The Doctor of Philosophy program (PhD) draws upon the supervision expertise of internationally recognised researchers located within the Research School of Management. A number of ANU scholarships are available. The PhD program typically takes between three and five years of full-time research to complete. A part-time equivalent, over a longer period of time, is also an option.
The research program consists of two parts – a coursework component and a research component. The thesis component component should be undertaken concurrently to the coursework component. In the coursework component, students learn the foundations of key theories and research methods, and have the opportunity to specialise in fields of interest. In the research component, students contribute to their field of specialisation by writing a thesis under the guidance of a panel of supervisors. The thesis must make a significant contribution to one of the cognate disciplines of RSM. Article(s) derived from the thesis should have potential to be published in leading journal(s) in relevant disciplines.
The thesis is typically 200-250 pages, with a maximum 400 pages (or 100,000 words) under exceptional circumstances. The thesis will be independently assessed by 3 external expert examiners of international standing.
Before You Apply
Refer to the admission requirements and determine if your qualifications are sufficient for direct entry into the PhD Program. If you do not satisfy the admission requirements, you can choose to first complete the MPhil offered by RSM, before applying for admission to the PhD program.
Identify an academic staff member in RSM as a potential supervisor, whose research interests are close to your own (useful links: Research School of Management supervision page & Researchers at ANU). Contact the potential supervisor directly and ask if the academic is available to work with you. You need to indicate the name(s) of potential supervisor(s) who have agreed to supervise your PhD on your application form. Note, the potential supervisor(s) cannot guarantee your admission into the PhD program: that will depend on the strength of your application relative to other applicants in the pool.
Once you have identified one or more potential researcher supervisors you may like to work with, determined that you meet the basic admission requirements (see below for more details), and developed a brief research proposal (less than 3 pages, double spacing, including a list of key references), please proceed with an online application.
The first semester of the ANU academic year starts in February, and the second semester starting in July. In general, all applications for entry in the first semester of following year must be submitted before 31 October. In addition, international students wishing to be considered for an ANU scholarship should submit their applications before 31 August. In order for an application to be considered, all supporting documents, including academic transcripts, reference letters, and IELTS or TOEFL scores (if applicable), must be received by the ANU before the respective application deadlines.
Note: If an applicant is currently completing an honours or master degree, and final transcripts and results are not available before the application submission deadline, he/she should submit all available documents prior to the deadline, and will be required to submit the remaining results before a final decision on admission is made.
The minimum qualification requirements for admission to the program for a Doctor of Philosophy in RSM are the following:
- Already hold, or be about to complete, an Australian Bachelor Degree with at least Second Class Honours - Upper (First-Class Honours is highly preferred) or its international equivalent, which should include a substantial thesis component in a relevant discipline, such as management, marketing, international business, business information systems, or psychology, from an approved university; or
- A Master of Philosophy (or equivalent) degree with a significant research thesis component, from an approved university; or
- A coursework master's degree where at least 25% of the degree was comprised of a significant research thesis component, with the thesis grade and overall GPA (grade point average) both being at least a 6.0 (Distinction) on a 7-point scale, from an approved university.
- All applicants must meet the University's English Language Admission Requirements for Students (see Table 1 for Regular Degree Programs).
Please note that there are other admission criteria (e.g., previous publications, quality of proposal, etc.), that students must also address. Due to the popularity of the PhD program, admission is highly competitive and only a limited number of students are admitted. Meeting the basic entry requirements will make you eligible for consideration but does not guarantee a place within the program.
Application should include the following materials:
- A completed RSM PhD/MPhil Applicant Questionnaire. (required)
- Academic transcripts (scanned colour copies) and grading systems for all previously completed degrees. (required)
- Research proposal (less than 3 pages, double spacing, including a list of key references) that outlines your proposed area of research, the questions that you are planning to address, a research model, and the major research methods you intend to use as part of your PhD thesis. (required)
- Up to date CV/Resume. (required)
- Copies of the research publications (e.g., research articles you have published in recognized international journals or you have presented in respected international conferences). (if available)
- Evidence of meeting the ANU English language admission requirements (English Language Admission Requirements). (required)
- One-page statement outlining your motivation to undertake a PhD in RSM. Include within this a description of your strengths, your weaknesses, your career goal(s) and anything else you feel is relevant for consideration. (required)
- GRE or GMAT score. (if you have taken)
- Additional relevant supporting documents. (if available but limited to no more than 5 pages)
The process will also request that you provide detailed contact information of the three most suitable referees that can speak about your research ability. It is important these referees are prepared to provide statements in a timely manner, otherwise your application will be delayed.
