Neuroscience PhD Program

The Neuroscience PhD Program is a supplementary learning opportunity to enrich your graduate research experience. The program offers an opportunity to share your research with other disciplines and expand your peer network.

You can find existing Graduate Research courses using our Find a Course search tool.


The Melbourne Neuroscience PhD Program brings together graduate researchers from many disciplines. These researchers share a passion for discovering knowledge in the area of neuroscience. When you join, you will access the best in neuroscience research from across the University.

This is a competitive program that complements your core PhD project. You will receive close mentoring from experts in the field of neuroscience. And you will benefit from a broad range of research initiatives.

The Melbourne Neuroscience PhD Program will help you to:

  • Connect with other researchers from across the University
  • Build relationships with relevant external organisations
  • Develop your career path after graduation
  • Consider your research topic from different perspectives
  • Contribute to the discovery of new knowledge
  • Expand your professional and personal networks
  • Learn how to engage with industry.

We have a strategic location in Parkville. This allows us to link across faculties. And we are close to key partner organisations including hospitals, research institutes and industry partners.


Program activities comprise a mix of structured coursework, seminars, student presentations and skills workshops.

Structured coursework (on hold for 2021 / TBA 2022)

The structured coursework supports your doctoral research. Neuroscience now encompasses many sub-disciplines. As a future neuroscientist, you will need breadth of knowledge across the discipline. By undertaking the compulsory coursework, you will achieve this breadth.

The coursework program runs in March and April each year. We offer four core neuroscience subjects. And you can also choose subjects from a range of relevant faculties and departments. These subjects should align with your research interests.

The University teaches multidisciplinary coursework in partnership with the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. For more details, please download the coursework information sheet. Or consult subject entries in the latest version of the University’s Handbook. As a participant, you will need to complete 300 points of coursework.

To apply for your preferred courses, please download the PhD student subject selection form . The application deadline for coursework is mid-February each year.

Technical skills

Advanced neuroscience workshops

We offer the Advanced Neuroscience Workshops each year. These workshops help you develop skills that relate to your research project. Each workshop provides a comprehensive, small-group experience. Workshop topics range from magnetic resonance imaging to neural computational modelling.

Neuroscience-related seminars

We schedule at least two neuroscience-related seminars each week. We hold these seminars at the Melbourne Brain Centre in Parkville.

Specialised programs

You could have the opportunity to undertake PhD studies within specialised programs. This might include the Yulgilbar Alzheimer's Research Program (YARP) Clinicians Research Network. This network has strong links to clinical research.

International scholar exchange program

You can apply to join the Rebecca Hotchkiss International Exchange Program. This established program offers a placement at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI). The HBI is part of the University of Calgary in Canada. The successful applicant will be a high-calibre PhD student. If successful, you will collaborate on a research project of shared interest. As a result, you will gain new skills and real-world experience. The exchange program runs for four to eight weeks.

Melbourne Brain Symposium – Mendelsohn Student Lecture and Award

The prestigious Mendelsohn Award recognises an outstanding student in the field of neuroscience. If you receive the award, you will deliver a lecture at the annual Melbourne Brain Symposium. Your lecture will communicate your research outcomes to the neuroscience community. You will present alongside some of the most eminent scientists from Australia and around the world.


To take part in the Melbourne Neuroscience PhD Program, you must be enrolled in a PhD at the University of Melbourne.

If you’re a current University of Melbourne PhD candidate

  • Talk with your supervisor about participating
  • Find more information on the PhD Program’s Community LMS/Blackboard site. (Use your University of Melbourne username and password to gain access).

If you want to apply for a PhD at the University of Melbourne

First published on 22 February 2022.

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