Thank you for your interest in pursuing a Higher Degree by Research (HDR) at the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) at The University of Queensland (UQ).

Joining the HDR program at ISSR requires not only meeting the UQ Graduate School’s entry requirements, but also obtaining the support of the Institute to apply.

Obtaining the Institute’s support can be a lengthy process. To ensure that your online application will be considered for a certain scholarship round, please allow sufficient time to go through this process—at least 4-6 weeks prior to the Graduate School’s online application deadlines.

These are the steps that you need to follow:

  1. Find out about applying for a Higher Degree by Research (HDR), including advice about entry requirements, scholarships and UQ's career development framework. Ensure you meet the entry requirements.
  2. Browse our academic staff profiles and existing projects to find an advisor within our School who matches your area of research interest and who has sufficient expertise in your proposed field of research.
  3. Contact potential advisors by email to find out whether they have the capacity and expertise to supervise your project. Your email should include a rough description of your proposed research project or some broad areas of interest, your academic CV, and past academic transcripts. Potential advisors may request that you make changes to your proposal before proceeding any further. It is essential that you receive written endorsement from at least one prospective advisor to continue the process.
  4. Potential advisors may alternatively choose to circulate your documents to other academic staff within ISSR if they believe that you are a good candidate, but they are unable to supervise you personally. This is nevertheless not a guarantee that a suitable advisor will be found.
  5. Once you have obtained endorsement by an academic staff member to supervise your project, you will need to develop a full research proposal. This research proposal takes time to write and may require revisions based on the feedback by your prospective advisor. Your research proposal should be 3,000-5,000 words in length and fully referenced. The proposal needs to address the following questions:

RESEARCH AIMS: Which broad research question(s) will your thesis aim to answer?

RESEARCH SIGNIFICANCE: How is your proposed project important? What makes the project innovative?

RELEVANT LITERATURE: What does the current literature say in relation to your research question? How will your thesis add to or complement the existing body of work on your topic? How are you building on, advancing or applying the existing literature?

APPROACH AND METHOD: What concepts, theories, methods and data sources will you use to address your research question(s)?

  1. Your prospective advisor(s) will then consider your full research proposal. They may ask you to arrange for an in-person or online interview to discuss the proposal, or to revise your proposal to reach its full potential.
  2. Once your advisors are satisfied with your project, you will be instructed to submit a full application online to the UQ Graduate School. Please include your completed research proposal. We recommend that you apply at least 4-6 weeks prior to any advertised scholarship closing dates to increase your chances of being considered.
  3. The full online application, including your referee reports and research proposal, will be assessed by the Director of Research Training (DRT) at ISSR.
  4. If the DRT approves your application, the complete application will then be assessed by the UQ Graduate School, which will make a final determination on whether to formally support your application. Please note that approval of your application by the DRT and/or the UQ Graduate School does not guarantee that you will be successful in obtaining a scholarship.