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The Australian National University

PhD program

Prospective students

Current students

The School of Culture, History and Language (CHL) in College of Asia and the Pacific (CAP) is one of the largest concentrations of specialists on the Asia-Pacific region in the world. About 80 academics and 130 PhD candidates carry out research Japan, China, Indonesia, the Pacific Islands, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Timor Leste, Mongolia and Burma (Myanmar), drawing on a range of disciplines that include anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, history, political science, religious studies, cultural studies and literature. Research in CHL emphasises facility in languages of Asia and the Pacific.

Each PhD student works with a supervisory panel matched to the student's interests and needs, drawn from the academic staff of CHL; outside supervisors can be recruited if appropriate. CHL normally provides office space and computer facilities to full time students who are resident in Canberra, and offers the possibility of applying for a research grant of $7000 to assist in fieldwork expenses and professional development (including conference attendance).

In addition, CHL, CAP and ANU present a lively program of seminars and professional training sessions and courses suited to postgraduate students.

Admission to the PhD program is normally limited to those who have demonstrated the ability to conduct a sustained piece of research equivalent to an ANU Honours thesis (15,000-20,000) or larger.

If you are interested in undertaking a PhD in the School of Culture, History and Language, you should begin by contacting a potential supervisor to ascertain his/her interest in your work. Many of our academic staff have heavy supervision loads and not all requests can be accepted. In approaching a potential supervisor, you should normally outline the topic you propose to study and send an electronic sample of your writing. You should also outline your academic qualifications and your language training (if appropriate). You can also seek advice from CHL's PhD administrators, Ms Jo Bushby ( and Ms Penelope Judd (

At this stage, you need only obtain the agreement of a single supervisor who is willing to be your panel chair. Once you have such agreement, you can commence the official application process.

Updated:  20 February 2015/Responsible Officer:  Director, Culture, History & Language /Page Contact:  CHL webmaster