Short-listed applicants may be required to have a Skype interview (or similar).
Offers of Admission
After your application and all its supporting documents (including referee reports) are received by the Admissions Office, your file will be forwarded to the RSM Deputy Director (Higher Degree Research). If you are assessed to have satisfied the eligibility criteria, and your area of interest matches the interests of an academic staff member of RSM, with available supervisory capacity, then you may be issued an offer of admission. Note, however, that since admission is competitive and supervisory capacity is limited, offers of admission will not be issued until after the relevant application deadlines, irrespective of the date when you submit your application.
Please see the ANU Scholarships page for detailed information on scholarships provided by the University. Applicants who have been unsuccessful in securing a University level scholarship may be offered funding support by the College of Business and Economics. Research School of Management also provides a RSM Scholarship to excellent PhD students who have achieved First-Class Honours (H1) or equivalent.
All domestic students enrolled in a postgraduate research program, such as a PhD, are awarded an Australian Government Research Training Program (AGRTP) Fee Offset Scholarship, and are therefore currently not required to pay tuition fees. Past domestic scholarship recipients usually have also been awarded one of the following scholarships:
- University Research Scholarships (URS)
- Australian Government Research Training Program (AGRTP) Stipend Scholarship
DSTG Project Scholarship
One scholarship is available for a high calibre student wanting to pursue graduate research in the field of project management. This scholarship is affiliated with a research project jointly funded by the Defence Science and Technology Group of the Australian Department of Defence and the Research School of Management, Project investment benefit realisation to enhance force effectiveness.
International PhD students are required to pay tuition fees. However, international applicants with a very strong academic record that are assessed as having the equivalent of an ANU first-class honours degree, if admitted to the Program, will generally qualify for a HDR Fee Remission Merit Scholarship tuition waiver.
The most common types of University scholarships that international PhD students have received in past years are:
- Australian Government Research Training Program (AGRTP) International Fee Offset Scholarship
- HDR Fee Remission Merit Scholarship
- University Research Scholarships (URS)
- RSM Scholarship
Some past and current students have also been awarded the following country-specific scholarships (students considering to apply for these scholarships should note the specific application instructions available through the links below):
PhD Coursework Component (Part A)
- MGMT8006 Management Research Methods (Semester 1, intensive course – 6 weeks)
- MGMT8018 Qualitative Research Methods (Semester 1, intensive course – 6 weeks)
- MMIB8008 Theory in Management: Process and Content (Semester 2. NB this course is for students in their second year or later.)
- MGMT8019 Empirical Methods in Management (Semester 1)
(Note: Students without sufficient background in statistics may be required to take an additional prerequisite course before enrolment to any of these courses)
Elective courses can be selected from the following list (master level courses):
- MGMT8003 Organisational Behaviour (Semester 1 & 2)
- MGMT8022 Strategy Management (Semester 1 & 2)
- MKTG7001 Marketing (Semester 1)
- INFS8202 Industry Research Project (Semester 1 & 2)
- INFS8205 Information System Strategy and Management (Semester 1 & 2)
- MGMT7107 Managing Across Cultures (Semester 2)
- MMIB8004 Special Research Topic 2 (Semester 1 & 2)
- Other courses approved by the supervisor and RSM HDR convenor
- Each PhD student is required to take all 4 mandatory courses and 2 elective courses, with approval from the supervisor.
- Each MPhil student is required to take 2 mandatory courses from the mandatory coursework list and 1 elective course. All three course choices need approval from the supervisor.
PhD Research Component (Part B)
Upon completing successfully the compulsory courses and electives, successfully defending a longer, well-developed research proposal, and with the approval of the PhD supervisory panel and HDR convenor, students continue with the research component of their program.
The complete PhD (including the coursework and research components) normally takes 3 to 4 years of full-time research. During this time, each candidate writes a thesis, which is submitted for examination by three external examiners who are experts in the relevant field. The examiners will assess the thesis and recommend whether the PhD be awarded. In the process of examination and decision on whether a PhD should be awarded, the College and University rules apply (see the research awards rule link from the following site: https://www.anu.edu.au/about/governance/legislation)
During their candidature, students are expected to present their research yearly (when studying on a full-time basis) at opportunities provided by RSM (e.g. seminars, conferences, doctoral colloquium). In their final year, candidates are also required to give a final presentation (Oral Presentation) for the thesis that is usually held three months before thesis submission.
