Laby Research Scholars Program
(Vacation Research Program)

The Laby Research Scholars Program provides outstanding students with a supervised introduction to research in physics.

Application due date for the summer period 23/24 is Tue 7 Nov (11.59pm).

About the program

The Laby Research Scholars Program provides you with a supervised introduction to research in physics. If you're a successful candidate, you will be supervised by a member of staff according to your interests and strengths.

As well as learning new things for the purpose of research goals, the Laby Research Scholars Program will enable you to gain workforce experience and the chance to meet, socialise and make friends with students of similar interests. Members of underrepresented groups are particularly encouraged to apply.

The scholarship program is aimed at second or third year students who are considering enrolment in postgraduate studies and wish to gain research experience.

  • Second year students are encouraged to apply for the summer period (December–February)
  • Third year students are encouraged to apply for the winter period (June–July).

Students with mid-year entry should apply accordingly, and mention it on the application form.

The standard duration of the scholarship is four weeks, and the program offers a payment of AUD$2000 (equivalent to $500/week) upon completion. Options for longer scholarships (6 or 8 weeks) may also be available, depending on the project. Detailed information on the scholarship payment will be part of your induction pack.

Selection criteria

To be eligible you must be:

  • Enrolled in any single or combined degree program in which you have been able to study a significant amount of Physics.
  • Seriously considering a University of Melbourne Physics postgraduate research program, such as the Master of Science, or Doctor of Philosophy.

The selection process is based on students' track record. The selection process does account for inequities experiences in the field of Physics.

Please note that specific skills (e.g. advanced programming knowledge) are not required - all you need is scientific curiosity.

Students from other Universities are eligible and encouraged to apply. If you wish to receive updates about the application process please email

Current projects

See the projects you can apply to join as part of the Laby Research Scholars Program.

View our current projects

How to apply

Application due date is Tuesday 7 Nov, 11.59pm. The outcome will be announced about 2 weeks after. The research projects will mainly run in January and February 2024, but can be arranged differently with the supervisor.

Apply online now

Before you apply you must have:

  • Spoken to a potential supervisor (who must be available in the chosen period).
  • Agreed with the potential supervisor on the date of commencement - email communication is sufficient.
  • Your academic transcript ready to upload.
  • Your CV ready to upload.
  • Written a brief statement detailing why you would like to be part of the Laby Research Scholars Program and your career aspirations/future plans (saved as a PDF so that you can upload to the application form; word limit 350 words).
  • It is beneficial to list up to 3 projects (no need to speak to all 3 supervisors).

Applicants who have faced disadvantages should contact the Program Coordinator and briefly explain their case:


For more information on the Laby Research Scholars Program, please contact Stephan Rachel on

Other research project options

Science Research Project

Laby Research Scholarships are very competitive and it may be that not every applicant will secure a scholarship. For Bachelor of Science students, an interesting alternative would be taking SCIE30001, which allows you to complete a semester-long research project.