How to prepare your application

There are a few steps to prepare for your Higher Degree by Research (HDR) application, depending on which faculty or institute you want to study with.

Expression of interest

Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) if you are interested in applying for a research degree or PhD in one of the following areas. The faculty or institute will then advise if you should submit a formal application via the application portal.

Approval from a supervisor

Before applying for a research degree or PhD in one of the following areas, you need to nominate a potential supervisor and gain their approval before you submit a formal application via the application portal.

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How to apply for a research degree or PhD

While undertaking HDR study is a rewarding experience, we understand the application process can be overwhelming. If you are a domestic or international student and you’re ready to apply for a Deakin research degree or PhD, follow the six steps outlined below.

  1. Check the entry requirements

    Before starting your application, read through the research degree entry requirements. Examples of entry requirements include demonstrating your research ability, minimum entry requirements, English language requirements and more.

    Learn more about entry requirements

  2. Find a supervisor

    Before you start your application, you’ll need to find an ideal, dedicated research supervisor in your field and get in touch to discuss your research interests and supervision opportunities.

    Find a research supervisor

  3. Arrange referee report

    Your application needs to be supported by a confidential referee report from a current or former lecturer, academic or employment supervisor who can comment on your research expertise and potential.

    Research degree academic referee report (DOC) 60.2KB

    Research degree academic referee report (PDF) 163.5KB

  4. Prepare your proposal

    You will also need to provide a brief outline of your proposed research topic. This will be used to assess whether Deakin has appropriate supervision expertise available. If you've already been in contact with a potential supervisor, you may work with them to develop your research proposal.

    Learn more about preparing a research proposal

  5. Prepare relevant documents and information

    Check what supporting documentation you’ll need to prepare, including academic transcripts, a resume, previous research degree, proof of identification and more.

    Find out what documents you need to support your application

  6. Apply online

    Answer all questions thoroughly in your online application and attach all requested documents. If information is missing it may affect your chances of being accepted.

    Apply via the Higher Degree Research Application Form

What happens after you apply?

You will receive a system-generated confirmation email once you have submitted your application. We’ll usually notify you of the application outcome via email within 8 weeks of your complete application being submitted.

A globally connected research community

We’re a trusted partner for more than 500 organisations across 65 countries, earning us a place in the top 1% of universities worldwide.

How can we help you in your application?

You can open tabs with information on key dates, pathways, fees and scholarships, as well as support options – the information may also help you complete your application to study at Deakin.

Key dates for research students

Plan ahead by familiarising yourself with our key dates before you start the application process.

Research degrees entry pathways

Check the entry requirements and understand how applications are assessed before you apply.

Fees, funding and scholarships

Learn what stipends are available, relevant fee information and explore over 300 scholarship opportunities.

Support for researchers

We can help you find funding, apply for research grants and provide support for research prizes.


*Graduate Outcomes Survey 2022 (GOS), Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT).

Contact us

Don't miss out on this opportunity to make an impact and unlock groundbreaking solutions to global challenges. Contact us with any questions about studying a research degree or PhD at Deakin today.

Deakin Research

Domestic HDR candidates