Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology (Melb Uni & PMCC)

Peter Mac has shared a strong and longstanding affiliation with the University of Melbourne, which was strengthened in 2012 when the Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology was established as a department of the university’s Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences.

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: 2021 PhD scholarship

Applications will open in September for the  Rosie Lew Peter Mac Foundation Postgraduate Award – a prestigious scholarship for candidates commencing their cancer research PhD at Peter Mac in 2021.

This Peter Mac Foundation Postgraduate Award aims to promote excellence in cancer research by supporting outstanding PhD students who demonstrate academic excellence and leadership qualities and potential for excellence throughout their candidature at Peter Mac.

Applications close 5:00pm Monday, 9 November 2020.

Information about eligibility and application requirements will be updated in September.

Read about the eligibility and application requirements.

Applicants for this award will be required to provide evidence of submitting an application for PhD candidature in Round 1 of the University applications.

Becoming a student

Visit the following pages for information on becoming a student in the Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology:

What we offer

The Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology, located within the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, brings to the university the strengths of world-class laboratory and clinical research conducted within a public cancer hospital including:

  • the largest cancer research group in Australia, with laboratory-based researchers and clinicians working alongside each other
  • a strong academic program, driven by internationally renowned laboratory and clinical researchers, with a strong focus on educating future generations of cancer researchers
  • highly sophisticated equipment and technology, enabling complex research projects through access to cutting-edge core research technology platforms
  • a cancer stream-based and holistic model of care where multidisciplinary experts come together to provide tailored treatment at all stages of a patient’s disease, across all common and rare cancer types.

The co-location of research and research training capabilities with a hospital dedicated to cancer treatment enables researchers and clinicians to work side by side to make significant contributions to basic research, translational research and clinical trials for cancer.

Head of department: Professor RICKY JOHNSTONE

Professor Ricky Johnstone is the Head of Department of the Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology, and Executive Director Cancer Research at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. He combines these roles with his role as Group Leader within the Cancer Therapeutics Program at Peter Mac.

"The University of Melbourne's Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology, based at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, hosts a pre-eminent academic program, driven by internationally renowned laboratory and clinician researchers, with a strong focus on educating future generations of cancer researchers.

As Executive Director Cancer Research, it is my mission to strategically drive Peter Mac’s standing as one of the leading cancer centres in the world by enhancing our research outputs, increasing our talent pool and enabling existing and new areas of research excellence. I firmly believe that our model of research-driven cancer care is the right one and Peter Mac is uniquely positioned to expand this paradigm both internally and with our external partners. 

Peter Mac is committed to continue to support and build our broad research enterprise including fundamental research, and I am in no doubt that strong discovery-based research labs and programs are essential for us deliver the best care for our patients."

Research grants and funding

Peter Mac’s status as a department of the University of Melbourne allows the submission of all research grant applications, by department staff or students, through the University Research Office, Research, Innovation and Commercialisation Office (RIC). RIC administers successful grants for their contracted period.

The Peter Mac grants team works closely with RIC and assists all staff in the preparation of applications, and in the administration and management of all agreements and reporting associated with successful grants.

Research education

Peter Mac is home to more than 180 research students undertaking Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Master of Philosophy (MPhil), Doctor of Medical Science (DMedSci), Master of Surgery, Master of Medicine and honours research programs.

Most students completing projects at Peter Mac are enrolled through the University of Melbourne. We also host students from other universities throughout Australia and overseas.

Peter Mac and the Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology also provide research placements for medical research programs, international postgraduate students, undergraduate students associated with the Summer Vacation Research Program, undergraduate work experience and undergraduate research projects undertaken in the laboratories. The cancer research team at Peter Mac also offers opportunities to take part in a school science experience program in our laboratories.

All students enrolled through the The Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology participate in the University of Melbourne Comprehensive Cancer PhD Program, in addition to specific Peter Mac Research education program requirements. The Comprehensive Cancer PhD Program is managed and administered by Peter Mac.


For all enquiries, 

Email: [email protected]