Information for Prospective International
Postgraduate Research Students wishing to enrol
in a University of Queensland Research Higher Degree
under my supervision

Prof. Phil Pollett
Discipline of Mathematics
The University of Queensland

[Last updated: 9:30 23/02/2012]

General. I welcome inquiries from prospective international students with a good background in probability, who wish to enrol in a University of Queensland (UQ) Research Higher Degree (RHD) in Mathematics under my supervision. I hope that the information on this page will help answer your questions.

If the information you require cannot be found below, please contact me for advice on academic matters, or the School Postgraduate (PG) Student Administration (Murray Kane) for advice on procedural or other administrative matters. Please read this page carefully before making an inquiry.

Can you provide financial support? I will deal with this first, as it is commonly the most significant issue, especially for International Students.

Summary (See below for details and explanations). If you are an Australian or New Zealand citizen, you should apply for an APA. Otherwise, you should apply for an IPRS (competition for IPRS is fierce, and only awarded to applicants with Masters or First Class Honours, with publications in refereed journals and excellent references). If you are successful, or you are fully self funded from another source, then I or one of my research staff will accommodate you, and in the normal course of events you will be accepted as a RHD student.

The cost of undertaking PG studies at the University of Queensland is rather high. You must pay tuition fees and you must show that you can support yourself. The School of Mathematics and Physics can, at best, provide only partial support. It is regrettable that, while we can almost always accommodate every full-fee-paying student, we can usually accommodate only a limited number of students each year who require financial assistance.

What scholarships are available? If you have little or no financial support, then you should apply for an International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS). Look here for details of IPRS and other scholarships for international students. Competition for these scholarships is fierce, and are generally only awarded to applicants who have a first division or first class honours degree completed at a very high level, with publications in international refereed journals and excellent references; there are also English language requirements to be met.

Can I apply for a teaching assistantship? We do not have teaching assistantships of the kind that are common in (say) the USA. However, well-qualified PG students with very good communication skills can expect a limited amount of employment, on a casual basis, as a tutor or demonstrator. Such casual employment is not guaranteed. Typically, tutors are paid for 3 hours work (preparation, marking and contact) for each hour of contact; if there is no marking, then only 2 hours. The current rate is around $30.00 per hour. PG students within the School of Physical Sciences, who are making good progress with their research, are permitted to work for up to 270 hours per year (during normal business hours of 9am to 5pm).

Am I classified as an international student? An international student is a person who is neither an Australian citizen, nor a Australian permanent resident, nor a New Zealand citizen, but who is enrolled or proposes to enrol in a programme of study at a tertiary education institution in Australia. Temporary residents of Australia and permanent residents of New Zealand are classified as international students.

What degrees are available? The University of Queensland offers the following research degree programmes:

What should I do next? First let me say what you should not do: don't dump your CV/resumé at my doorstep, and announce yourself as someone requiring financial assistance. Please appreciate that I receive hundreds of inquiries like this each year, and I simply do not have the time, the resources, nor indeed the inclination to respond. I want to know why you are interested in me, and why I should be interested in you.

Okay then, what should I do? First, you should be clear in your own mind about what you're interested in researching. Typically you will have research experience in an area cognate to my own research interests, or you will have researched the literature relevant to your field of interest, you will have drafted a research plan, and you will have identified me as potential supervisor. If you are suitably qualified and your research proposal is acceptable, I would normally unreservedly support your application for admission, and, provided you satisfy the University's entry requirements, you would normally be admitted as a research higher degree student. Whether you are ultimately accepted will depend on your academic record and research potential, and the quality of your research proposal.

Where do I get more information? Details of my research and publications can be found here. Information about the Discipline of Mathematics can be found here here.

How do I apply for admission? Go to Section 3 of the UQ Graduate School's "How to apply" webpage. The documents require are:

If you have any comments on these pages,
feel free to e-mail me: