • Title of the research proposal
  • Name and College of your nominated supervisor (on the title page)
  • Aims
  • Significance of the research
  • Methodology and research techniques
  • Facilities and equipment required


Your CV should include:

  • your educational qualifications
  • most relevant and up to date professional work experience
  • a list or recent research publications, if applicable.

Step 6: Confirm your supervisor

Applicants must have supervision confirmed before submitting their application form.

  • Use the table below to identify the Academic Point of Contact for the Research Theme that most closely matches your research area.
  • Send an email to the Academic Point of Contact for your selected research theme:
    • request the nomination of a principal supervisor appropriate to your research area.
    • attach a copy of your Research Proposal and CV.
  • Once your supervision has been confirmed you will be required to provide the name of the confirmed supervisor on your application form and attach the confirmation email.
Research Theme Academic Point of Contact Details
Cultural and social studies, including cultural diversity and well-being

Professor Michele Grossman


Chronic disease, prevention and management

Professor Maximilian de Courten


Community health, including nursing, psychology and social work

Professor Terence McCann (Nursing and Midwifery)
Assoc. Prof Christopher Sonn (Psychology)

Professor Marty Grace (Social work)

Engineering, including chemical, civil, electrical, electronic, fire safety, mechanical and risk engineering

Professor Stephen Collins
Professor Vasily Novozhilov

Food science, processing and packaging

Professor Todor Vasiljevic (Food science)
Professor Stephen Bigger (Food Packaging)

Economics, including policy studies and strategic economic development

Professor Bruce Rasmussen
Professor Glyn Wittwer

Creative writing

Dr Enza Gandolfo

Supply chain and logistics

Assoc. Professor Hermione Parsons
Sport: science, exercise, human movement and active living Professor Andrew Stewart

Medical physiology, pharmacology & pharmaceutical sciences

Associate Professor John Price (Physiology and pharmacology)
Professor Glenn McConell (Physiology)

Applied informatics, mathematics, computing and artificial intelligence Professor Yanchun Zhang
Education: policy and systems, equity and access, and the educational experience across the lifespan

Dr Marg Malloch

If your intended topic of research does not align with one of the above Research Themes please contact the relevant College Research and Research Training Director in order to confirm supervision:

College of Arts: Professor Phillip Deery

College of Business: Dr Jo Vu

College of Education: Dr Marg Malloch

College of Engineering and Science: Professor Stephen Collins

College of Health and Biomedicine: Associate Professor John Price

College of Law and Justice: Professor Anona Armstrong

College of Sport and Exercise Science: Professor Andrew Stewart

Step 7: Submit your application

The application form is an interactive PDF that must be downloaded, opened and completed in a current version of Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader.

Before you submit your application:

  1. Review the information in the Graduate Scholarship Application Guide
  2. Download How to complete the graduate scholarship application form guide. This contains essential information that will assist you with completing your application.
  3. Download and complete the Graduate Research Scholarships Application Form.
  4. Combine the application form and all the supporting documentation (including the email confirming supervision provided by the Academic Point of Contact) into a single PDF file. A full list of required and supporting documentation is available in ‘How to complete the Scholarship Application Form’ document.
  5. Attached the PDF file to a single email.
  6. Submit the completed application and supporting documentation (as a single email) to the appropriate email address by the deadline specified below.
Applicant Email Address Deadline
International 5pm AEST 30 September 2016
Domestic 5pm AEST 28 October 2016

Step 8: Referee reports

Forward the Graduate Research Scholarship Referee Report Forms(this is also available as a Microsoft Word document) to your nominated referees with a request they complete, sign and submit the forms to the appropriate deadline.

Notification of outcomes

Both Domestic and International applicants will be contacted in mid December regarding the outcome of their application.

Contact us

If you have any questions please email