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PhD by Research


The Centre for Neuroscience laboratories are always on the lookout for potential higher degree students. PhDs in particular are highly sought after and actively pursued.


The following is a guide of step-by-step instructions on how to apply for a PhD-by-Research with Flinders University - under which all CNS higher degree students enrol. This guide is also downloadable in its entirety as a pdf for student's convenience. For further information, please see www.flinders.edu.au/research-degrees/


To complete a PhD by research with the Centre for Neuroscience you must apply to complete a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) with Flinders University. The Doctor of Philosophy is a 2 to 4 year program which will allows students to undertake a PhD by research in any discipline.
Entry into the Doctor of Philosophy is assessed at a faculty level and applications to work with staff from the Centre for Neuroscience are considered by the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. Steps to Apply:
1. Check your eligibility
2. Find a supervisor within your research area
3. Complete a Research Proposal (in consultation with supervisor)
4. Consider applying for scholarship
5. Source two academic referees willing to support your application
6. Submit application
7. Apply for research funding (if required)

Applicants for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) are usually required to have completed an Honours Class 1 or 2A degree or equivalent.
Domestic students may also be considered if they have completed an undergraduate medical degree with minimum credit average, a Masters by Coursework degree including a research component with an average grade of distinction or better, or a Masters by Research degree. Domestic students with an Honours 2B may be advised to enroll in a Masters by Research degree before seeking admission to a PhD.
For international applicants, entry into a PhD is also dependent on the strength of their research background. International candidates may be required to undertake a qualifying program if their research profile is not considered sufficient.  International candidates also need to meet the required English language proficiency requirements found online at www.flinders.edu.au/international-students/study-at-flinders/entry--and-english-requirements/english-language-requirements.cfm. Please note that as part of student visa requirements, international candidates normally need to study full-time.

Applicants must choose a research area and potential supervisor. Chosen supervisor must be a member of ‘The Register of Research Higher Degree Supervisors’. Eligible staff members can be found by searching on the flinders university website at www.flinders.edu.au/research-degrees/find-a-research-area.cfm

Potential supervisors require the following information before they can assess applicant viability as a research candidate:
a). A 500 word research proposal
b). An academic qualifications transcript.
c). Details of applicant research experience.
d). International students need to meet English Language Requirements.

Applicants should contact potential supervisors and provide the above documents prior to application submission. Submitted research proposal will be subject to change in consultation with supervisor.
Applicants who are unable to find a potential supervisor may submit an ‘Expression of Interest’ at www.flinders.edu.au/research-degrees/interest.cfm

A range of scholarships are available for domestic and international students completing a research degree. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit and research potential to students who have been accepted into a research higher degree. Competition for scholarships is strong and in recent years successful applicants have held first class Honours degrees or equivalent qualifications.
Relevant scholarships supply a tax free living allowance of between $25,000 and $30,000 per annum for up to three years full-time study. Scholarship holders are entitled to paid recreation and sick leave and, in some cases, paid maternity leave. People from interstate or overseas may also be eligible to claim an allowance for travel expenses and removal costs to Adelaide.
Key scholarships which may apply to students completing a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) with the Centre for Neuroscience are listed below. For up to date information and forms visit www.flinders.edu.au/research-degrees/scholarships-and-fees.cfm

Potential Scholarships (Domestic Applicants):
> Flinders University: Australian Postgraduate Awards (APA)
> Flinders University: Flinders University Research Scholarships (FURS)
> Flinders University: Professor Lowitja O'Donoghue Indigenous Student Postgraduate Research Scholarship
> Flinders University: Joyner Scholarships in Arts, Law, Medicine and Science

Potential Scholarships (International Applicants):
> Flinders University: Flinders University Research Scholarships (FURS) (if student has recently completed undergrad in Australia)
> Flinders University: International Postgraduate Research Scholarships (IPRS)
> Flinders University: Flinders International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (FIPRS)
> Australia Awards Scholarships
> Australia Awards Fellowships
> Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships

Additional scholarships may be available depending on the research topic, for example the Adelaide Institute of Sleep Health offers multiple sleep-health PhD scholarships in the areas of sleep disorder phenotyping and the healthcare project "Alertness, Safety and Productivity". To search the full list of potential scholarships see www.flinders.edu.au/scholarships-system/index.cfm/scholarships/search
Scholarship applications open early September and close October 31 each year. Some mid-year scholarships are available for current honours students, these applications open mid May and close June 30. For further information on mid-year scholarships see www.flinders.edu.au/scholarships-system/index.cfm/scholarships/display/ac679
Applications for postgraduate research scholarships are submitted electronically. Current Flinders University students and those who have graduated within 12 months may complete and submit an application using the My Application tab in the Student Information System. All other applicants must download relevant documents and email completed application and supporting documentation to: rhdscholarships@flinders.edu.au
Please note: some scholarships have specific application requirements. It is recommend that prospective applicants read relevant guidelines carefully to ensure all parts of the application are completed prior to submission. Incomplete or late applications are not considered.

Applicants must source two academic referees with informed personal and professional knowledge of their academic abilities.

Current application forms are available online at www.flinders.edu.au/research-degrees/how-to-apply.cfm. Continuing Flinders University students may apply online under the ‘My Applications’ tab of the Student Information System. Domestic students must submit the ‘Domestic candidates – Admission to research higher degree application form’ to the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.

Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Ms Ashleigh Merriel
Telephone: (08) 8201 5470
Email:  ashleigh.merriel@flinders.edu.au; health.rhd@flinders.edu.au

International students must submit ‘International candidates – Admission to research higher degree application form’ to the International Office of Flinders University
International Office, Flinders University
Phone: (08) 8201 2727
Email: internationalapply@flinders.edu.au

Domestic students will be contacted by the Faculty of Health Sciences regarding their application outcome and advised of the next steps and how to enroll.
International students will receive an offer letter from Flinders University including instructions on what to do next and how to enroll.
Scholarship applicants will receive advice from the student finance office of the outcome of their scholarship application.

Accepted applicants may be eligible to apply for ‘Research Student Maintenance’ which can provide up to $2000 per year towards research and equipment costs.
Applications for ‘Research Student Maintenance’ must be made prior to January closing dates or within 4 months of commencing research degree if student is new to Flinders. Applications for ‘Research Student Maintenance’ should be submitted electronically by email to health.research@flinders.edu.au
For more information on available research funding see: https://www.flinders.edu.au/mnhs/courses/scholarships.cfm

Why do a PhD with a CNS Lab?

Opportunities to meet interesting and influential people (like Prof Michael Merzenich from BrainHQ)


Prizes for everything from seminars to publications to posters


Attend and organise student events


Interact with other students on a professional and social level (students fundraising for Movember)


Opportunities to showcase your work to the wider scientific community

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