How to apply

How to prepare your application for a research program at RMIT

Step 1

Choose your program

Step 2

Identify your research project

Step 3

Costs and scholarships

Step 4

Prepare your application

2022 research scholarships

Register your interest in research scholarships if you are planning on commencing your research degree at RMIT in 2022.

Please also check the range of scholarships made available through funded projects.

Choose your program

RMIT offers both PhDs and Masters by Research degrees across a range of disciplines.

On average, the duration of a PhD is three to four years (or equivalent part time). A masters by research usually takes two years full time (or four years part time). International applicants on a student visa must enrol full time.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for admission to an RMIT University research program, you must:

To be successful you must demonstrate capacity to conduct independent research. Places are also subject to academic supervisor and resource availability, as well as suitability of the proposed research.

A note on sanctioned countries

If you live in a sanctioned country, please apply early to allow for your application to be reviewed with respect to applicable sanctions.

Identify your research project or research area

Applicants have the opportunity to align with a diverse range of exciting research projects or research areas, spanning a variety of critical research areas.

The process allows us to then align the best supervisor with your desired area of interest, which ensures you will be supported by the most appropriate expert in the field.

We offer a diverse range of projects and research areas from each of the RMIT schools and centres. You can browse current offerings to align with here.

When you apply online:

  • to STEM College as well as the College of Business and Law, you register your interest in up to three available projects applicable to the program for which you are applying for admission.
  • you must also submit a statement indicating why you are interested in joining the projects you nominate.
  • to the College of Design and Social Context (all social sciences, humanities and creative arts), you select one research area and submit your own research proposal aligned with that research area.

It is important to take note of the College and the program to which you are applying and provide this information accordingly.

Propose your own research topic

Applicants to schools that do not have research projects available must propose their own research topic.

Similarly, applicants who are fully funded through an arrangement with an external sponsor may propose their own research topic.

When you propose your research topic, you must make sure it is aligned with at least one of RMIT’s identified research strengths which are largely defined through the University’s Enabling Capability Platforms.

It is also highly recommended that you review the research strengths in each school.

You should also look at the research interests of the University’s researchers.

When you propose your research topic, you are required to provide a research proposal that outlines the research you expect to undertake as part of your research degree.

Please observe the guidelines that the School of Graduate Research provides when writing your research proposal.

If you important to ensure that your application is submitted to the school where your potential supervisor is located. Further details regarding Research programs is available via Study with us.

Costs and scholarships

See below for the fee structure for your Masters or PhD. We also offer scholarships to support candidates financially while they undertake research projects.

Costs and fees

Fee information - local applicants

If you are an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or New Zealand citizen your place is automatically funded by the Research Training Program (RTP) by an RTP Fee Offset scholarship

Local candidates are not required to pay tuition fees for the maximum duration of their program.This means a maximum of 2 years for a full-time Master by Research or 4 years for a PhD (or the equivalent part-time).

Fee information - international applicants onshore

International onshore HDR fees

Fees information for international candidates studying at RMIT's Melbourne campuses.

Fee information - international applicants offshore

International offshore HDR fees

Fees for international candidates studying PhD and Masters by Research offshore with RMIT.

Student services and amenities fee (SSAF) The student services and amenities fee is used to maintain and enhance services and amenities that improve your experience at RMIT.  While international candidates are liable to pay the SSAF annually, from 1 January 2021 domestic research candidates will also be required to pay for the SSAF annually.

Scholarships

Scholarship types

There are two basic types of stipend scholarship that are made available through the research scholarship rounds. These are:

Stipend scholarships

International tuition fee scholarships

Scholarship applications from international applicants are automatically considered for both a stipend and the Tuition Fee Offset Scholarships.

When applying for a scholarship you will automatically be considered for all scholarships for which you are eligible, including the Vice-Chancellor's PhD Scholarship (VCPS). You do not need to submit separate applications. 

RMIT Research Indigenous Scholarship

If you identify as an Indigenous Australian, you are eligible to apply through the RMIT Research Indigenous Scholarship category. Please note, evidence is required if you are awarded a scholarship in this category.

RMIT Research Equity Scholarship

Additional scholarship consideration is given if you are affected by a Disability or long term medical condition.

If applying for this scholarship category, you are required to provide a detailed statement of your circumstances indicating how your past academic achievement has been affected by your condition. You are also required to attach to your application evidence of your condition from a health practitioner, by the scholarship closing date.

Scholarship rounds

2022 research scholarships

Register your interest in research scholarships if you are planning on commencing your research degree at RMIT in 2022.

