Monash University

Research Strengths and Areas of Excellence

It’s a certain drive to question the answers and go beyond convention that makes research at Monash different. We believe that great research, when properly applied, can lead to lasting and positive change in the world.

Every project we support is driven by a desire to make a difference. From investigating how the body regenerates to revolutionising the use of metals in manufacturing, our researchers continue to develop ground-breaking research that has the potential to transform lives.

At a glance:

  • 4,822 graduate research students
  • 342 million AUD in research income
  • 74th in the world (Times Higher Education 2016-17 World University Rankings)
  • 79th in the world (2016 Academic Ranking of World Universities)

A sample of our areas of excellence include:

Global Business

This theme relates to doing business in an increasingly globalised marketplace. It adopts a multidisciplinary approach and includes everything from banking and finance through to customer behaviour and international trade. The main research centre contributing research to this theme is the Centre for Global Business, which comprises six research groups.

Our main contributing research capabilities in global business include, but are not limited to:
Banking and finance; Corporate governance; Data analysis and forecasting; Consumer behavior; International trade; and International HRM

Sustainable Design, Manufacturing and Resourcing

The faculty makes a major contribution to developments in this area through research programs focused on green processing of chemicals and biomass for sustainable processing, the use of biopolymers and natural fillers and the design and use of light weight metals and alloys.

Additive manufacturing (3D printing of metals) is being researched, particularly in titanium components for the aerospace industry, requiring lower energy and material inputs than old, traditional subtractive manufacturing methods.

We also have world-leading research programs in renewable energy including wind generation, hydrogen storage, fuel cells, battery technology, water-splitting and solar cells, with a major focus on functional materials for energy generation and storage.

New membranes are being designed to desalinate and purify water, and other materials being researched are used for carbon capture.

Data Systems and Cybersecurity

The ability to capture, analyse and utilise data is crucial to decision making on many levels. The proliferation of mobile devices, sensors and social networks has led to the generation of massive amounts of data about individuals, groups of individuals and organisations. Besides having to deal with this deluge of data in terms of storage and efficient access, current data systems must also deal with new types of data analysis.

Both challenges require re-thinking of the way data management systems should be developed. In addition, the adoption of online computing services and communication devices in recent years has brought with it a wide variety of security challenges, from privacy violations through to financial fraud and service interruptions. These challenges have been aggravated due to the lack of effective technologies for enforcing security without compromising the convenience of use of online services.

Research currently incorporates, amongst others, projects in high performance databases, spatial data management, information retrieval, cryptographic technologies, information forensics, network security and biometrics.

Development, Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine

Researchers in the field of regenerative medicine are unravelling the basic mechanisms of how tissues repair themselves, to enable doctors to prevent, halt and reverse damage to vital organs due to disease, injury or genetic conditions.

Research conducted at the Faculty's Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI) and the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology contributes to treatments for conditions such as neurodegenerative disorders, musculo-skeletal and cardiovascular diseases.

Women's, Children's and Reproductive Health

World class, innovative research into health conditions experienced by women is a major strength within the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine's Women's Health Research Program and the Jean Hailes Research Unit. Research in women's health encompasses biological, psychological and social perspectives and is undertaken by several multidisciplinary groups. These groups conduct epidemiological surveys, qualitative studies and randomised controlled trials.

The Department of Paediatrics – including the Ritchie Centre the largest perinatal research centre in Australia – is at the forefront of translational research in paediatrics, from foetal and neonatal health to lung development. It is also home to the Melbourne Children's Sleep Unit.

Drug Delivery Disposition and Dynamics

The D4 research teams within the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS) are designing and developing the next generation of drug delivery systems and anti-infective agents to enhance medicine effectiveness and patient treatment. Research areas include: Anti-infective agents; Cell and molecular biology; Nanomedicine; and Drug delivery.

