Are you passionate about scientific discovery? We have a long history of important scientific discoveries and inventions, going back to the University’s founding in 1853.

In the 19th century, our natural history collection formed the basis of Melbourne's first museum. In the 1930s, we carried out pioneering medical X-ray work. In the 1950s, we housed Australia’s first computer. And, more recently, our researchers developed the cochlear implant and flexible solar cells.

As a graduate researcher, your self-directed research will help us better understand how the world works.

You’ll receive research training of the highest quality, supported by our community of experts – counted among the world’s best by number of citations, international awards and grant success.

Whatever your passion, you’ll find stimulating opportunities in science.

Explore our research

As a graduate researcher, you can pursue opportunities in many areas of science:

Biological sciences

Chemical sciences

Earth sciences

Environmental sciences


Mathematical sciences

Physical sciences

Depending on your research theme, you’ll be aligned with a school within the Faculty of Science:

You may also be interested in research in other areas, like computer science, engineering, biomedical science and agricultural and veterinary sciences.

Learn how we're making a difference

Our physics researchers invented a device that supplies oxygen to hospitals without reliable electricity. This means it can be used in remote parts of countries like Uganda, Papua New Guinea and Nigeria.

With support from donors like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the FREO2 oxygen concentrator is now saving the lives of children with pneumonia – the single biggest killer of children worldwide.

Science research also benefits the local Melbourne community. Ecologists are working with councils and developers to install green roofs on Melbourne’s booming skyline. This research shows that growing plants on a building’s roof saves energy and reduces inner-city temperatures.

We are excited to host the new Science Gallery Melbourne, the Australian branch of the acclaimed Science Gallery International network. This gallery will be a living laboratory where art and science collide.Researchers are collaborating with artists and curators to create interactive exhibits that explain research to the public.

This is only a snapshot. We’re continuing to push the boundaries of scientific inquiry and working together to tackle the world’s great challenges.

Improving half the world’s diet

Collaborate with other disciplines

As a graduate researcher, you will work in a vibrant, collaborative research community. We offer seminars, workshops and exhibitions that will inspire you. And you’ll work with talented peers and supervisors who will challenge you and extend your ideas.

You could join one of our collaborative research initiatives and centres, including:

Partner with an overseas institution

Our international joint PhD opportunities allow you to access expertise, training and resources from two institutions, and spend a minimum of 12 months studying overseas. Joint PhD opportunities within the theme of science have included:

  • Research into machine learning for second language acquisition and canine and feline vector-borne leishmaniasis, with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel).
  • Research into energy related projects, with RWTH Aachen University (Germany).
  • A comparative study of the influence of urban greenspaces on biodiversity related to human health and wellbeing in Shanghai and Melbourne, with Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China).
  • Research into water resource management with the Melbourne India Postgraduate Academy (MIPA) (India).
  • Research into trustworthy and insightful algorithms for industrial decision making and critical phenomena in complex and real spectra, with KU Leuven (Belgium).

Next steps

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