Please also check the range of scholarships made available through funded projects.

Eligibility

Applicants for an RMIT research scholarship must:

  • meet the entry requirements for a graduate research program at RMIT University; or
  • be currently enrolled in a graduate research program at RMIT

Additionally, international applicants must meet English requirements by the advertised scholarship application deadline.

Competitive Selection

Scholarships are awarded on the basis of a competitive selection process that ranks applicants according to their academic achievement, research outputs and relevant professional experience.

Priority is given to applicants who:

  • have achieved a high distinction in the final two years of the qualifying program(s). At RMIT a grade of high distinction represents an academic achievement of 80% or higher
  • may be considered by RMIT as having an equivalent level of academic attainment, taking into account previous study, relevant work experience, research publications and other research experience
  • are able to take receipt of a scholarship for a minimum 12 months duration on a full time basis (or part time equivalent) because of prior enrolment in a graduate research program
  • have not already completed a graduate research program at the same or higher course level.  For example Masters by Research applicants should not have already completed a Masters by Research or PhD
  • have not previously held an RMIT or Commonwealth-funded postgraduate research scholarship unless it was terminated within six months of the scholarship’s payments commencing
  • are or will be enrolled and primarily based at an RMIT Australian campus

Additionally:

  • Vice-Chancellors PhD Scholarship recipients must not have undertaken prior higher degree by research candidature in the last three years

Terms and conditions

See the HDR Scholarship Terms and Conditions for more information.

Prepare your application

The application process

The process has two stages:

  • Stage 1: Expression of Interest (EOI)
  • Stage 2: Application

The EOI gathers just enough information about you for the University to assess your eligibility and consider the research you will undertake as part of your research program.

Creative practice schools may want to see your portfolio and interview you. The school to which you are applying will contact you if this is the case.

If your EOI is successful, you will be invited to complete and submit the rest of your application.

It may take up to four weeks for an outcome on your EOI, so make sure you submit your EOI well in advance of when you expect to commence study.

Application Types and deadlines

Admission to research program only:

  • You may apply throughout the year for available monthly intake periods.

Admission to research program and scholarship:

  • You are expected to submit your EOI and full application by the advertised deadlines.

Scholarship only:

  • Available only if you are already enrolled in or have an offer of admission to an RMIT research program

You must submit your application by the advertised scholarship application deadline.

I want to transfer to RMIT from another University

To apply:

  • Apply online using the standard form
  • Indicate that you wish to transfer to RMIT from another university
  • Provide a statement from your previous university which outlines the details of your previous enrolment and status of your candidature

Transfers with remaining periods of candidature of less than 12 months are only approved in exceptional circumstances.

If admitted, you will be asked to complete the RMIT milestones such as  Confirmation of Candidature or the Mid-Candidature Review. You may be exempt from completing these milestones at RMIT if you can provide evidence that you have already completed these milestones and they are deemed equivalent to the standard of milestones completed at RMIT.

Required documentation checklist

Applicants are required to provide scanned and where applicable certified copies of the following with their expression of interest
  1. CV
  2. Complete transcripts for all academic qualifications
  3. Research proposal or statement of interest in an available research project
  4. A letter of financial guarantee if you are an international applicant being sponsored to come to RMIT to complete your research degree.

I am already enrolled in a research degree at RMIT and want to transfer to another research degree

To apply:

  • Apply online using the standard form
  • Indicate that you are already enrolled at RMIT and wish to transfer to another degree.

I intend to complete my study as part of a CRTA

Collaborative Research Training Agreements (CRTA) – Cotutelle Agreements and Collaborative PhD Agreements

Joint PhD partnerships involve co-enrolment and supervision of HDR candidates leading to a joint award, or awards, from both partners.

RMIT Collaborative PhD partnerships involve partner organisation hosting and co-supervising RMIT research candidates with single enrolment in the RMIT PhD.

View the full list of CRTA’s here

Frequently asked questions

General questions

Under normal circumstances and if not applying under a Collaborative Research Training Agreement (CRTA), international candidates would typically be required to be in Australia to undertake a research program. Because of Australia’s current travel restrictions, Although due to the current travel restrictions, it would be dependent on the research program you were applying for, the scope of the project and the relevant school as to whether an offshore commencement is feasible, with the view of travelling onshore when travel restrictions are lifted. 

We recommend speaking to the academic staff at the relevant School regarding offshore commencement. 

