Familiarisation Program

Student at dinner
The Familiarisation Dinner: an opportunity for prospective candidates to meet professional, academic and research leaders.

Familiarisation Program

Undertaking a PhD is an opportunity to develop expertise in a specific area of research, and contribute to an evidence base for influencing policy and practice.

This year’s Familiarisation Program is specifically tailored to Indigenous doctors, students and other allied health professionals who are considering a PhD.

Over three days, the program includes workshops and networking opportunities that will enable you to:

  • connect with some of Australia’s prominent Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers
  • participate in specialised learning focusing on PhD applications, grant writing, and research skills engage with leading research institutes about possible partnership projects
  • develop your research proposal ideas with other Indigenous PhD students; and
  • learn more about the support available at the University of Melbourne for Indigenous PhD students.

This fully-funded program runs from 31 July until 2 August 2017 and will be held at the University of Melbourne’s Parkville campus. Expressions of interest from health practitioners across Australia are encouraged.

To express interest in the program or for more information, please contact Warwick Padgham, Senior Project Officer, on (03) 8344 0828 or email padghamw@unimelb.edu.au.

Meeting the other delegates gave me a sense of purpose, belonging, community, and hope. Student participant
Famil group photo
The attendees of the 2015 Familiarisation Program Dinner.


The Familiarisation Program used engaging and interactive workshops to stimulate thinking and discussion around each of the participants’ interest in a research higher degree. Workshops were able to present a broad range of information for participants, whilst still being able to focus specifically on each individual’s topic.

Workshops included:

  • What’s your research idea? (Exploration of each participant’s individual research)
  • Not for the money – what are you doing a PhD for? (What are the motivations and goals for undertaking a PhD, and how it can assist in building a career)
  • What’s standing in your way? (Barriers, distractions and challenges of undertaking a PhD)
  • The University of Melbourne’s PhD+ Program (Extra elements to a PhD program that will support Indigenous PhD students through to graduation)
  • Enrolment and admissions (Administrative guidance as to the enrolment process)
  • Why do I need a supervisor? A guiding light, a partner, a mentor or something else? (The role of a PhD supervisor, what traits exist in a good one)
  • Getting started: Comprehensive library research (Structuring successful research strategies)
  • Moving from the political to a PhD (Narrowing a research agenda into an achievable PhD topic)

Reports from previous years:

2016 report

2015 report