Many institutions around the world accept UNSW students for short-term research projects
UNSW students may be able to undertake components of their honours or postgraduate research abroad while still enrolled at UNSW.
By obtaining research experience or professional practice at an overseas university, UNSW students are able to complement their studies while studies while gaining invaluable life experiences. Our students collaborate with innovators from world-class institutions, making important industry contacts while engaging in cutting edge research.
How does it work?
With approval of your supervisor and faculty, research may be able to be undertaken at a recognised higher education institution for a maximum of 12 months, though most students will go for 3-6 months. This research can then be bought back to contribute to your research work at UNSW.
During this time you:
- Remain enrolled at UNSW
- Have an academic supervisor at the host institution
- May obtain access to the library, student services, campus amenities and recreational facilities during your stay
- May be eligible to apply for a student visa from the destination country.
How to apply
Choosing the right destination is an important decision. We recommend that you follow the following steps to organise your overseas experience:
1) Consider your motivation
Consider why you are interested in undertaking research overseas? Do you wish to:
- Gain international industry experience
- Enhance your area of research
- Go to a specific country or region
- Go to a specific institution
2) Find out about your options
Each term the Study Abroad and Exchange Office hold information sessions about international experiences including exchange, research, short courses, internships etc. that are available to UNSW students. These sessions provide general information on studying overseas and how to begin researching universities. This is your opportunity to ask questions and gather information.
Once you've attended an information session, begin researching foreign universities and you can also discuss your plans with our Learning Abroad Advisors.
3) Discuss your proposal with your UNSW supervisor or faculty
You should discuss your proposed research options with your UNSW Supervisor, UNSW Program Coordinator or Faculty and gain their approval.
UNSW staff have connections and world-wide experience thus may be able to assist with formulating a plan.
Postgraduate research students should seek approval from the UNSW Graduate Research School through a "Variations to Candidature". See: Working Away from the University
4) Find a supervisor
Research potential supervisors at foreign universities and ask if they are willing to host you. When looking for a supervisor, it's important to align the area you wish to research with that of the proposed supervisor. Supervisors are often found through UNSW staff connections with our partner institutions. We would recommend that students speak with their UNSW supervisor or school staff for recommendations.
If there's no existing research connection, we recommend researching authors of journal articles related to your research area or searching the staff and research web pages of institutions you are interested in.
Once you have identified a potential supervisor you should email them to introduce yourself and area of research interest.
We have an email template that students are welcome to use - contact [email protected] for a copy.
5) Prepare and lodge your application
Once you have found a supervisor who has agreed to take you on you should investigate the application process at the host institution. If required complete any application from the host institution according to their deadlines. Please note that the application process and deadlines will vary according to the institution.
As a general rule organise the research placement at least 6 months before your proposed start date.
6) Notification of acceptance
The decision on your acceptance is at the discretion of the overseas institution. If accepted the institution will send you notification of your application information on your enrolment, associated fees and visa requirements.
When you have been accepted, email UNSW at [email protected] with details of your overseas research experience, including the foreign university, topic of research and duration of overseas research experience.
You will then be provided with the necessary pre-departure and insurance materials.
Once you have been accepted to an overseas institution, you should complete our online Pre-Departure Tutorial.
This tutorial covers useful information on preparing for your overseas study, including:
- Travel registration
- Passport and visas
- Credit transfer
- Health checks
- Safety and security and
- Settling in.