General information about fees for research programs can be found on the RMIT Research programs website. Australian citizens and permanent residents and New Zealand citizens will receive a Research Training Program (RTP) place. Under the RTP tuition costs are funded by the Commonwealth Government, so you will have full exemption from tuition fees. RTP places are very competitive and are granted on the condition that all annual progress requirements are met. RTP candidates are also required to complete within the allotted full-time or part-time duration of their program.

International candidates can use the programs, intakes and tuition fees database to find the international student tuition fees for specific programs. For other important fee information for RMIT international students please visit the Tuition fees site.

The School of Graduate Research team are not involved in the travel exemption process and do not provide supporting documentation, assess eligibility or submit applications on behalf of candidates. You may request a letter of support from your Senior Supervisor as a supporting document to the application. The letter should outline the alignment of the research to the national interest. There is no guarantee the exemption will approved and RMIT does not determine the outcome. Please refer to the following website relative to travel restrictions and exemptions and for information on how to apply.

Admissions questions

The first step is to check that you meet RMIT’s research entry requirements. RMIT admits applicants based on their demonstrated capacity to conduct independent research. All applicants for research programs must meet the minimum entry requirements. Please follow the links to entry requirements for local and international students.

If you are an international applicant, you will also be required to provide evidence of English language proficiency. If you are from a country that is not on the list of countries recognised by RMIT as English-speaking you will need to provide official evidence of proficiency in the form of test results. The required level and types of evidence accepted are outlined here.

The admission selection process has two stages:

  • Stage 1: Expression of Interest (EOI)
  • Stage 2: Application

The EOI gathers just enough information about you for the University to assess your eligibility and consider the research you will undertake as part of your research program. If your EOI is successful, you will be invited to complete and submit the rest of your application for admission. For detailed guidance on the application process please refer to the preparing your appication tab on this page. All applications must be made via the application portal.

You may apply at any time for admission to RMIT research programs. We recommend that applicants set the commencement date on their application no earlier than two months from the submission of their EOI to allow time for the application to be processed. If you are applying for a specific research project, you are expected to submit your EOI and full application by the advertised deadline.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the relevant School to make a preliminary enquiry about the availability of supervision and an acceptable research topic prior to submission of an application. You may refer to our website Find RMIT Researchers. You can also search College and School HDR contacts where you can find the contact information for the HDR Coordinator within your area of interest.

The statement of interest is a personal statement detailing your interest in the nominated project(s). We do not offer a form or a template for this statement as applicants are required to write their statements via paragraph structure and upload them as PDF. The statement of interest could include your motivation for undertaking postgraduate research, the reason you are interested in the project(s) and why the project is suited to you.

RMIT admits applicants on the basis of their demonstrated capacity to conduct independent research. All applicants for research programs must meet the minimum entry requirements. Please follow the links to entry requirements for local and international students.

Applicants are required to provide scanned and where applicable certified copies of the following with their expression of interest:

  1. CV
  2. Complete transcripts for all academic qualifications
  3. Research proposal or statement of interest in an available research project
  4. A letter of financial guarantee if you are an international applicant being sponsored to come to RMIT to complete your research degree.

Yes, you can apply before completing your program. Where you are accepted (pending your final results), we will make a conditional offer. That is, the offer is conditional on you completing your current degree (and, in some cases, receiving particular grades).

If you have already accepted your offer, we will need to request the deferral on your behalf. To defer your offer, we require written approval from the Senior Supervisor and the Delegated Authority of the School. A deferral is not guaranteed and will depend on supervisor availability, the requirements of the research project and when research methods subjects are available. If approved, you will be issued with a new offer of admission that you’ll need to accept. Typically only 2 deferrals are permissible, up to a maximum of 12 months from the original intake period.

Offshore applicants: as the Australian borders are currently closed, the earliest date to defer to is March 2023. If travel restrictions are lifted, commencement can be brought forward.

It is very difficult to provide an exact timeframe as different Schools have different processes. For example, some Schools like to interview applicants. If this is the case, then the process takes longer. We work hard to get you an outcome as quickly as possible and where possible this happens within about 4 weeks.

Scholarships questions

Applications are currently being assessed for admission only. If you would like to register your interest in applying for a scholarship at RMIT, complete this form.

Unfortunately, there will be no scholarships available through the usual scholarship rounds for research candidates in 2021. An update regarding scholarships for 2022 will be provided by the end of August 2021. You can monitor the scholarships website for updates. If you would like to register your interest in applying for a scholarship at RMIT, complete this form. We also recommend that you look at the range of scholarships available through Funded Projects/Scholarships.

Ready to apply for a Research Degree at RMIT?

Click on the button below to begin your application process.

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.