5 minute read

Two women sit next to computers and observe a surgical procedure

As a graduate researcher, you’ll join a supportive and stimulating health research community. We’re motivated to find new cures, treatments and therapies that bring hope to individuals and whole communities. Learn how you can pursue your passion in health research at the University.

We offer a wide range of health research projects for graduate researchers, across many different departments and centres. This means that you’ll find experience and expertise in your specific field of interest. And you’ll access support and guidance to deliver your own breakthrough research.

We also collaborate with 32 affiliated institutes, including the state’s leading research hospitals. So, even though you’re doing your graduate research degree through the University of Melbourne, you might spend your time working elsewhere. This experience will help to expand your networks and enhance your career prospects.

You can also engage with researchers from other disciplines. This might be through one of our multidisciplinary initiatives or institutes. For example, the Creativity and Wellbeing initiative brings together researchers from seven disciplines, including arts, education and health.

So, whatever you’re curious about, you’ll find experts here who share your passion and determination. And you’ll have the resources and infrastructure to make your research happen.

Together, we will continue to solve the biggest health challenges of our time.

Learn how we’re making a difference

For more than 150 years, research outcomes have improved people’s lives – in Australia and around the world.

In the 1930s, we invented a jacket respirator for polio victims. Unlike the iron lung alternative, this meant polio victims could move during treatment.

In the 1950s, we discovered neuraminidase, which enabled the flu vaccine. And a decade later, we progressed our knowledge of immunity by discovering T and B cells.

In the 1970s, researchers at the University invented the bionic ear. This groundbreaking cochlear implant was first given to a patient in 1978. Since then, it has provided hearing to 350 000 people in more than 120 countries.

And today, we’re improving survival rates for pancreatic cancer. We’ve created Australia’s first ‘organoids bank’, where mini pancreatic organs are bombarded with cancer drugs. This new approach to drug testing means researchers can decrease the time it takes to individualise chemotherapy treatment – from months to weeks. This is significant, because average survival is only three to six months from diagnosis.

We’re proud of these past discoveries and inventions. And we’re proud of our ongoing commitment to health research. We’re still leading the way, shaping healthcare delivery on a global scale.

Read more about how health research is improving lives

Explore our research themes

As a graduate researcher at the University of Melbourne, you can pursue opportunities in vital health research, including:

  • Cancer – covering all aspects of research, prevention, detection, treatment, care and health system transformation
  • Child Health – from infancy, through adolescence, and including reproductive potential, so we can optimise whole-life health
  • Immunology and Infection – research, translation, and public health policy and practice
  • Neuroscience – including psychiatry, mental health and psychology.

Partner with an overseas institution

Current funded Joint PhD opportunities

When you undertake a Joint PhD, you are supervised by academics from two institutions. As well as the University of Melbourne, you can partner with an international institution. This means your research will benefit from a truly global perspective. And you will enhance your prospects for an international research career.

We are currently offering the following fully funded Joint PhD opportunities within the theme of health:

Join a stimulating health research community

The Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences is the largest biomedical research faculty in Australia.

We employ more than 7000 staff, including 1500 graduate researchers. We’re located in the heart of Melbourne’s biomedical precinct. Depending on your topic, you’ll be aligned with one of our six schools:

Within these schools, there are many different departments and centres. We also collaborate with 32 affiliated institutes, including Victoria’s leading research hospitals. You’ll have the opportunity to join research teams at:

Melbourne Bioinformatics' Human Genomics Group

You may also choose to do your research at Melbourne Bioinformatics' Human Genomics Group. This group, led by A/Profs Bernie Pope and Danny Park, offers a variety of exciting bioinformatics projects.

The group has particular strengths and interests in the genomic study of cancer, including basic research to better understand the molecular basis of cancer and the development of new analytical and diagnostic approaches. One focus area is in classifying the functional consequence of genetic variation – of central importance to disease-gene discovery and diagnosis, and a major unsolved problem. To address this, we are exploring novel approaches that include harnessing information from protein-structures.

Please contact our team regarding research proposals, supervision, co-supervision, bioinformatics skills development and mentoring.

Work with experts from other disciplines

As a health researcher, you can also work with researchers from other disciplines. This could be through one of the University’s multidisciplinary research initiatives.

Working with colleagues from other disciplines helps you reflect on the world in different ways. Depending on the topic, you might work with experts from areas like fine arts and music, education or law.

Hallmark Research Initiatives

Several current Hallmark Research Initiatives address health-related themes:

  • Creativity and Wellbeing – understanding how and why creativity relates to wellbeing, from infancy to old age.
  • Future Food – working with CSIRO to understand future demand and supply of protein-rich foods.

Melbourne Interdisciplinary Research Institutes

Health-related institutes include:

  • Indigenous Knowledge Institute – preserving and restoring Indigenous knowledge. This includes work in language, health and life sciences.
  • Melbourne Disability Institute – improving the health and wellbeing of people with disability.
  • Melbourne Social Equity Institute – addressing disadvantage across social life, including health.
  • Multidisciplinary PhD Programs

    PhD Programs enrich your core PhD studies. They create the opportunity to extend your networks beyond your own faculty. You will attend seminars and workshops with researchers from other relevant disciplines. As a health-related PhD candidate, you could explore the following programs:

    Next steps

    Related items

    Infection and Immunity

    Infection and Immunity

    Learn more about the University's Infection and Immunity PhD Program. Work with leading experts from the Doherty Institute.

    A group of young boys in school uniform walking down a street

    Child and Adolescent Health

    Join our Child and Adolescent Health PhD Program and work with other graduate researchers from the Melbourne Children's Campus.

    Biomedical Precinct

    Melbourne Biomedical Precinct

    Explore the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct, where health researchers and industry partners collaborate to deliver lifesaving drugs and treatments.