ANU 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 (listed right), 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). If they are interested in supervising you (conditional on you having funding), then contact the Graduate Program Convenor Dr Giel van Dooren (, by 14th August 2020 with: 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. We will then compile a short-list of applicants and invite them to formally apply to the ANU. Our system is designed to avoid discrimination on the basis of which country or institute you studied at. Rich or poor, North or South. As long as it is a reputable, accredited institute you are eligible.

How it works: For now, we are assuming that your personal finances are such that you need an ANU fellowship to do a PhD. We don't want to waste your time, or make you pay an application fee unnecessarily. We will therefore only recommend you apply for a PhD if you have a viable chance of winning an ANU scholarship. Even then it is still a very competitive process (we can make no promises). There is no separate scholarship application. You simply apply for a PhD and tick a scholarship box. Entry to the PhD program is open to applicants with a Bachelor degree and having completed (or 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.

Information on how to apply to the ANU is on our website. But read on now as you need to plan ahead in case you are shortlisted. In brief, your PhD application, due by 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.