RMIT University Research Profile

RMIT is a global university of technology, design and enterprise. Our mission is to help shape the world through research, innovation, teaching and engagement, and to create transformative experiences for our students, getting them ready for life and work.

One of Australia’s original educational institutions founded in 1887, RMIT University now has 82,000 students including 12,000 at postgraduate level.
The University enjoys an international reputation for excellence in professional and practical education, applied and innovative research, and engagement with the needs of industry and the cities in which we are located.
With three campuses in Melbourne (Central Business District, Brunswick and Bundoora), two in Vietnam (Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City) and a Centre in Barcelona, Spain, RMIT is a truly global university. RMIT also offers programs through partners in Singapore, Hong Kong, mainland China, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Belgium, Germany, Austria and The Netherlands, and enjoys research and industry partnerships on every continent.

RMIT prides itself on the strong industry links it has forged over its 129-year history. Collaboration with industry is integral to the University’s leadership in applied research and education, and to the development of highly skilled, globally focused graduates.
We are a 5-Star university under the QS Stars international evaluation system, and are 21st in the world among universities less than 50 years old (2015 QS Top 50 Under 50 index).

RMIT Europe
RMIT Europe is a coordinating Centre for extending RMIT University's international engagement, and strategically growing RMIT’s collaborative research and mobility activity in Europe. RMIT Europe has forged relationships with more than 30 European-based institutions, made linkages with significant European industries and works closely with local partners in Barcelona.

Our postgraduate research centre in Barcelona offers dual Masters programs, joint research and student and staff exchanges.

Research Areas at RMIT

RMIT has a reputation for excellence in applied and innovative research in our many areas of internationally recognised expertise, which are listed below.

In 2016 Researchers from RMIT received more than $9.27 million from the latest round of Australian Research Council (ARC) funding.

RMIT features among the worlds top 200 institutions in 13 of the 30 subject areas in the 2015 QS subject rankings. We are among the world’s top 100 universities in Art and Design; Architecture and the Built Environment; Engineering (Civil and Structural; Electrical and Electronic; and Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing); Computer Science; and Business and Management Studies.  

The University’s research was ranked among the best in the world in the 2015 Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) evaluation. RMIT was rated ‘well above world standard’ in 13 fields and ‘above world standard’ in a further nine fields. 

Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) Rankings

Ranked at ‘well above world standard’ (5 out of 5)

  • Architecture
  • Clinical Sciences
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Engineering
  • Physical Chemistry, including Structural
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Medical Physiology
  • Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Communication and Media Studies
  • Environmental Science and Management

Ranked at ‘above world standard’ (4 out of 5)

  • Urban and Regional Planning
  • Cultural Studies
  • Artificial Intelligence and Image Processing
  • Building
  • Design Practice and Management
  • Information Systems
  • Visual Arts and Crafts
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering

Ranked at ‘world standard’ (3 out of 5)

  • Film, Television and Digital Media
  • Food Sciences
  • Marketing
  • Law
  • Policy and Administration
  • Sociology
  • Specialist Studies in Education
  • Applied Economics
  • Banking, Finance and Investment
  • Education Systems
  • Complementary Medicine and Alternative Medicine
  • Performing Arts and Creative Writing

RMIT research connects researchers from multiple disciplines and from across the Colleges under a thematic umbrella - the ‘Enabling Capability Platforms’.

The Enabling Capability Platforms consist of the following research clusters:

  • Advanced manufacturing and fabrication
  • Advanced materials
  • Biomedical and health innovation.
  • Design and creative practice
  • Global business innovation
  • Information and systems (engineering)
  • Social change
  • Urban futures

This allows RMIT to deploy its areas of excellence to find innovative solutions to address emerging global problems.

Available funding options

International Research Exchange Fellowship

This fellowship opportunity provides support to international researchers to visit RMIT and undertake a period of research activity with collaboration at RMIT as well as to support RMIT researchers in undertaking similar collaborative research activity overseas.

Internal applicants must be a member of RMIT University's academic staff and hold a continuing or fixed-term appointment for the duration of the Fellowship program.

