HDR Program

Higher Degree Research Program

This page sets out the opportunities for, and distinctive features of, research training in the ANU Centre for Social Research & Methods (CSRM)

Degree Programs

The ANU Centre for Social Research & Methods offers a higher degree research programs, the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). The PhD requires a minimum of three years of study and students are required to submit a thesis. For more detailed information about entry requirements for the PhD program, please refer to the College Higher Degree by Research (HDR) applications website.

Teaching Researchers

Our graduate training program enables students to undertake an in-depth research project at postgraduate level under the close supervision of academic staff. The ANU Centre for Social Research & Methods provides a supportive environment and programmes that encourages new modes of research while also supporting traditional scholarly methods of inquiry.

The key element of our graduate program is its intense focus on the unique research-led education culture at the ANU. Our guiding assumption is that the best way to produce academic researchers is to incorporate them into a culture of academic research. This research culture is made possible by two things in particular: the culture of interdisciplinary discussion and debate within the Centre, and the culture of the ANU, with its focus on research-led education. Some elements of our research culture include our weekly CSRM research seminars, a candidate seminar series where students can present their progress in a friendly and supportive environment, an annual PhD student retreat, and the presence of a large number of academics and campus visitors form a wide variety of disciplines and research interests.

The strong expectation of CSRM is that students will take an active role in this research culture, such as attend the weekly research seminars.umbent on applicants to identify and contact potential HDR supervisors. We encourage applicants to view the research profiles of the School’s faculty to identify supervisors who work in the area of the students’ interest. Visit this page to view all the members of faculty.
Once an applicant has identified a potential supervisor, the applicant should contact the supervisor via email, stating that they are interested in HDR studies, outlining their area of interest and proposed topic, and asking whether the faculty member is willing to supervise them. If an applicant is unsure about how to contact a potential supervisor they should contact the HDR Convenor via csrm.hdrconvener@anu.edu.au

Research Funding

HDR students are entitled to a fixed amount of funding to support their research. Funding may be used for fieldwork, to attend academic conferences and other presentations, or other research activities as approved. Applications for funding must express a clear statement of the purpose and a rationale for the funding. Applications should be developed in consultation with the principal supervisor and approved by the principal supervisor and the HDR Convenor.

HDR Progression

Upon matriculation into a PhD with the ANU Centre for Social Research & Methods students will be invited to the annual HDR Induction run by the college. The induction will welcome students to the College of Arts & Social Sciences and to the University, and familiarise students with their opportunities and responsibilities. The Induction usually occurs during March. CSRM runs a separate retreat and other social events within the Centre, to allow new students to meet the other students, faculty and support staff who comprise the centre community.

Once students commence their HDR program, the University requires the successful completion a series of progress milestones, which you can read about these in more depth here. The key program milestones are outlined below.


All HDR candidates in the ANU Centre for Social Research & Methods are required to undertake courses at the post graduate level. Successful completion of 48 unites is required for confirmation of candidature. Candidates in the Centre are required to enrol in the following courses:

Course 1: SOCR8201 Introduction to Social Science Methods and Types of Data (6 units)

Course 2: SOCR8082 Social Research Practice (6 units)

Course 3: SOCR9005 CSRM Thesis Design (12 units)


Two SOCR courses from the Master of Social Research list as agreed with the Chair/ Primary Supervisor (12 units)


The remaining 12 units must come from 8000/9000 level and be agreed by the Chair/Primary Supervisor.

More information on these courses can be found on Programs and Courses (or simply click on the links above) and on the CASS website.

The Thesis Proposal Review (TPR)

In accordance with university rules, students must complete a thesis proposal, to be reviewed and approved by their supervisory panel and presented to the Centre’s academic staff, before the end of the first year of full-time study. The TPR is a comprehensive review of a student’s plans for their dissertation and their ability to carry out this plan. The review indicates the subject of the proposed research, the methodology to be employed, an analysis of the relevant literature on this topic, a description of how the proposed research will make an original contribution to the field of study and where relevant, outline the fieldwork required or undertaken.

The chair of the committee will then write a report summarising the comments and making a recommendation on the progress of the student.

The Final Review

In the final year (typically 3 and 6 months before the planned thesis submission) students must present a final seminar on their research. Students present an overview of the research and discuss its significance and outcomes. The presentation includes the major objectives, content, results, and conclusions of the work, allowing the candidate to demonstrate their work has an appropriate research focus, argument, and depth and contribution of knowledge.

Office Space

Given our strong on-campus research culture the ANU Centre for Social Research & Methods provides shared office space for all HDR students to facilitate their presence on campus.

Applications and Funding

Further information can be found at:

For further information, please contact the HDR Convenor csrm.hdrconvener@anu.edu.au

Updated:  6 October 2021/Responsible Officer:  Centre Director/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications