Multidisciplinary research

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Engage with researchers from across the University to solve big challenges.

At the University of Melbourne, we foster a collaborative research environment. We provide valuable opportunities for you to work with researchers from other disciplines. And we help you engage with others who share your passion. We know that great things happen when curious minds come together to solve the world’s challenges.

A health researcher could work with neuroscientists to learn more about mental health. Or an economics researcher might engage with design experts to create affordable housing. Whatever your passion, you can connect with others who want to make a difference.

As you progress through your Research Higher Degree, you'll experience the benefits of multidisciplinary research. Exposure to other disciplines will enable you to:

  • place your own research within a broader multidisciplinary context
  • reflect on your research, and the world, in different ways
  • access a broad pool of knowledge and expertise
  • develop your research in reference to current real-world challenges
  • consider other methodologies that may spark ideas for your own work
  • establish a wide network that could lead to postdoctoral opportunities.

Discover your interdisciplinary research opportunities

We offer a wide range of interdisciplinary research opportunities. The University is investing in initiatives that bring together researchers from across the University to solve big challenges.

You can take part in the following programs, initiatives and institutes:


Hallmark Research Initiatives

Our current Hallmark Research Initiatives are:

  • Affordable Housing – finding new ways to respond to the housing affordability crisis.
  • Bioinspiration – using biological systems as a source of inspiration. How can we use our knowledge of biology to respond to human technological and design challenges?
  • Creativity and Wellbeing – understanding how and why creativity relates to wellbeing, from infancy to old age.
  • Economic and Social Participation – investigating the factors that contribute to stability and wellbeing.
  • Future Food – working with CSIRO to understand future demand and supply of food.
  • Indonesia Democracy – strengthening our work on democracy and religion in Indonesia.
  • Statelessness – filling knowledge gaps to inform public policy.


Melbourne Interdisciplinary Research Institutes

Our current Melbourne Interdisciplinary Research Institutes are:


Multidisciplinary PhD Programs

Through our PhD Programs, you’ll become part of a supportive research cohort. You will work with others who share a passion for discovering new knowledge in your area of interest.

Each PhD Program features a series of activities to enhance your learning experience. These activities are in addition to your core PhD studies. You will attend masterclasses, workshops and seminars, delivered by experts in your field. And you may have opportunities for mentoring and internships.

Learn more about our PhD programs and how to apply:


Faculty institutes

All our faculties host a wide range of research institutes, hubs and centres. Many of these centres offer multidisciplinary research programs. Contact your faculty to discover your opportunities:

Engage in a multidisciplinary setting

The University places a high value on interdisciplinary connections. To support this priority, we are creating innovative co-working spaces. Depending on your field, you could work in one of our new central locations.

Melbourne Connect

Melbourne Connect is a new development at our Parkville campus, due for completion in 2020. This centre is based on similar innovation centres around the world. It will connect and inspire researchers, industry groups and thought leaders. And it will encourage collaboration between the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Melbourne Connect will also house the new Science Gallery Melbourne. This gallery is a living laboratory that shows how art and science collide. Science, health and engineering researchers can collaborate with artists and curators. Together, they create interactive exhibits to explain research to the public. The new gallery is the Australian branch of the acclaimed Science Gallery International network.


Fishermans Bend

We are building a new engineering and design campus in the heart of the Fishermans Bend employment precinct. The campus will be a vibrant place of large-scale research and project-based teaching. It will create interdisciplinary collaboration and partnerships with industry.

The new campus will drive innovation in engineering and design. It will bring together researchers, industry and start-up companies. Together, we will solve global problems, create jobs and develop a skilled workforce.

The campus will open in the early 2020s. It will feature facilities such as:

  • wind and water tunnels
  • smart grid technologies
  • electric vehicle and engine propulsion testing
  • autonomous vehicle testing.

Read more about precincts and research places.

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