WEHI’s PhD program centres on medical research. Our PhD students develop their skills and knowledge through tackling important questions in medical research.
Students are supported to develop broader career skills through attendance and participation at seminars, conferences and research exchanges, involvement in WEHI training and teaching programs, and contribution to committees.
Research and training are based at WEHI’s Parkville campus. As the Department of Medical Biology, our students’ PhD degrees are conferred through the University of Melbourne.
PhD students are guided by at least two supervisors at WEHI (at least one must be a faculty member). Within their research group, students receive training, guidance and teaching within an intensive research laboratory environment that includes other faculty, postdoctoral researchers, research assistants and technical support staff.
Our students receive further support and mentoring through regular meetings with a PhD advisory committee. This is made up of WEHI faculty, postdoctoral researchers and external researchers, ensuring the committee has diverse expertise that compliments the research project.
PhD students are supported by peer mentoring upon commencement, by being matched with a senior PhD student. Recently submitted PhD students volunteer to guide junior students through candidature processes.
To graduate, a student must submit a thesis that is passed by external examiners, and make an oral presentation of their findings. WEHI awards Corcoran Prizes annually to the top two completing PhD students (based on thesis assessments and research impact), and our PhD students are also eligible for the University of Melbourne Chancellor’s Prize for Excellence in the PhD Thesis.
Our students have an excellent track record of obtaining early career fellowships post-PhD to support their research career.
In-depth training is available in fields including
PhD students are encouraged to broaden their understanding of medical research by attending seminars within their own and other research divisions, as well as weekly WEHI seminars and seminars at our research neighbours in the Parkville precinct.
Our students develop wider skills through advanced activities including:
is presented by national experts on significant research fields, providing students with a thorough grounding in contemporary topics in medical research. The series theme changes annually, ensuring our PhD students develop a broad knowledge base.
provides an overview of research ethics, laboratory practices, intellectual property and commercialisation, literature searches, career paths and teaching opportunities.
as well as journal clubs provide all students with an opportunity to learn from their colleagues and peers, and present their own research discoveries and learnings in a supportive environment where feedback is encouraged.
provides PhD students with the opportunity to undertake a period of training (typically the equivalent of three months) within WEHI’s professional services teams. Hands-on internship projects allow students to develop additional skills in areas such as business development, commercialisation, project management, science education, human resources, information technology, integrity and ethics, communication, graphic design, fundraising and grants management.
secondary school students, such as through the Gene Technology Access Centre.
as a representative of the student voice. PhD students contribute to many committees including WEHI’s Education Committee and our Engagement Committee. Our student association executive also offers diverse opportunities for leadership.
Our student association is run by students for students, and coordinates skills and career training, social activities and organising an annual student retreat.
is provided for our PhD students through the Edith Moffat Scholarship Fund. This allows students to attend an international conference and to visit prospective future employers towards the end of their PhD studies. Opportunities may also exist for attending local and international conferences at other stages of PhD studies.
Founded in 1853, the University of Melbourne is one of Australia’s leading ‘Group of Eight’ Universities with more than 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students. It is been internationally recognised by many international rankings including:
Enrolment through the University of Melbourne provides our students with many advantages including: