We have a number of Masters research projects for outstanding international applicants residing outside of Australia and commencing study in 2021.

Projects you can participate in are available across a range of research areas, including:

  • Engineering & Science
  • Mechanisms & Interventions in Health & Disease
  • Social & Cultural Transformation research
  • Healthy & Inclusive Communities – Sport, Physical Activity & Culture.

More information about the projects is available under the research area headings on this page.

Benefits

Undertake research as part of a larger program of research, with access to data and the opportunity to be part of Planetary Health Alliance activities at Victoria University (VU).

Our internationally recognised team of researchers will support you, along with an international cohort of fellow candidates all studying remotely, to successfully progress towards your degree. Introductory research coursework will also support your progress.

On completion, students will be eligible to apply for a PhD scholarship with VU.

Value

  • Tuition fees: between AU$25,000-30,000 per annum.
  • Honorarium: up to $AU10,000 based on Milestone Achievements.
  • Candidature budget: up to AU$1500-$3350, depending on discipline.
  • There will be no payments required for any successful applicants within this program.

Entry requirements

Course code: URPR/URPC

Duration: One year

Completion of an Australian Bachelor Honours degree (or equivalent) in the same discipline with an average grade of Distinction (or equivalent).
OR
Completion of an Australian Graduate Diploma (or equivalent) in the same discipline with an average grade of Distinction (or equivalent).

Course code: URRE/URRS

Duration: 1.5 years

Completion of an Australian Bachelor degree (or equivalent) in the same discipline with an average grade of Distinction (or equivalent) in the final year.
OR
Completion of an Australian Bachelor Honours degree (or equivalent) in a different discipline with an average grade of Distinction (or equivalent).

Applicants must meet English language requirements for international students. You will need to provide evidence of achievement of one of the following levels of English language proficiency:

  • IELTS (academic module): Overall score of 6.5 (no band less than 6.0).
  • TOEFL Internet: Test score of 79. Section score no less than:
    • Listening: 19
    • Speaking: 19
    • Reading: 18
    • Writing: 22.
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE): Overall score of 58-64 (with no section score less than 50).
  • University of Cambridge - Advanced (CAE): Overall score of 176. No individual band less than 169.

IELTS, TOEFL, PTE and CAE: These tests must be taken no more than two years prior to commencing your course.

How to apply

Applications open Wednesday 31 March and close Sunday 23 May (11:59pm).

  • No late applications will be accepted.
  • If you are successful in being offered a place you will have 5 working days from notification to accept the offer.

All applicants must include the project title and supervisor in their personal statement. If this information is not documented then the application will not be considered for this program.

Instructions for submitting your application

Apply through the EAAMS Portal

Key dates

  • Applications open: 31 March 2021
  • Applications close: 23 May 2021 (11:59pm)
  • Enrolment: 19 July, 2021
  • Induction: 28 July, 2021
  • Course Commencement: 02 August, 2021
  • Orientation Date: 27 August, 2021

Important

  • This program is only available to International applicants who are residing off-shore for the entirety of the course.
  • It will be at the discretion of the relevant Institute to determine which course you will be allocated based upon your application.
  • You are only permitted to submit an application for one project. If you submit more than one application, only your most recent will be taken into consideration.
  • Max 800 words for 'research proposal' – read instructions for further information on how to correctly provide response to this.

Engineering & science projects

Confidential data such as military secrets or intellectual property must never be disclosed outside the organisation; formally protecting data exfiltration from insider attacks is a major challenge. This project aims to develop a pattern matching based systematic methodology for data exfiltration in database systems. We will devise highly accurate detection tools and secure provenance techniques that can effectively protect against insider attacks.

Research Leader

Professor Hua Wang

Team members

Professor Yanchun Zhang, Professor Yuan Miao, Dr Wenjie Ye, Dr Khandakar Ahmed

Contact

[email protected]

This project involves a range of possible opportunities in the area of innovative membranes and processes for treatment of industrial waste waters. The need stems from the interest of industries across a range of sectors to reduce waste and pollution. Projects can involve either new membrane materials, and/or new processes that can achieve this goal in the most effective way. Specific topics can involve materials science, water quality and analysis, water processes such as oxidation and bioreactors, and photocatalysis. Membrane technologies include those made from innovative polymeric or ceramic materials. Specific details of topics and opportunities can be discussed with research leaders.

Research Leader

Professor Mikel Duke

Contact

[email protected]

Fire safety engineering in tunnels become more and more essential in order to ensure safety for tunnel users and protect the critical infrastructure for the support of economic activities. In this project, we offer research on the following subjects for tunnel fire safety, e.g. fire spread in tunnel fires, natural and forced ventilation in smoke, fire suppression by water spray, etc. Students engaged in this project will conduct research using both fire experiments and CFD simulations.

Research Leader

Professor Khalid Moinuddin

Team members

Professor Khalid Moinuddin, Associate Professor Futoshi Tanaka (University of Fukui, Japan)

Contact

[email protected]

Although buildings in wildland prone areas are designed against single approaching fire, in reality multiple approaching fires do occur. In this study, physics-based modelling will be conducted to investigate how two or three dynamic fires impact one another at different angles. The merging fire may evolve into a megafire and can have devastating impacts on human lives and properties.

Research Leader

Professor Khalid Moinuddin

Team members

Professor Khalid Moinuddin, Dr Nazmul Khan

Contact

[email protected]

This study will provide insight into the threshold conditions that exist when a forest’s surface fire transitions to a canopy fire. Improved understanding of this aspect will provide opportunities for more targeted efforts by fire services to ensure a more manageable surface fire does not ignite the often devastating and uncontrollable canopy forest fire. In this study, a physics based model will be used to study a required number of parameters. Threshold conditions will be established between these parameters and when transition of fire occurs.

Research Leader

Professor Khalid Moinuddin

Team members

Professor Khalid Moinuddin, Dr Nazmul Khan

Contact

[email protected]

Brain computer interface (BCI) systems are essential interventions in supporting healthcare through brain data analysis. However, many challenges remain before it can be applied in practice. This project aims to develop artificial intelligent (AI) methods to address current challenges for advanced BCI systems. The methods target noise removal, data compression, feature extraction and identification of mental states from massive brain signal data. An AI-based data analysis system is developed to accurately identify mental states of BCI users, and its function and applicability is evaluated through industry companies. The project's outcomes will benefit both BCI technology, big data analysis fields, and reduce Australian healthcare costs.

Research Leader

Professor Hua Wang

Contact

[email protected]

Mechanisms & interventions in health & disease projects

Sarcopenia, loss of muscle mass and strength, occurs in response to disuse, ageing and disease. Sarcopenia is a major health concern that can lead to increased risk of falls, fractures, and it can lead to insulin resistance. Bone and muscle are closely linked, as such we will test whether bone products as well as drugs used to treat osteoporosis improve muscle mass and strength caused by disuse or inactivity.

Research Leader

Professor Itamar Levinger

Contact

[email protected]

Individuals are remarkably variable in their responses to exercise interventions, and a large portion of these responses is attributed to genetics, and epigenetics (the effect of the environment on the expression of genes). This project aims to discover novel epigenetic biomarkers that predict fitness changes, following exercise intervention. This is expected to significantly contribute to knowledge on personalised health interventions.

Research Leader

Associate Professor Nir Eynon

Team members

Dr Sarah Voisin, Dr Danielle Hiam

Contact

[email protected]

A long-standing biological question concerns how different exercise intensities affect skeletal muscle adaptations. To help answer this, we recently performed a transcriptomic analysis of muscle from individuals performing different exercise intensities. In this informatics-only project, you will develop new methodologies to analyse this dataset and identify pathways altered following different exercise intensities. While some experience in programming/web development would be helpful, with this project you will become proficient in the use of bioinformatic packages as well as interpretation and visualisation of systems biology data.

Research Leader

Professor David Bishop

Team members

Dr Nikeisha Caruana

Contact

[email protected]

Mitochondria, the ‘powerhouses of the cell’, are responsible for many essential biological functions. We recently used mass spectrometry to determine changes in the mitochondrial proteome following exercise training. In this related informatics-only project you will develop methodologies to analyse this dataset, as well as an interactive website displaying the data. Applicants should have some experience in programming and/or web development. During this project, you will become proficient in the use of bioinformatic packages as well as the interpretation and visualisation of biological data.

Research Leader

Professor David Bishop

Team members

Dr Nikeisha Caruana, Dr David Stroud (University of Melbourne)

Contact

[email protected]

The project is to identify FDA-approved drugs that can be repositioned (i.e., repurposed) for off-label use as safe and effective therapies for people suffering from coronavirus disease (COVID-19). These could be fast tracked into human clinical trials. In addition, you will design new drug candidates based on the crystallographic structures of SARS-CoV-2 virus. Require molecular modelling, computational chemistry and molecular dynamics expertise, and access to computer and computer programs.

