Support for Indigenous researchers

Wominjeka. The University of Melbourne welcomes and supports Indigenous graduate researchers.

You will join a diverse community that respects you as a researcher. You’ll also be part of a close-knit cohort of Indigenous researchers who share your challenges and your motivations.

Over the years, we’ve connected many graduate researchers with experts in their field. And we’ve provided tailored academic opportunities that meet specific research goals. Under strong Indigenous leadership, we have created powerful initiatives to help you succeed. These initiatives respond to the needs of our growing Indigenous research community. Here's how we can support you to become a successful graduate researcher.

Working together artwork by Samantha Richards
Murmuk Djerring – Working Together is an artwork by Samantha Richards, a proud Indigenous woman from the Wurundjeri and Dja Dja Wurrung Tribes.

Murmuk Djerring- Working Together is the University of Melbourne’s new Indigenous Strategy 2023–2027.

It commits the University not only to growing the leadership capabilities of all Indigenous students and staff but, most importantly, to ensuring their cultural safety and wellbeing while working or studying at the University.

Learn more about Murmuk Djerring

First-hand insight into doing a PhD

If you are an Indigenous student who is considering a PhD you can to apply to one of our PhD Familiarisation Programs. These three-day programs are fully funded by the University and include areas like Health Sciences.

As part of these programs, you will:

  • Discover what a PhD might mean for you
  • Meet potential supervisors
  • Learn more about the admissions process
  • Attend workshops to develop your research skills
  • Connect with the University’s most prominent Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers.

Visit our Graduate Research Hub to find out more.

Want to do a PhD in an Indigenous knowledges topic?

The Indigenous Knowledge Institute (IKI) is building a network of graduate researchers who are advancing research in Indigenous knowledges.

Are you enrolled in or looking to apply for a PhD at the University of Melbourne related to Indigenous knowledge systems? You can join a dynamic cohort of researchers at the IKI. Scholarships and other opportunities may also be available to domestic applicants accepted into a PhD program at the University.

Reach out to the Institute for further information.

Two men and three women standing in a group, smiling. image taken at the Indigenous University Welcome and Reconciliation Celebration

Professional development opportunities

We support Indigenous graduate researchers to strengthen their research skills. We're also building a strong Indigenous research workforce in Australia and internationally.

That's why we established the Professional Certificate in Indigenous Research. For more than 10 years, this coursework program has welcomed Indigenous researchers from all over Australia.

You can develop strong research skills during this one-week intensive program. You can learn in an environment that respects your cultural perspective. Plus, you can forge valuable networks that will help you as a researcher.

As a next step, we offer the Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Research and Leadership. This course builds your leadership skills across Indigenous research.

Learn more about Indigenous knowledge at the University

Indigenous students and staff are making an important contribution to the broader University community, by deepening our understanding of Indigenous knowledge and culture.

In 2020, the Indigenous Knowledge Institute (IKI) opened at the Parkville campus. Its work focuses on Indigenous-led research that preserves and restores Indigenous knowledge. The IKI supports the wider teaching and understanding of Indigenous cultures across the University.

University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor, Professor Duncan Maskell, acknowledges and pays respect to the Traditional Owners of the lands on which the University of Melbourne campuses are situated.

A flexible approach to candidature location

We usually expect graduate researchers to study on campus for at least 12 months of their PhD. But in some circumstances, a residency waiver is appropriate for Indigenous students.

We know that many Indigenous students come from other parts of Australia. Sometimes, moving off Country to a campus is a challenge.

That's why we offer a flexible approach.

Guaranteed financial support

As an Indigenous PhD student, you are guaranteed to receive an annual stipend. This can help towards your living and study expenses. In addition, we can work with you to explore other scholarships or work opportunities.

The annual stipend is the starting point of support available for Indigenous graduate researchers. To help you succeed, we can help ensure you have a tailored support package that suits your needs.

You can visit our Scholarships page to find out more.

Resources for graduate researchers

First published on 18 August 2023.

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