Postgraduate program

Our postgraduate research program provides excellence in research training and support for all laboratory and clinician research students as they develop expertise in new technologies, and help drive new discoveries that lead to changes in research and clinical practice.

About our program

Our research education program 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.

The program incorporates the University of Melbourne Comprehensive Cancer PhD Program, in addition to specific Peter Mac Research education program requirements.

Our model for research education and training that underpins the Peter Mac and Comprehensive PhD programs includes:

  • postgraduate program requirements, including support for the research project, progress reviews and supervisor training and management
  • research skills development, including mastery of core technologies, critical analysis through exposure to journal clubs, scientific seminars and presentations
  • professional and career development, including generic and transferable skills, mentoring, networking, leadership and career opportunities
  • science communication including thesis and journal writing skills and oral or poster presentations at conferences to promote interdisciplinary and international exposure

By complementing established conventional training for biomedical and clinical 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.

Becoming a student

We provide a world-class research education program at a leading Australian cancer research institution for students from the University of Melbourne and other national and international universities.

There are two general stages in preparing to become a student in our postgraduate and honours programs. Students must:

1. Find a project and supervisor for their research program. 

2. Meet the university's degree eligibility and entry requirements.

Finding a supervisor and project.

You must have a supervisor lined up before you submit an application for your postgraduate degree.

  • Download the 2023 Student Project Book.
  • 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 interest in their project and to discuss your academic record. 
  • If possible, visit the laboratory and meet the research group.

Supervisors are required to interview potential students (face to face or remotely) before committing to supervising a student.

Once a supervisor has confirmed that they support your application to the university, they are required to provide a letter of support to accompany your application, and also to provide you with the title and a brief 100-word description of your project.

Application process

Students can begin their degree at any time during the year but must meet deadlines for the scholarship/candidature application process.

Note: These details are relevant to applications to study at the University of Melbourne. We also accept students who enrol through other universities.

For assistance with the application process with The University of Melbourne or with other universities, please contact the  Research Education team .

University of Melbourne Eligibility requirement and Application details are provided below.

University of Melbourne eligibility requirements and scholarships (or equivalent)

All our students are required to obtain scholarships to support them during their candidature. This is usually Research Training Scheme Domestic (RTP-Dom) (local students) or the RTP-Int/APA International Scholarship (international students). Some students also have access to scholarships from other organisations or countries to support their studies.

The University of Melbourne application

You will need to apply to the University of Melbourne for candidature and a scholarship – all done in the one online application process.

Visit the University of Melbourne's Future Students webpage for information on the application process and to access an application form.

Our University of Melbourne students apply to enrol in:

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences

School/departmentThe Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology

Although you only submit one application to the university, there are two parallel processes that result in two separate offers: candidature and scholarship.

The application can be submitted at any time to commence at any time during the year.

Round 1 applications close 31 October for a postgraduate degree to commence at any time in the following year. 

Upcoming rounds -

Round 1 closing date - 31 October 2022

Round 2 closing date - 29 January 2023

Round 3 closing date - 14 May 2023

Please note: While there are multiple application rounds each, most scholarships are awarded in the first two rounds.

Candidature and visa

If you are eligible for candidature (meeting H1 equivalence) you will receive either:

  • a conditional offer (waiting for specified information to be provided) such as evidence of English language ability or final transcripts
  • an unconditional offer of candidature

Once you accept an unconditional offer, the university then sends you a confirmation of enrolment letter.

International students use the confirmation of enrolment letter to fast-track your student visa application. You need this letter before you can apply for the visa.

Scholarships and fees

Scholarship applications are processed in a parallel process. If successful they are awarded in a separate offer process.

Faculty scholarships provide full details on available graduate research scholarships and the timing of applications for scholarship applications.

Local students are not required to pay fees for graduate research degrees.

International students who succeed in getting a Melbourne Research Training Scheme International Scholarship (RTP-Int) are also eligible to be awarded a matching fee-waiver scholarship to cover the annual fees.

Contact details

For all Postgraduate student enquiries,

Email: [email protected]