The Thesis Topic and the Supervisory Panel
When a candidate is admitted to the program, a primary supervisor is appointed. The primary supervisor has the responsibility of overseeing the student’s candidature until a supervisory panel is chosen. During the first year of the program, it is important that candidates start developing their research topic ideas through consultation with their primary supervisor and other academic staff within RSM.
In their first year of study, a larger supervisory panel will be chosen (typically comprising 3 academics). Based on the nomination of the chair of the panel, the PhD Convenor will determine the composition of the supervisory panel in consultation with the student. The role of the panel is to assist, advise and provide support and encouragement to the student for a timely and successful completion. The primary supervisor (who may or may not be the Chair of the panel) will provide close supervision on the research. Other panel members will assist when needed by the candidate. At the very least, the panel members are required to read the final drafts of the thesis proposal and the dissertation before these documents are formally assessed by examiners. The panel is also consulted during the annual review of the candidate’s progress.
Staff in the RSM have diverse research interests and are capable of providing supervision across a range of topics in the disciplines of Organisational Behaviour, Leadership, Strategy, International Business, Marketing, Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Project Management, Social Issues in Management, and Information Systems.
See the Research School of Management supervision page for more details about the research interests and supervision areas of staff members.
RSM runs a weekly seminar program where internationally renowned speakers presenting their work. To provide networking opportunities that also assist in the development of research skills, all research students are required to actively attend and participate in the seminar series.
Research Integrity Training
PhD candidates are also required to undertake Research Integrity Training (RIT). This training program has been developed by the ANU Office of Research Integrity and needs to be completed online within 3-6 months following commencement.
- It is University policy that each candidate's progress be reviewed periodically. Each year, PhD candidates are required to submit a Progress Report/Annual Plan, which summarises progress and identifies any difficulties or changes to the previous research plan and outlines the intended research to be undertaken over the next twelve months. The Progress Report and the Annual Plan form the basis for the Annual Review.
- In addition to these, in the second year, candidates must submit a Thesis Proposal for review by the supervisory panel. The Thesis Proposal is generally submitted in conjunction with the candidate's first seminar presentation, and includes a description of the research to be undertaken in the thesis, and a summary of the structure of the thesis and its time plan. The purpose of the Thesis Proposal Review (TPR) is to assess the originality, significance, adequacy and achievability of the candidate's thesis plan. Successful completion of the TPR is required to continue in the program.
- In their final year, candidates are required to give a final presentation (Oral Presentation) that is usually held three months before thesis submission.
Thesis Submission and Examination
Please refer to the ANU thesis submission guidelines.
Current RSM PhD Students
Title of Thesis or Research Area
Chair of Panel
Ageing and well-being
Product Visual Signalling: Study of Consumption Patterns
|Team Process Perspective on Team Performance|
|Yoona Choi||Multiple languages in the firm||A/ Professor Sarbari Bordia|
|Hang Minh Dang||A/ Professor Alex Eapen|
|Catherine Deen||My Way or the Highway: Measure Development and Nomological Network of Micromanagement in Organizations||A/ Professor Ying-Yi Chih|
|Puja Dhawan||A/ Professor Patrick J.N. L'Espoir Decosta|
|Jyotika Gounder||Corporate Social Responsibility|
|Penny Grewal-Sidhu||Dr Gary Buttriss|
Drinking places: industry views of local wine, community and nature
|Dr Alex Richardson|
Leadership and innovation
|Chao Ma||Perceived Overqualification, antecedents, and outcomes|
|Women, work and the menopause|
|Elham Merikhi||Risk-Return Trade-off in Project Appraisal and Selection||Professor Ofer Zwikael|
|Ben Mitchell||A/ Professor Anton Kriz|
Accessibility to Luxury: Does Exclusivity Still Matters?
|A/ Professor Patrick J.N. L'Espoir Decosta|
Play at work: When can it help and when can it harm?
|The Role of Design Thinking in the Emergence of Entrepreneurial Opportunities|
Career management strategies for longer lives - narratives of older workers in low-skill occupations
What is the motivation and influence of 4A tone (English & Chinese code-switching speaking manner) in China, and what is the public attitudes towards it
|Big Data and Data Analytics: Developing Capability For Successful Implementation|
|Julian Widdup||A/ Professor Anton Kriz|
|Ning Xiao||Leadership and Creativity|
Ties with non-market organizations and firm innovation
Adding Dimension to Content: Immersive Virtual Reality for e-Commerce
Attitudes towards Multinational Corporations
|Zhiwen Zheng||Dr Babita Bhatt|