How to apply

How to prepare your application for a research program at RMIT

Please note:

There will be no RMIT scholarships available through the usual scholarship rounds for new commencing research candidates in 2021.

An update regarding scholarships will be provided by end of June 2021 for candidates intending to commence their research in late 2021 or 2022.

It is recommended that you check the range of scholarships made available through funded projects, which are still available.

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.


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

Please note:

There will be no RMIT scholarships available through the usual scholarship rounds for new commencing research candidates in 2021.

An update regarding scholarships will be provided by end of June 2021 for candidates intending to commence their research in late 2021 or 2022.

It is recommended that you check the range of scholarships made available through funded projects, which are still available.


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


  • 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

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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