How to 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. 

Steps to apply for a research degree

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 with 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

You can apply to study a Research Higher Degree by following these steps: 

Visit the CQUni Handbook 

Enter the name of the course you wish to study into the search field 

Select the Apply Now button. 

International Students

International students can apply to study a Research Higher Degree by visiting the CQU International application page. 

 Need Help? 

For help submitting your application, contact our Student Advice team by calling 13 27 86 or email us via the Ask A Question form. To discuss Research Higher Degrees at CQUniversity, contact the School of Graduate Research.