How to apply

Before you apply to study with us, there are a few things you should consider.

Identify your research passion

The first step is to identify the topic that you might like to pursue.

As part of the application process, you will need to provide some details on your proposed research ideas to choose possible supervisors. You will need to take a look at the literature in your chosen field and start to write some initial ideas for your proposed area of research. This includes:

  • terms of the problem and/or research questions you might investigate
  • some of the relevant research literature in the area
  • the proposed methodologies/methods you might like to pursue.

This will give us a starting place for an initial conversation about how your project might best fit with current gaps in the research, as well as areas of staff expertise here at Charles Sturt University.

You should aim to have a brief document (1-2 pages) that can be shared with potential supervisors as part of the application process. You may wish to use the ‘Initial Research Outline’ template available on our forms and guides page to help you with this.

Find a supervisor

Once you have identified your research passion and considered your eligibility for the Higher Degree by Research program, it is now time to identify potential supervisors for your research.

Check your relevant Faculty to see who might be a good fit to supervise your work:

This may also give you some ideas about possible topics and/or ways to narrow things down a bit. At the admissions stage, we require a minimum of two staff members to supervise, one to be the Principal Supervisor and at least one to be a Co-Supervisor.

If you wish to discuss your proposed topic and research interest, please submit an Expression of Interest, via an application form found on the following website: Expression of Interest (Prospective Research Higher Degree Candidates) - Research (

The Sub Dean, Graduate Studies, for the relevant faculty, will review your application and respond to you, with relevant information about your research as well as the admission process.

Discuss with your prospective supervisor or Sub-Dean which course to apply for.

Funding for your research degree

When you apply for admission to your Charles Sturt research course you will be given the option to apply for scholarships advertised on our research scholarships page . You no longer need to apply separately for these scholarships.

In most cases, you will be notified of the outcome of your application for these scholarships within two months of the application round closing date. Application round dates are advertised on the individual scholarship pages.

You may receive the outcome of your application for admission before you are advised of the outcome of your scholarship application.

If you are not successful in the scholarship round, you can still pursue studies as a full fee paying candidate.  Domestic candidates may be able to defer payment of fees through the FEE-HELP program.  If you have further questions about your eligibility for tuition fee loans please contact Regarding the cost of tuition as a full-fee paying student you can visit the fees and costs section of the course brochure for your PhD.

Complete an expression of interest

Before formally applying for the course, we invite you to complete an Expression of Interest.

This expression of interest will be assessed ahead of an invitation to formally apply for admission.

If a scholarship which you wish to apply for has a closing date  within the next 10 working days we recommend you apply directly for admission and the relevant scholarship  and do not complete this form.

Apply now

The next step is to apply for admission. Applications for admission to a higher degree by research can be lodged at any time.

Apply now