MBBS/MD - PhD pathway

Information for Monash Medical Students considering a PhD

Are you interested in becoming a Clinician-Scientist?

An approved pathway exists for Monash medical students who have intermitted for BMedSc(Hons), to continue their research studies in a PhD; this is called the MBBS/MD - PhD pathway. To undertake this pathway, students intermit their medical degree for 3-4 years (BMedSc(Hons) + PhD).

  • The MBBS/MD – PhD pathway is only available to medical students currently enrolled in the Monash BMedSc/MD degree (it is not available for medical graduates or medical students from other Universities).
  • It is an accelerated PhD pathway designed to enhance the clinician-scientist trajectory for exceptional BMedSc(Hons) students.
  • A maximum of five BMedSc(Hons) students each year will be allowed to intermit their Monash MD degree for the purposes of continuing directly onto a PhD, via the MBBS/MD-PhD pathway.
  • If you are already considering this option prior to commencing your BMedSc(Hons) degree, please seek advice from the Director of Medical Student Research before selecting your BMedSc(Hons) Supervisor and Project.
  • Students seeking to apply must complete a 'Permission to apply for the MBBS/MD-PhD pathway' application. See application process below.
  • Note that acceptance into the MBBS/MD-PhD pathway will be conditional upon the student; a) being awarded an H1 (80+) for their BMedSc(Hons) degree, b) applying for a Scholarship and c) being accepted into the PhD degree. Note that results will not be available to students prior to the deadline for PhD applications. Please also note that PhD scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis across the entire University and are not guaranteed.
  • The PhD must be commenced the semester following the BMedSc(Hons) completion.
  • Students may build upon work undertaken in their BMedSc(Hons) thesis for the PhD, providing that the resulting thesis or dissertation meets AQF level 10 criteria.
  • The aim is for students to be enrolled in the PhD for 2 or 3 years full-time, after completing BMedSc(Hons), returning to the MBBS or MD degree following submission of the PhD thesis. NB. The Monash Graduate Research Office only allows students to be concurrently enrolled in the PhD and another degree (ie MBBS/MD) in the most exceptional circumstances, so it is critical that projects are designed to enable PhD submission prior to re-enrolment in BMedSc/MD.
  • Students in the MBBS/MD-PhD pathway still have to meet all program requirements of their specified PhD Doctoral program. MBBS/MD-PhD students enrolled in the Professional Development Doctoral Program only need to complete 80 hours (not 120 hours) of professional development activities.
  • Overall candidature is not officially shortened, however, milestones are 'accelerated' as per the Graduate Research Progress Management Procedure.
MilestoneMBBS/MD-PhD Pathway
ConfirmationNo later than 6 months
Progress Review12-18 Months (but no less than 9 months after Confirmation)
Final ReviewNo later than 6 months prior to the enrolment end date

Application Process

Stage 1: Submit a 'Permission to apply for the MBBS/MD-PhD pathway' application

  • Due date: 14th October (for domestic applicants)

The stage 1 selection process will require the student and supervisor to submit an application that outlines the PhD proposal and realistic proposed time-frame that convinces the panel that the project is likely to be achievable within the accelerated time-frame of the MD/PhD pathway. A MNHS Panel will consider all Stage 1 'Permission to apply' applications. Student's whose Stage 1 application are supported by the Panel, will be permitted to intermit BMedSc/MD to undertake a PhD.

Stage 2: Students whose "Permission to apply" submissions are supported by the MNHS panel, then submit a PhD and Scholarship application via the normal University online application form.

International Applicants

International applicants should contact the Director of Medical Student Research. International applicant deadlines occur earlier than domestic application deadlines.

Additional Information

  • The BMedSc/MD degree must be completed within 10 years from commencement including all periods of intermission (ie. including the time taken to complete the BMedSc(Hons) and the MBBS/MD-PhD degrees). However, exceptions can be applied for if there are very compelling or compassionate reasons.
  • Course codes and fees are the same for regular BMedSc/MD, BMedSc(Hons) and PhD.
  • Please note that PhD students are not likely to be eligible for Centrelink support when they return to BMedSc/MD. Students are advised to contact the Director of Medical Student Research for further advice.
  • Students who do not follow the MBBS/MD-PhD pathway can still choose to complete a PhD at a later stage in their medical career, as long as they meet the PhD entry requirements (the abbreviated time-lines will not apply).
  • Further details regarding the PhD can be found in the Monash Graduate Research Handbook for Doctoral Degrees.