All Research Areas

Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture

Architecture; Curatorial Practice, Interior Architecture; Design; Art History and Theory; Fine Art; Communication Design; Industrial Design

Faculty of Arts

Deep Time Indigenous Ecologies; Culture, Media and Economy; Gender, Peace & Security (GPS); Belief, Value & Mind; Gender & Family Violence: New Frameworks in Prevention; The Body in the City, 1100 – 1800; Population, Immigration, Social Inclusion; Health and Biofutures; Global Conflict and Violence

Faculty of Business and Economics

Global business; Health and wellbeing; Sustainability and development

Faculty of Education

Arts.Creativity.Education; Child and Community Development; Education, Environment and Sustainability; Globalisation, Education and Work; Health, Sport and Physical Education; Inclusive Mathematics Education; Language, Literacy and Learning; Learning with New Media; Psychology of Teachers and Students; Science Education; Systems Approach to Families; Teacher Education

Faculty of Engineering

Biomedical, Bioprocess and Biomaterials Engineering; Chemical Engineering Science and Design; Civil and structural engineering; Clean energy technologies; Electronic, Magnetic and Ionic Materials & Properties; Fluid dynamics research; Geo-technical engineering; Telecommunications; Micro nano mechanical and optical engineering; Nano-materials, alloys and materials characterisation; Polymer engineering; Railway and sustainable transport engineering; Intelligent robotics, mechatronics and automated manufacturing; Structural Integrity and Safety; Sustainable Water Engineering 

Faculty of Information Technology

Computational biology; Data systems and cyber security; IT for resilient communities; Machine learning; Modelling, optimisation and visualisation; sensiLab - tackling the research challenges of the internet age; Immersive analytics

Faculty of Law

Castan Centre for Human Rights Law; Australian Centre for Justice and Innovation; Centre for Commercial Law and Regulatory Studies

Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Cancer & Blood Diseases; Cardiovascular Disease; Critical Care, Trauma & Perioperative Medicine; Development, Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine; Infection, Inflammation & Immunity; Metabolism, Obesity & Men's Health; Neurosciences & Mental Health; Public Health & Health Systems Improvement; Women's, Children's & Reproductive Health

Faculty of Pharmacy

Drug candidate optimisation; Drug delivery, disposition and dynamics; Drug discovery biology; Medicinal chemistry

Faculty of Science

Biology - genomics, informatics, emerging infectious diseases, ecology and conservation biology; Chemistry - water and environmental chemistry, analytical sciences, chemical biology, soil science, materials, green chemistry, synthesis and catalysis, surfaces and surfactants, crystallography, biospectroscopy, super-resolution/single molecule spectroscopy, solar energy conversion; Geosciences - atmosphere and climate, geography and environment, solid earth; Mathematics -applied and computational mathematics, pure mathematics, stochastic processes; Physics and Astronomy - astronomy and astrophysics, atomic and molecular physics, biomedical imaging, cosmology, condensed matter physics, particle physics, quantum science and synchrotron science

The Monash Doctoral Program

The Monash Doctoral Program is a PhD with the proud tradition of a research project, that is complemented by professional development and training options that support and enhance your contribution as a graduate researcher; and prepares you for success after completion.

Every research journey begins with a question. Whatever your question, the Monash Doctoral Program will help you to dig deep and find the answers. Our aim is to equip graduate researchers with the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to:

  • complete their research project with excellence
  • make an impact in industry, academia, government and the broader community

Available funding options

Many international candidates will be eligible for a Monash Graduate Scholarship and other Monash scholarships, but we offer several awards specifically for them:

  • Monash International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (MIPRS)
  • Vera Moore International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (VMIPRS)
  • Residential scholarships
  • Australian Government Endeavour Awards

Faculties also provide scholarships depending on available funds for specific research projects.


Dr Kelly Sundberg (PhD 2013)

“In 2008 I left the Government of Canada and took a position teaching criminal justice at Mount Royal University (MRU) but still no closer to completing my PhD,” Dr Sundberg said.

“It wasn’t until I read an article by Professor McCulloch - ‘National (in)Security’ - that I became convinced that Monash was where I needed to go and Professor McCulloch was who I needed as my supervisor.

“I found the PhD a real challenge! Yet my supervisors were so supportive and urged me to push forward,” Dr Sundberg said.

During the course of his PhD, Dr Sundberg co-edited a book Border Security in the Era of Al-Qaeda, a chapter in another edited work, Law Enforcement Ethics, co-authored four peer-reviewed articles, co-authored another work in the RCMP Gazette and presented at six international conferences. He also taught a course each term and supervised a Masters student and five honours students.

“I'm very proud of having completed my PhD at Monash, and will forever be connected to the University," Dr Sundberg said.

“Monash is not only a world-leading University; it's a University that supports the achievement of its students through its world-class faculty and staff.”