Honours research program

Each year Peter Mac accepts students from biomedical science and science programs to undertake full-time honours projects for one year in cancer-related biomedical research.

What we offer

Honours students come to Peter Mac with a range of majors and backgrounds including biochemistry, chemistry, biomedical science, immunology, cell biology, medicine, medical physics, pharmacology, molecular biology, pathology, physiology and anatomy.

Honours students undertake all scientific research work on site at Peter Mac while undertaking coursework on their university campus.

Honours students have full access to our research education program, which provides opportunities for students to develop knowledge and expertise in their chosen research area, as well as developing professional skills that will help them fulfil their career ambitions.

By complementing established conventional training for biomedical research students, our program allows our students to develop a higher degree of independence and leadership during their candidature to enhance preparation for a competitive and broader job market.

“Attending a Peter Mac Student Open Day in my 3rd year, I was struck by the enthusiasm and the collaborative environment at the open day, and on subsequent visits to the labs. More so than other institutes that I’d visited and worked at. [At Peter Mac] I didn’t really notice a clear distinction between RAs, students and post-docs. I felt that everybody had an opportunity to contribute to the discussion around the experiments.” 

Don Cameron, honours and PhD student, Oncogenic Signalling and Growth Control Program; recipient of a Leukaemia Foundation of Australia PhD Scholarship & Cancer Therapeutics Top-up Scholarship; 2015 President, Peter Mac Student Society. 

Don completed his honours year at Peter Mac in 2010, following which he worked in various RA roles in the Oncologenic Signalling and Growth Control Program before commencing his PhD in 2014. He  remained at Peter Mac throughout these stages of his early research career because he enjoyed the environment, the facilities are excellent, and he feels he can learn a lot from the people here. Every year, he developed as a better scientist and critical thinker.  Having completed his PhD in 2018, Don is now working as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Karolinska Institute, Sweden.

Becoming an honours student

Entry to the honours program is based on available projects, suitability and academic background.

Honours students must meet the following criteria:

  • demonstrate a genuine interest in biomedical research
  • commit to spending the honours year (typically February to October) full time at Peter Mac (in some instances, mid-year commencement may be available)

Applicants who meet these criteria should:

  • Review the 2019 Peter Mac student project booklet 
  • contact the relevant project supervisor directly by phone or email to discuss your interest in their research
  • send them a copy of your CV and your academic transcripts to help them understand your background, interests and academic strengths
  • make a time to meet with potential supervisors at Peter Mac to discuss your project interests and discuss your academic record
  • visit the laboratory and meet the research group

If a position is offered, you should then apply for honours candidature through the university of your choice. Peter Mac staff will help with advice for this process.

Honours students at the University of Melbourne enrol through the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences in the department most relevant to the project and supervisory team. Projects are then selected through the University project database system.

If you need help in the application process, please contact Peter Mac's Research Education Administration team: [email protected]

Contact details

A/Prof Caroline Owen

Head, Research Education 

Phone: (03) 8559 5948

Email: [email protected]