Postgraduate research by degrees
Take your Engineering skills to new heights
Engineers possess the technical and analytical skills to design new processes and products to generate a more prosperous and sustainable future. Be it renewable energy, sustainable food/water production, or designing disruptive med-tech, your skills are needed to make a difference.
Apply your scientific skills to solve the key challenges of our time
Chemical and biological engineering is a broad and interdisciplinary research field, and we think this needs to be reflected in our PhD cohort and graduates. Our diverse network of research collaborators, industry partners, clinicians and innovators drive our research. Drawing on elements of chemistry, biochemistry, clinical sciences, data sciences and economics, if you want to use your science background to solve problems, then join us!
Are you driven to pursue a passion in a world-class research environment?
From Monash Health to the Australian Synchrotron, from the Woodside Energy Partnership to Monash Food Innovation – we present a truly world-class research environment to pursue your passion. We are committed to training the next generation of research leaders.
Research Degrees in Chemical and Biological Engineering – is it for me?
Many undergraduate students, studying engineering and other STEM programs, are aware that research degrees exist but are looking for more information about what the graduate student life is all about, and what are the career opportunities once you complete your thesis. In years gone by, graduate students worked solely with one supervisor in a “master/apprentice” situation aimed at producing academics, inside the “ivory tower of academia”, with few interactions beyond the walls of their university. These days, research is interdisciplinary, teams-based, and you can choose to pursue a project that is fundamental or curiosity-driven, industry-focussed, or somewhere in between. As a consequence, the career opportunities are so broad – aside from the traditional academic career path (and there is very little “traditional” about academia these days!), many of our graduates end up in industry positions, ranging from process engineering to pharmaceutical companies, from technical roles to management, consulting, entrepreneurial enterprises (e.g. startup companies) and business leadership opportunities.
So how can you figure out if a research higher degree is for you? Firstly, check out the department research themes to find out what fields interest you. It pays to think about what topics drive and motivate you, and more importantly to rule out those that do not. Secondly, find out which of your lecturers work in these fields, what projects they are advertising and have a chat to them, talk to their PhD students (a great way to find out what they do on a daily basis and to get unvarnished advice from the people actively pursuing a research degree). Thirdly, look out for seminars, webinars, zoom meetings, etc, designed to give information to prospective graduate students – advertised through the student organisations such as SMUCE, MEPSS and MYMI. Finally, follow up on opportunities for immersive research experiences, to find out what life as a researcher is like – this could be a research elective (e.g. for double-degree students), summer research scholarship programs, 4th year final year project (now 2 semesters, possible to commence in Sem 1 or Sem 2) or a unique opportunity that pops up with department academics simply by having a chat with them.
Most importantly – when looking for an immersive research experience, don’t wait! Contact academics early, 6-12 months in advance, so that you both have time to discuss a project that is interesting to you and useful to them. The more experiences you have during your undergraduate degree, the more confident you can be when it comes time to decide as to whether or not a research higher degree is right for you.
Don’t forget there are also postgraduate coursework masters degrees available which are designed to deepen your technical expertise in an area of specialisation after completing your undergraduate degree.
Top 4 myths that need busting
No – we have many graduate students who join us to apply their skills from a broad range of science and technology backgrounds.
No – Honours 1 (or equivalent) is generally required, however there are many examples of 2A results successfully receiving scholarships. For MPhil the minimum entry is H2B. As academics, we know that the most important attributes of a good research student are determination, curiosity, persistence, project/time management skills and the ability to work productively in a team - evidence of these attributes in your application are critical, rather than having the most outstanding grades.
No - the MPhil degree is an excellent option, lasting 2 years full-time, and with the option to apply to upgrade into a PhD program at the confirmation milestone, without losing any time. Scholarships and fees information are available here.
The Chemical and Biological Engineering Department is highly diverse, with ~150 graduate students year-to-year, including students from all over the world, and with strong gender equity.
More links for PhD student projects and recruitment information
- New research scholarships for domestic students
- Funded research hubs, centres, institutes recruiting PhD students within the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department
- Summer research scholarships for current undergraduate students
- Monash Centre to Impact Antimicrobial Resistance
- Handbook information for PhD and MPhil degrees