Hard work, challenge, fun, frustration, the excitement of discovery and the satisfaction of producing a piece of original research and knowing that you are making a real contribution towards addressing key challenges in our changing world

Program structure

As a PhD candidate in SCMB you will complete a substantial piece of original research under academic guidance and produce a thesis of around 80,000 words in one of the school's focus areas in the chemical and molecular life sciences that you will submit for examination after three to four years.

As an MPhil candidate you will produce a thesis of around 40,000 words and submit it for examination within one to two years..


The University's three-stage milestone process is designed to provide you with an opportunity to articulate your research to your colleagues and receive feedback and guidance throughout your candidature..

Confirmation of Candidature after one year (6 months for MPhil) is your opportunity to explain your research and receive formative advice on the direction, scope, planning and feasibility of your project as well as suggestions for further development of research and professional skills. You can then proceed, confident in the knowledge that you have a robust and viable project as well as an academic support team who will provide mentorship and guidance throughout your candidature.

Mid-candidature Review at two years will reassure you and your team that your project is on track for completion and that your research and other professional skills are developing appropriately.

Thesis Review  at three years is your opportunity to receive direction and guidance for the final stages of your project. You and your team will review the breadth of work and discuss any concerns to be assured of the scope, originality, and quality of the thesis.

Your support team

By the time you undertake Confirmation of Candidature review you will  have at least two advisors and a review panel of two or more academic staff members who will provide additional advice and mentorshp and guidance on your progress.

The SCMB Postgraduate Team consists of two administrators and four postgraduate coordinators who will oversee your progress, provide support, and help you navigate tasks and timelines.

Beyond the lab

Conferences are an essential part of research. At SCMB you will be able to access funds to enable you to present at national and international conferences. Students can apply for up to $6,000 of conference funding during the course of their candidature. 

SCMB has active groups for research students and early career researchers that run regular social events and workshops and organise the Annual SCMB Postgraduate Symposium.

Skills Training: throughout your candidature you will have opportunities to develop your skills by attending professional development workshops and forums on a range of topics such as career development and communication skills.

How to apply

What our students say

Living in Brisbane

 Career development

 Choosing UQ