Non-Award Graduate Research Students at Melbourne

For many years graduate research students were unable to do a period of research at the University of Melbourne as a student. Instead they had to come as a visitor through the HR system or on an occupational trainee visa or a tourist visa. In the case of the trainee visa there was a long lead time to make the arrangements and a cost to the hosting body (faculty or graduate school usually) paying for the visa. In all these cases the student was not recorded in StudentOne and had little or no access to student facilities.

A number of years ago, the ability to come as a research non-award (not receiving a degree from Melbourne) student from an exchange partner institution as an exchange student, EX-RES, was implemented. It was, however, limited to the few eligible students nominated by their home institution with a relevant exchange agreement.

To broaden access to student researchers, streamline the process, minimise costs to faculties and to take account of research student visitors to campus for statistical and OH & S purposes, the University has developed a process for students from non-exchange partners to apply as non-award research students. To be known as study abroad research, SA-RES, students with an academic willing to act as a supervisor here can come and complete a period of non-award research and pay fees for the privilege or have them waived by the hosting faculty.


What's on this page


Minimum Length of Stay

Visiting student researchers wanting to do research here in a non-award capacity must be coming for at least three months and up to a maximum of twelve months. In some cases, they can be given permission to stay for up to two years.

Visits Less Than Three Months

Visiting student researchers wanting to visit the University for less than three months to undertake research as part of their course may be able to apply for a visitor visa. Please advise the student to contact the nearest Australian high commission or embassy to confirm that the visitor visa is appropriate for their visit. You could also speak to the Student Visa Support unit on campus.



Student researchers should contact individual academics and make arrangements that suit the University of Melbourne research group and the student’s planned time away from her/his home institution.  Arrangements within individual faculties/schools/departments vary but the pre-application process is the responsibility of the student and supervisor here at the University of Melbourne.

Once the supervisor has provided written confirmation to the student researcher that he or she is willing to act as temporary supervisor for the agreed period of research at Melbourne, the student researcher will need to complete an online application.



Specific information for academics and administrators for the respective programs can be found at:

When Complete
On the last page of the downloadable instructions the student is asked to forward the acknowledgement email to Global Mobility (GM) to indicate that her/his application is submitted. Please draw this to the applicant's attention as this is how we are aware the application is ready to be processed.


The Process

Once all the documentation has been received and uploaded, the GM team checks that the application is ready to be assessed.

GM do not assess graduate research applications. They must be assessed for entry to the University by the relevant faculty. A broadcast email with a summary of the student’s details is sent to the faculty asking them to assess the application based on the documentation loaded into CiA (the admissions system into which student applications are lodged).

Graduate School Advisor(s)

Graduate School Contact Name / Unit Email Telephone
Arts Academic Support Office arts-research [at] 58337
Business and Economics Jen Decolongon buseco-gradmissions [at]  43521
Engineering Petra Van Nieuwenhoven
Kate Hale
mse-gr [at]  58910
Education  Alice Boland mgse-research [at] 55727
Fine Arts and Music David Strover
Research Office
fineartsmusic-research [at] 53471
59082 (Grazina)
MDHS Neil D'Souza mdhs-gr [at] 45890
Science James Perry
Academic Engagement Team
science-gr [at]


Architecture, Building and Planning Jane Trewin jtrewin [at]
abp-research [at] 
Law Madeline Grey
Office for Research
greym [at] 54257
Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences  Sue Burdett vet-ag-research [at] 56081


If the student's application is acceptable, the relevant person in the school enters an Outcome in the Application Contents Enquiry screen in CiA, changing the status to QualifyThat person must then send an email to GM noting that a decision has been made and whether the fees will be charged or waived. This is important as no action can be taken until both of those points are addressed.

If the student is to be accepted, GM will send an email with an offer letter attached to the student with a copy to the Faculty. The letter lists the start date, the costs (Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), which is a government requirement, and fees, where relevant).

The students accepts the offer by completing the form attached to the letter, paying the relevant costs and returning the form to GM. Once the completed form and payment have been received, GM admits the student in the student system and produces a document called a “Confirmation of Enrolment” (CoE) which the student needs to apply for a student visa; the visa which they will apply for is a student visa (subclass 500). The CoE is emailed to them with other information about the next steps.


On arrival

When the student has finalised her/his arrival date, prior to arriving he/she should contact the advisor at GM to arrange for an orientation briefing. The University is required under the terms of the ESOS Act to provide certain information for incoming international students. Once that has been completed, we lift the enrolment sanction in StudentOne and send the student to meet with the relevant person in the faculty who completes the rest of the student's enrolment and orientation in consultation with the supervisor and hosting department.


At the completion of the visit

At the end of the study period, when a student has finished her/his research time here, follow the instructions on the web page Close non-award courses to complete the student in StudentOne.

Note that students in the courses EX-RES and SA-RES are not counted towards RTP completions.



If you are unsure of any part of this process you can contact Stuart Hibberd at GM.

T: +61 3 8344 0342
E: stuarth [at]