Step 1: Check your eligibility

Refer to admission criteria below for admission to a Doctor of Philosophy degree:

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  • An Australian bachelor’s degree with at least second-class honours (Upper first-class honours may is required by some programs) or the international equivalent, or

  • Another degree with a significant research/thesis component, or

  • A combination of qualifications, research publications and/or professional experience related to your field of study

All applicants must meet the University’s English Language Admission Requirements for Students.

Step 2: Explore your options

Please look through the RegNet website to see what types of projects are currently being pursued by students and supervisors, and view the ‘supervisors’ tab on this page.

Note: Please do not contact potential supervisors at this stage of the process.

Step 3: Express your interest

Prospective students must allow adequate time to explore potential supervisors, develop and revise a research proposal, and for assessment of their application. We suggest commencing this process 3 to 6 months ahead of any scholarship or admissions deadlines.

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To express your interest in pursuing a research degree at RegNet, email electronic copies of the following documents to

(1) A brief thesis proposal of 2-3 pages

(2) A copy of your CV

(3) A list of potential supervisors – please note, we ask that you do not contact potential supervisors directly.

Please see the ‘supervisors’ tab at this link for a list of academics affiliated with RegNet:

ANU also has a helpful guide on writing a research proposal -

Our HDR team will reach out to prospective supervisors on your behalf. Our HDR Administrator will put you in contact with a potential supervisor should we have availability and a suitable match.

Step 4: Connect with potential supervisors and develop proposal

In the event that we have a suitable match for supervision, you will be asked to attend an interview (this can be done over phone/videoconferencing if you are not based in Canberra). Please note supervisors may request additional documentation at that time, such as academic transcripts or writing samples.

At this stage you will also be expected to further develop your thesis proposal based on supervisory feedback to 5-10 pages for admissions and scholarship assessment.

Step 5: Make a formal application to the ANU

Once a supervisor has interviewed you and signed off on your proposal, our HDR Administrator will invite you to complete an expression of interest form (separate to the expression of interest in Step 3) and to apply through the ANU online application process. The RegNet PhD program code is 9560XPHD.

See information on the ANU application here.

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Please note your application is NOT complete until your referee reports have been received. Referee reports must be received by scholarship and admissions deadlines. Referees will receive the report template to complete only after you submit your application to the ANU. Therefore, leave appropriate time between submitting the application and the scholarship/admission deadline for your referees to complete and send their reports. These reports must be sent confidentially and directly to the University rather than to you.

All applicants should include a section in their application detailing the viability of their project in the context of COVID restrictions. This section should either (a) explain how the project is not dependent on travel and/or fieldwork and therefore feasible regardless of restrictions in these domains; or (b) provide a 12-month plan outlining how the project will proceed if the current restrictions on fieldwork and travel continue. Applicants should discuss the viability of their research project under COVID restrictions with their proposed supervisors prior to submitting the application.

International students are required to have a valid visa at all times. Applying for a visa can be a long process, so please take a look at the information on visas on the ANU website as early as possible.

Step 6: Get ready!

You may find it useful to look at our recommended introductory readings on regulatory theory.


Application deadlines

PhD applications are encouraged for a Semester 1 start (Semester 2 cohorts will be considered on a year-by-year basis). Applications must be complete with all required documentation and referee reports by the relevant deadlines in order to be assessed. Please keep in mind deadlines for various funding schemes may be earlier than the deadlines listed in the table below.

Prospective students must allow adequate time to explore potential supervisors, develop and revise a research proposal, and for assessment of their application. We suggest commencing this process 3 to 6 months ahead of any scholarship or admissions deadlines. An Expression of Interest is required a minimum of 6 weeks ahead of an admissions decision.