PhD in Australia
Australia has an international reputation for excellent education and
training and is recognised as a world leader in biomedicine, environmental
science, water resource management, astronomy, nanotechnology, and Asia Pacific
studies. Australian universities welcome research and PhD students from the US
What makes an Australian PhD different?
PhDs in Australia are generally three years in length and are research-based.
This means that you will not attend classes in your field of study but spend
your time conducting primary research under an Australian academic's
supervision. This is different from an American or Canadian PhD program where
you spend time in the classroom as well as conducting research over a five to
seven-year period. A PhD in Australia is shorter and more-intense. Similar to a
North American PhD, a PhD in Australia culminates in a dissertation.
Some students begin a two-year research-based master's degree (MPhil) which
then leads to a PhD.
Finding a PhD program in Australia
The most important consideration in finding a PhD program in Australia is the
match between you, the student, and your PhD supervisor. When searching for a
program, you could review academic journals within your field of study, contact
academic deans' associations (e.g. Medical Deans Australia & New Zealand),
ask your US or Canadian professor for contacts in Australia, or use one of the
following Australian resources.
- The Excellence in Research Australia or ERA is an
independent assessment of the research quality at Australian universities. The
2010 Excellence in
Research Australia National Report can help you determine the universities
with the strongest research capabilities for your PhD in Australia.
- Australia's Knowledge Gateway is a searchable database of
researchers, publications and Australia's research capabilities developed by
Australia's leading research universiites, the Group of Eight. You can search Australia's Knowledge Gateway
by key words related to your PhD in Australia.
Funding your PhD in Australia
There are many funding
opportunities available for postgraduate research, doctoral and PhD programs
- The Endeavour Postgraduate Awards provide
financial support for high achieving American and Canadian students to study for
a master's degree or PhD in Australia. The Endeavour Postgraduate Awards are
valued at AUS$118,500 for master's by coursework or research degrees and
AUS$228,500 for PhDs.
- The Endeavour Research Fellowships provides financial support up to
AUD$23,500 for postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows from the US and
Canada to undertake short-term research (4-6 months) towards a Masters or PhD
(which they are enrolled in a participating country) or postdoctoral research in
any field of study in Australia.
- The International
Postgraduate Research Scholarship Scheme provides financial support to high
quality international postgraduate students coming to Australia to support the
country’s research effort. Scholarships are funded through the Department of
Innovation and administered by participating Australian universities.
- The Study in Australia website offers a comprehensive scholarship database for PhD programs and
research degrees in Australia.
- The Joint Academic
Scholarship Online Network aims to assist students wishing to pursue
research and PhDs in Australia with information on funding opportunities through
various scholarship programs run through universities, charitable foundations,
government and private institutions.
Teaching assistantships while you undertake your PhD in Australia are
available at many universities. Teaching assistants generally assist professors
with tutorials or with small seminar groups for undergraduate students. To find
a teaching assistantship, you'll need to speak directly with your Australian
For more information, download our Guide to Doctoral & Research Degrees in Australia or check
out the list of Australian universities here. You will find more information on research in Australia here.