Apply for a Research Higher Degree

Applying for a Research Higher Degree (RHD) involves a two-step process that includes a Preliminary Proposal for a research project with your initial application, before being invited to submit a full Research Proposal.

Before you get started on your application be sure to check your course page for ‘Entry Requirements’ to ensure you have the necessary qualifications.  You’ll also need to organise a Unique Student Identifier (USI) if you are studying in Australia. Next, follow the proposal steps detailed below.  

 If you’re looking for an alternate pathway to a RHD our Graduate Certificate in Research may be of interest.  Note this course has a single direct application step accessible from the course page

At the preliminary proposal stage, you will be required to provide information about your preferred research topic, as well as your current CV (curriculum vitae). You’ll also need to indicate your proposed field of research (for statistical classifications) from one of CQU’s research focus areas including: 

  • Health Behaviours at Work, Rest and Play
  • Psychology and Wellbeing
  • Public Health and Health Promotion
  • Creative Arts
  • Learning Equity, Access and Participation
  • Economics
  • Management
  • Nursing Workforce, Education and Health Service Delivery
  • Mental Health
  • Domestic Violence
  • Railway Engineering
  • Smart Systems
  • Clean Energy
  • Automation
  • Agricultural Systems
  • Environmental Systems
  • Exercise and Sports Science
  • Applied Medical Health

 Browse our projects, or submit your own 

Browse our online list of projects that are available to join. You can select a project from this list or gain inspiration for your own project by perusing the topics. 

 If your research interest falls outside of these areas, it may still be possible for CQUniversity to support your project. Please lodge your application so that we can consider whether we have the right resources and expertise to assist you. 

 Unique Student Identifier (USI) 

You will need to supply a USI as a domestic student with your Preliminary Proposal application.  International students will need to provide a USI upon arrival in Australia, otherwise do not require one if studying outside Australia.  New Zealand citizens studying completely offshore do not require a USI.   

 Submit your preliminary proposal 

Submit your preliminary proposal online via either the international or domestic student process outlined on this page.

Your preliminary proposal will be received by the School of Graduate Research team and directed on to the relevant academic School for review and identification of available supervisors. You may be contacted directly by a potential supervisor to discuss your proposed topic. If your preliminary proposal is accepted, you will be invited to prepare a full research proposal in collaboration with your nominated supervisory team. 

 The full research proposal describes your chosen area of study, identifies a research area and/or research question, clarifies its importance and provides an outline of your research approach. Your research question will form the basis of your activities for the full duration of your degree, so it is important that you consult a wide variety of resources before selecting a topic that fits your research interests and passion. 

 A research proposal template will be provided to you during the admissions process, and this will include the following:  

  • project title (maximum 30 words)  
  • research background (max 500 words)  
  • significance and/or impact (max 200 words) 
  • research methods (max 300 words)  
  • research timeline (max 100 words)  
  • resources, facilities, equipment and/or fieldwork requirements (max 200 words)  
  • alignment with CQUniversity research focus areas (see page opposite)  
  • research outputs and contribution to research culture (max 300 words). 

 You should receive advice within 14 days of submitting your full application via your nominated email address.  

Submitting Your Preliminary Proposal

Domestic Students

Apply direct from your selected Research Higher Degree course page or via the handbook

International Students

Apply direct from your selected Research Higher Degree course page or for step-by-step information view the CQU International application page. 

Need Help?

For help submitting your application, contact our Frontline Student Services team by calling 13 27 86. or you can also Ask a Question.

You can also get your questions answered at our regular RHD information webinars.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you don’t yet meet the admissions requirements for a Research Higher Degree, our Graduate Certificate in Research can provide an alternative pathway for you to reach your research goals.

As a Research Higher Degree candidate, you may be entitled to a range of stipends and scholarships, as well as training and other study support. Find out more at the Research Higher Degrees Fees and Support page. 

Your full application will need to pass through a few approval steps before a final outcome is available. You should receive an outcome within 14 days of submitting your full application (Research Proposal) and via your nominated email address. 

Your outcome will contain an offer of admission/candidature. Please ensure that you follow the instructions to accept your offer, as this is the final step of your application and enrolment.