Apply for a graduate research scholarship

Maximilian de Courten
Maximilian de Courten

A range of research scholarships for graduates undertaking a higher degree by research are available 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.

Scholarships available

Applicants only need to submit one application to be considered for all eligible graduate research scholarships.

International applicants will be considered for the:

  • Research Training Program Stipend Scholarship (RTPSS)
  • Victoria University International Research Scholarship (VUIPRS)

You do not need to nominate a particular scholarship on your application form.

Domestic applicants will be considered for the:

  • Research Training Program Stipend Scholarship (RTPSS)
  • Victoria University Post Graduate Research Scholarship (VUPRS)
  • Vice Chancellors Graduate Research Award.

Domestic students are only required to nominate on the scholarship application form if they are applying for the VU 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.


Step 1: Select a degree

Specify which research degree you applying for and the College you will be studying in.

  • 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 conduct independent research to make 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/Australian 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 applicants must meet the University's minimum academic entry requirement of a 70% (Distinction VU standard) average in the most relevant qualifying degree.
  • Applications for graduate research scholarships are always highly competitive. Therefore, applicants are expected to have, at minimum, a 1st class honours (80%+ average) or equivalent.
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.

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
International English Language Test System (IELTS) (academic module): Overall score (no band less than) 6.5 (6.0)
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) internet: Test score 79 (listening 19, 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 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 & 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 TBC
Chronic disease, prevention and management Professor Maximilian de Courten
Community health, including nursing, psychology and social work

Professor Terence McCann (nursing and midwifery)

Associate Professor 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 TBC
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. Instructions for completing the scholarship application will be available later this year, when the scholarship round opens.
  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 2016 rounds closed
Domestic 2016 rounds closed

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 by 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