2. Find a Supervisor

2. Find a Supervisor

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Step 1: Entry requirements Step 2: Find a supervisor Step 3: Research proposal Step 4: Scholarships Step 5: Submit

Find a Supervisor

The next step in the application process is for each prospective candidate to find a senior researcher to support your candidacy who is also interested in your research question.

In some cases departments will advertise for research candidates to explore a particular topic. If this is normal in your area you will need to make an application for the position and outline your current research interest and experience. In other departments it is more usual to make an appointment with a potential supervisor to discuss your research question.

To browse the current listing of staff who are eligible to supervise please see our searchable supervisor database.

If you are unfamiliar with the academic staff of the university, you should look carefully at the biographies, research grants and research publications of staff in your interest area. This initial conversation is not an application for enrolment, nor is it an agreement by the university to undertake the project with you.

The academic who talks with you will ask you a series of questions like:

  • What is your research interest?
  • What experience have you had with research in the past?
  • Why do you want to undertake a higher degree by research?

These questions will help establish the suitability of the question, the appropriateness of your research background and if that academic can supervise the project. At this stage it may be suggested:

  • You work your research question into a ‘Topic’ and a ‘Project Description’ which will form the basis of your application for candidacy.
  • You undertake a Master of Research or other award if your previous research experience is not sufficient for your proposed research.
  • You continue your conversation about candidacy with another academic more suited.
  • Or you think more seriously about the scope and nature of your proposed research, undertake some reading surrounding the topic, and then return later for another discussion.
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