International applicants for PhDs in Biomedical Science and Biochemistry

Are you a high-achieving student interested in pursuing a PhD in molecular and biomedical sciences? Do you want to work with top researchers, in a world-class research facility, in a beautiful city at the bottom of the world? Then check out the Division of Biomedical Science and Biochemistry at the Australian National University.

Our Science: We provide an outstanding research environment with a world-class reputation. We are an interdisciplinary division, with highly integrated labs that work at the forefront of membrane transport processes, host-pathogen biology, drug and vaccine development, immune processes, cancer biology and evolutionary genomics. We research a wide range of topics – from the physiology of intracellular parasites to the assembly of bacterial nanomachines; from the structure and biophysics of membrane transporters to the early evolution of animals. If you are interested in doing a PhD with us check out our Research Groups below, and contact prospective supervisors.

Our Values: Our division includes award-winning supervisors and teachers, and we pride ourselves on providing high-quality supervision to our students. Our PhD students are well supported through internal funding, including for conference travel, and our labs are located in a well-equipped, modern research facility. We have a thriving community of PhD students, and our graduates go on to productive careers in many areas of science and beyond. We value diversity and inclusivity in science and have active policies to prevent discrimination. Our faculty and their research teams are comprised of people from all over the globe and from all walks of life.

Location: The ANU is situated in Canberra, Australia’s capital city. Canberra is a well-resourced regional city, set amongst beautiful mountains and surrounded by eucalypt forests. Bike riding and hiking are everyday activities, and we are a two-hour drive away from both winter snowfields and some of the most beautiful beaches on Earth. Canberra’s birdlife is stunning, and we regularly have to brake for kangaroos on our daily commute. Despite its regional setting, Canberra is a vibrant, multicultural city. There are frequent cultural evenings, festivals, art exhibits, music events, and world-class restaurant and coffee scenes.

The Australian National University: We are a research-intensive university and have an international reputation for research excellence. The ANU is frequently ranked as Australia’s top university, and one of the top 50 universities in the world.

Candidates: Fully funded International PhD scholarships are highly competitive at the ANU. To be a viable candidate you need: (1) excellent undergraduate marks; (2) a Masters by Research with a high mark; or an equivalent Honours thesis; or (rarely) equivalent proof of research experience. (3) While not essential, having published research papers in the past is an advantage.

What do I do? First, contact potential supervisors from the list of staff on the Research Groups above (include your CV and grades, and some details about what it is that attracts you to their field of research). If they are interested in supervising you, you can submit an application to commence a PhD via the online link below. Your application should include a detailed CV, full academic transcripts, the name of your potential supervisor, and a brief description of a research project that you and your potential supervisor have discussed. Entry to the PhD program is open to applicants with a Bachelor degree that have also completed (or are in the process of completing) an Honours or Masters research (as opposed to coursework) degree that comprises at least a half year, full time research component and a thesis (5,000-10,000 words). Applicants with significant research experience and publications may be deemed eligible if their achievements can be justified as equivalent to completing an Honours/Masters degree. As part of your application for undertaking a PhD, you will automatically be considered for a stipend scholarship if you tick the scholarship box in the application. You should know that stipend scholarships for international students are very competitive. Your potential supervisor or the Biomedical Science and Biochemistry graduate convenor, Dr Giel van Dooren, can advise you on how competitive your application is likely to be for obtaining a stipend scholarship. If you have questions about any aspect of the PhD application process, you can contact Giel van Dooren (

The application form is here, along with general information on how to apply and the details about the Doctor of Philosophy program.
But read on now as you need to plan ahead in case you are shortlisted. In brief, your PhD application, due by 15 April (for the mid year round) or 31 August, requires:

  1. Academic transcripts and graduation/completion certificates from your Bachelor and Honours/MSc degree (in its original language and, if needed, a translation), with grading scale information.
  2. A current CV, including scholarships or prizes, publications and conference presentations.
  3. A research proposal (this is quite short and your potential supervisor can help you with it).
  4. Proficiency in English: For students from many countries, a current IELTS or TOEFL certificate is required. Note: You can state this is pending. If awarded a scholarship you must then pass the test.
  5. Three referee reports. You need to enter your referee details on the application form. The system then automatically sends them a link to complete an online form. NB: You need to ensure your referees are willing and able to write recommendation letters and do so promptly. Plan ahead and alert them.

* If you have the possibility of PhD funding from your home country or elsewhere let a potential supervisor know.