Research applications

Applying for and obtaining admission to a research degree is a process that requires time and preparation before submission of the application. You should read the instructions below carefully and ensure you follow the steps outlined.

Step 1: Find an academic supervisor

Our Research Supervisor Connect online portal lists all the University research opportunities currently available for new students. Search through research opportunities, read about supervisors’ areas of interest and expertise, and make initial contact with them.

Step 2: Develop a research proposal

Once you have initiated discussions with an academic, you need to develop and submit an initial research proposal. The supervisor will read and comment on your proposal, and indicate if they are willing to supervise you before you submit your application.

Below are guidelines to help you prepare your initial research proposal for admission:

Content  Description 
Min-Max length  up to 2000 words 
Project Title  Working title for the project 
Supervisor name(s)  Names of supervisor(s) 
Proposed mode of research  Describe your mode of research? (e.g. creative work, laboratory/field research, clinical investigations, archive/library study) 
Aims and objectives  What are the overall aims of the work? What objectives are necessary to meet the aims? 
Synopsis  Briefly describe the key aspects of what you will be investigating 
Background  Brief review of literature in the area of interest. Describe what research lays the groundwork for your topic. 
Expected research contribution  Why is the topic/creative work important? Describe how the research may be novel and its impact on the discipline.
The proposed methodology  Approach or methodology to be used in the research, the materials/equipment you intend to use, your space/laboratory/studio requirements. 
Work plan  An initial plan for completion with annual milestones (e.g. over 3 years) 
Resources  Provide details of major resources required for you to carry out your research project. What significant resources are required for the success of your proposed project (e.g. travel, equipment) 
References  A short bibliography of the cited literature 

Step 3: Identify academic referees

You will need to provide details of two academic referees who are familiar with your previous academic qualifications and achievements who can then submit an academic referee report on your behalf. Instructions are provided within your online application form.

Step 4: Submit your application

All applications for higher degrees by research should be lodged online. First, visit our ‘Find a course’ website.

Search for your program of study. Then select the degree you wish to apply for. Click on the ‘apply’ button to begin the application process.

Need further information?

Contact us

Domestic students
1800 SYD UNI (1800 793 864)

International students
+61 2 8627 1444 (outside Australia)