In the case of an international researcher (the International Fellow) coming to RMIT, the applicant must demonstrate an established research connection between the international researcher and RMIT. Similarly, an RMIT researcher (the RMIT Fellow) proposing to travel overseas must demonstrate an established research connection with an overseas institution. The researcher travelling to/from RMIT should have a strong publication and grant record for the last 3 to 5 years.
Duration of visit: any international researcher travelling to Australia must visit RMIT for a minimum period of one week. Similarly, any RMIT researcher travelling overseas must visit their international host institution for a minimum period of one week.
Maximum funding amount $10,000

More information 

International Visiting Fellowships

This fellowship opportunity provides support to international researchers to visit RMIT. Proposed Fellows are generally expected to be of the highest calibre in their field and have an international standing. Preference will be given to proposed Fellows whose research aligns with RMIT’S Enabling Capability Platforms (ECPs). The visit must include a lecture or seminar (of interest and open) to the wider community, which could attract publicity.
Duration of visit: ideally each Visiting Fellow will be at RMIT for a minimum period of five days.  
Maximum funding amount $10,000

More information

Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellowships

The Vice-Chancellor’s Outstanding Researcher Scheme aims to foster a dynamic and productive research environment by offering prestigious positions from higher degree by research candidates to senior academics. More information

Senior Research Fellowship     

Postdoctoral Fellowship     

PhD Scholarships

Postgraduate research funding

The RMIT International Industry Experience and Research Program (RIIERP) offers generous funding for PhD students to conduct their research in some of the best research facilities worldwide. Companies jointly supervise the student’s thesis with RMIT University. The senior supervisor must be an RMIT academic.
Duration: 1 to 2 years

More information

Postdoctoral Fellowship

The RMIT International Industry Experience and Research Program (RIIERP) supports RMIT postdoctoral fellows to hone their research skills at renowned research institutions around the world. Postdoctoral fellows receive similar conditions to employees of the organisation where they are placed.
Duration: 1 to 2 years

More information


Dr. Victoria Stead

"I joined the Centre for Global Research in 2007 as a research assistant, working on an innovative research collaboration between Centre researchers and the Department for Community Development in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Participation in research trips to PNG gave me invaluable fieldwork experience and introduced me to a part of the world that has since become the focus for my own research. Joining the Timor-Leste Research Program shortly after added to that experience. When I began my PhD in 2009 — examining transformations of customary land tenure systems in the context of globalisation, state- and nation-building practices — Timor-Leste and PNG became my two primary field sites.

As both a postgraduate student and emerging researcher, my association with the Centre has been hugely beneficial. I was able to begin my PhD with extensive research experience, and perhaps most importantly, I was already established within a collegial environment and a vibrant research culture.

In addition, the Centre provided an environment I was able to contribute to through my role as a member of the Centre Executive for two years, as well as through involvement with Centre events and seminar series, and through teaching within the Global Studies program. My involvement within the Centre has given me opportunities to write and publish — including as a co-author of a research monograph — and it has provided practical support to attend conferences and conduct research.

Ultimately the net effect of a membership with the Centre has been of significant importance to me — I completed my PhD with an extensive research and publications profile, established wonderful collegial relationships, and gained valuable experience working within an academic environment."

Dr. Rachel Sharples

"I graduated with a PhD in 2012. As a research candidate, my PhD was supervised through the Centre for Global Research.

My thesis was on the constructs of culture and identity for displaced persons residing in borderlands spaces. Focusing specifically on a group of Karen who had been displaced from Burma and now living in the Thai-Burma borderlands, I undertook a number of field trips to the Thai-Burma border in order to develop my research. As a student and a researcher, these were important and challenging trips and I benefited from the support of many colleagues at RMIT.

As a part-time student I had been working on my PhD for eight years. During that time I was given many opportunities within the Centre, and found the Global Studies Seminar Series incredibly useful for finding out what sort of research colleagues were working on and for networking both within and outside RMIT. The Centre maintains an excellent intellectual culture where I was able to converse not only with other PhD students but also with academics working in the field. There were important elements of rigour and mentoring that underpin this intellectual culture. It also gave me important links into the teaching program, where I have begun teaching courses, and this added depth and greater understanding to my research."