Research Higher Degrees

Research Higher Degrees

Each of the Research Centres of the Sustainable Minerals Institute offers Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees in their specialisations. Postgraduate research projects have a strong link with industry; students gain excellent exposure and become familiar with the challenges of conducting research in an industrial environment, and in the challenges of transferring research outcomes to industry.

Research Fields

For information on current research areas and projects in the different fields within the Sustainable Minerals Institute, please visit the appropriate Research Centre. The SMI particularly welcomes applications from prospective research candidates whose research interests are of a cross-disciplinary nature. 



Coal Seam Gas

Centre for Coal Seam Gas (CCSG)

Mineral Processing

Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre (JKMRC)

Mining and Geology

W H Bryan Mining & Geology Research Centre (BRC)


Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation (CMLR)

Safety and risk

Minerals Industry Safety and Health Centre (MISHC)

Social Responsibility

Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM)

Water and Energy

Centre for Water in the Minerals Industry (CWiMI)

How to Apply

We recommend you always first visit the UQ Graduate School Future Students website for the most current information on applying for admission and scholarships. Here you will find information on how to proceed with your application for admission.

The best place to start is by learning about why research higher degree students choose UQ, our research degrees and entry requirements, scholarships, and the UQ Career Development Framework. Future students can submit an application at any time. However, strict deadlines apply to those applicants who seek to be nominated for a UQ Scholarship, and consideration of UQ and SMI processing times must be given by students who are applying for external scholarships. See the section on 'Scholarships' below.

Applying is then a three-step process.
  1. Search for a Supervisor (Principal Advisor): At SMI, your potential advisor will contact us at the SMI Research Higher Degree (RHD) Office if he or she is interested in supervising your research. We can then assist you with instructions on how to proceed  and address any specific questions or concerns you might have.
  2. Complete the Online Application Form: Please carefully review the information provided before commencing the online application so that all required documents are prepared and ready to upload. In addition to the required application documentation, SMI requires that you also upload your proposed research project to the online application for our review and reference.
  3. Wait for a Response to your Application: After you submit your online application, the UQ Graduate School will redirect the submission to us at the SMI RHD Office for our review and assessment of your application in consultation with your proposed principal advisor. SMI will make a decision on whether or not we are able to recommend your admission to the Dean of the Graduate School and keep you informed at all stages of the process.


UQ Scholarships

The UQ Graduate School manages a limited number of merit-based scholarships for commencing or currently enrolled UQ students on a competitive basis. These scholarships provide financial support for living allowances, tuition fees and overseas health cover (OSHC) (international students only), and international travel awards. To find out more about UQ's scholarships and deadlines for upcoming rounds, please visit the UQ Graduate School Scholarships and Fees website.


Other Scholarships

Please visit the website of the UQ Scholarships Office to review other opportunities for which you may be eligible. If you are applying for an external scholarship which requires you to give evidence of your admission to a Master of Philosophy or Doctor of Philosophy, you must submit your application for admission to UQ six weeks before your scholarship application deadline. This will allow UQ and SMI the time required to process your application and issue you with a provisional offer of admission. 

Our Team

Please send all email enquiries to

Dr Elaine Wightman - Postgraduate Coordinator and Senior Research Fellow
Phone: +61 (0)7 3346 4483

Jacqueline Ross-Hagebaum - Manager, Postgraduate Student Administration 
Phone: +61 (0)7 3346 4483 (Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri) or  +61 (0)7 3346 5904 (Tues)

Tess Dobinson - Postgraduate Research Administration Officer
Phone: +61 (0)7 3346 4077 (Mon, Tues, Wed) or  +61 (0)7 3346 5304 (Thurs, Fri)