Research Leader

Professor Vasso Apostolopoulos

Team members

Professor John Orbell, Dr Majid Hassanzadeganroudsari, Dr Sarah Fraser,  Professor Harry Ridgway, Dr Minos Matsoukas, Dr Theodora Katsila

Contact

[email protected]

In an externally-funded project, we recruited 10 volunteers to complete exercise intervention in hypoxia. A PhD student is currently analysing the 120 muscle and 120 blood samples already collected. We propose to further investigate the adaptation of metabolites (small molecules from metabolism) in response to exercise in hypoxia. We plan to send the samples to a collaborator in China to conduct the metabolite analysis. By closely working with the PhD student, a master student based in China, will be recruited to analyse the metabolite data.

Research Leader

Professor David Bishop

Team members

Sean Yan Jia Li (PhD student)

Contact details

[email protected]

We conducted sleep study with 24 males allocated into one of three groups: Normal Sleep, Sleep Restriction, or Sleep Restriction and Exercise. We propose a transcriptomic study to analyse skeletal muscle already collect before and after the intervention. The samples will be sent to our collaborators in China to conduct RNA sequencing analysis. We plan to build an open access online interface for users to easily interrogate the dataset. A Masters student will be recruited to focus on the data analysis and data visualization.

Research Leader

Dr Jujiao Kuang

Team members

David Bishop

Contact details

[email protected]

Social & cultural transformation projects

Effective communication during COVID-19 aims to improve the level of engagement with, and adherence to, public health messaging and response strategies, including hand washing and social distancing. Yet, we know that children and young people have received mixed or unclear messaging through the pandemic, often delivered through traditional and unfamiliar media platforms. This project adopts a Critical Discourse Analysis approach to investigate the effectiveness of public health messaging to children and young people, through language, social-media platforms, and the social and political response to COVID-19 around the world.

Research Leader

Dr Fiona MacDonald

Contact

[email protected]

This project will involve a systematic review of the international scholarly literature about teacher expectations and how these impact on student learning. The project will examine publications from the 50-year period: 1970-2020. The project will be guided by the research question: 'How do teacher expectations affect student engagement and success in learning?' It is expected that the candidate will work closely with university librarians at VU and in their home country.

Research Leader

Associate Professor Julie White

Contact

[email protected]

Healthy & inclusive communities – sport, physical activity & culture projects

This research will look at the impact of lifestyle on wellbeing in tertiary students. We are looking for two students who can work together to create a team-based approach. There will be opportunity to 1) conduct a systematic review looking at the impact of lifestyle on wellbeing among tertiary students and 2) conduct secondary data analysis relating to the impact of a yoga based wellbeing program delivered to tertiary students.

Research Leader

Dr Michaela Pascoe

Team members

Professor Alex Parker, Dr Sarah Dash

Contact

[email protected]

The project will understand the perceptions of the current youth female athletes, former youth female athletes, and parents and coaches of youth female athletes. The information gathered from this process will provide the foundation for the development of an education program targeted at addressing the identified issues.

Research Leader

Dr Paul Larkin

Team members

Michaela Pascoe Sarah Dash Alex Parker

Contact details

[email protected]

Imagine a world where you felt compelled to do what’s good for you. We know what we should do, that we should eat well and exercise, but then there’s ice cream, the couch and Netflix. Consider if Netflix could help you want to do what’s good for you, could inspire you to be healthier. Well, it can.

Entertainment delivered narratives that are shown to impact health behaviours. We will conduct a comprehensive scoping review to identify characteristics of narratives that result in health-related behavioural changes, such as ensuring that stories include behavioural modelling, characters are identifiable to target audiences and relevant cultural/demographic considerations to ensure that films are appropriate for the target audience.

Scoping Review: A scoping review following the PRISMA guidelines will be conducted. The scoping review will not target specific health behaviours. Searched databases will be EBSCO, MEDLINE, PsycInfo, PubMed, Scopus and the review will be registered with Open Science Framework. A critical appraisal of included sources of evidence (Risk of bias) will be conducted following Cochrane Guidelines. All findings will be summarised and presented as they relate to the review questions and objectives.

Research Leader

Dr Michaela Pascoe

Team members

Professor Alex Parker

Contact details

[email protected]

Contact us

Contact [email protected] for program inquiries.

For project-specific questions, you may contact the relevant supervisor directly.