International PhD Scholar Initiative

Our International PhD Scholar Initiative enables outstanding international students to join our Medical Biology PhD Program.

The International PhD Scholar Initiative recruits candidates from outside of Australia to come to WEHI to undertake their PhD research. International PhD Scholars are selected on the basis of their academic record, relevant experience, referees’ reports and a videoconference interview.

Applications for the 2025 intake of the International PhD Scholar Initiative will open in late 2024.

International PhD scholarships

WEHI offers a number of dedicated scholarships to support International PhD Scholars.

Our International PhD Scholarships provide a living allowance equivalent to the current Melbourne Research Scholarship rate and a WEHI PhD top-up scholarship totalling $39,192.40pa (with index increase in 2024).

In addition, the international PhD student will receive a relocation allowance ($3,000), health insurance coverage, and a university tuition fee offset.


To be eligible for the International PhD Scholar Initiative applicants must meet the following academic requirements:

  • Have completed their four-year undergraduate degree (with a substantial research component) or masters degree at an international university


  • Be in the final academic year of their current degree due to complete in first semester of 2025

This initiative is for applicants who will be enrolled as an international student in Australia.

Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and New Zealand citizens qualify as domestic students with University of Melbourne and are not eligible to apply for the International PhD Scholar Initiative.

If your last degree of study was at an Australian university, you are also not eligible for the International PhD Scholar Initiative. These international students should please see the scholarships options available.

PhD program details

WEHI’s PhD students receive advanced, multidisciplinary medical research training through hands-on research within our leading scientific teams. Our Medical Biology PhD Program also equips students with the broader knowledge and skills to advance their careers.

Find out more about the benefits of studying with us.

How to apply

Applications for the 2025 International PhD Scholar Initiative will open in late 2024.

Prospective international PhD students should investigate research projects with individual supervisors, attend our Student Open Days and be aware of the PhD application process for research opportunities with us.

To apply for the International PhD Scholar Initiative in 2025, international applicants (not currently or recently enrolled at an Australian university) will be required to:

  1. Check that you currently meet or are on track to meet the  entry requirements for PhD candidature at the University of Melbourne.
  2. Investigate the student project opportunities  to identify your preferred research areas (applicants should contact supervisors to discuss projects).
  3. Complete and submit an application form online.
    You will be asked to nominate up to three research projects or WEHI supervisors for your application. You are encouraged to directly contact supervisor/s to discuss projects; any supervisor/s verbal agreement is informal at this stage. If you have secured a project with a WEHI supervisor, include a letter of support (optional).

You will be asked to submit the following supporting documents:

  • A cover letter that explains your research interests and motivation for doing a PhD
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Academic transcripts (include university grading scale and English translation, if applicable).

Incomplete applications (including missing supporting documents) will not be considered.

Shortlisted candidates will be contacted via email after the close date and invited to a video conference interview within four weeks of the close date. At this stage, shortlisted applicants will be required to provide professional or academic referee reports.

WEHI international PhD scholarships will be awarded to the successful students by the end of 2024. The Scientific Education Office will assist the selected scholars to finalise supervisors and PhD project, and admissions for commencement in 2025.


For any queries about this initiative contact the Scientific Education Office.

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