PhD opportunities

The frontline of tomorrow’s health discoveries


The University of Western Australia is one of the country’s most prestigious research-intensive universities, ranked in the world’s top 100 institutions and home to Nobel Prize winners Professors Barry Marshall and Robin Warren.

UWA’s Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences offers postgraduate research opportunities in a wide range of scientific and clinical disciplines to significantly benefit the health of Australian and international communities.

As a research-oriented faculty we aim to understand the cause of diseases and to develop new treatments and diagnostic techniques in a holistic approach to help maintain lifelong health.

Through the postgraduate research process, you will extend your understanding of a subject area and develop advanced analytical and project management skills, as well as the ability to work independently. Successful completion of a research degree indicates to a prospective employer that you have excellent project and personal management skills, and that you can think independently and critically, solve problems and communicate effectively.

Benefits of undertaking a postgraduate research degree:

  • The challenge of independent research is personally rewarding
  • Work with our world-class staff and gain networking opportunities that could lead to career possibilities around the world
  • Experience a high rate of success in employment with your transferable skills

Areas of research priority

  • Ageing and aged care  
  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions
  • Asthma
  • Cancer control
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Dementia


  • Diabetes
  • Health security
  • Indigenous health
  • Injury prevention
  • Maternal health in the first 200 days
  • Mental health
  • Obesity 

Higher Degree by Research opportunities and projects

Students who are interested in research projects should visit the Higher Degree by Research Application Portal and browse the Project Opportunities section.

All current projects and their supervisors are available in this Portal. This includes PhD and Master by research projects and scholarships. You can search by research areas or a specific school, see available scholarships and contact prospective supervisors. You can also directly contact a potential supervisor using the discipline links (above). 

Explore some of our research projects


Population and Global Health

The research strengths of the School of Population and Global Health (PDF 1.6MB) include a strong evidence-based approach to services and health program evaluation, and have a proven record of achievement in preventative, clinical and occupational epidemiology. 

Their research areas are diverse, and can include cardiovascular disease epidemiology, global environment and health, vulnerable groups, and rural health. 

Medical Research 

Medical research is undertaken at the Telethon Kids Institute which is based within the Perth Children’s Hospital. It is one of the largest, and most successful medical research institutes in Australia.

Areas of research include brain and behaviour, chronic and severe diseases, and early environment. 

National Centre of Asbestos Related Diseases (NCARD)

NCARD leads innovation and discovery to improve the lives of people affected by asbestos related disease. We have excellent PhD project opportunities that are supported by outstanding supervisors. In collaboration with the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, we are currently offering an exciting project focusing on targeting the mesothelioma epigenome (PDF 532KB) to improve immunotherapy outcomes. 



Postgraduate research scholarships

Professional courses in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, podiatric medicine and social work are offered at postgraduate level. In addition to professional courses, we offer postgraduate coursework and research courses and training in a variety of disciplines.

UWA offers more than 150 postgraduate scholarships each year to domestic and international students to undertake a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or a Master of Philosophy (MPhil). PhDs and MPhils are programs of independent, supervised research assessed on the basis of a thesis and can be taken in any discipline for which appropriate supervision and resourcing are available.

The eligibility criteria and application process is the same for both degrees, with the PhD typically taking four years and the MPhil taking two years. The MPhil is a master’s by research degree.

International scholarships provide tuition fees, living allowances and in some cases, the Overseas Student Health Cover, while the domestic scholarships provide living allowances, as the Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) already provides Fee Offset Scholarships to students successful in obtaining an offer to commence a PhD or an MPhil.

The Graduate Research School has rounds of international and domestic scholarship applications each year. Check the website for opening dates and application procedures, including access to the online application form.

students in lab 

Finding a supervisor

Supervisors advise, guide and provide constructive feedback in choosing a topic, designing a project, conducting the research, interpreting the findings and writing the dissertation.

Most postgraduate research students are supervised by two or more members of staff.

External supervisors are welcome additions. Generally, allocation of supervisors is a matter for individual negotiation between student and supervisor, and students are free to choose.

Make your choice with great care, as the effectiveness of the student/supervisor relationship has a major effect on your experience.

Learn more
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