Wednesday, July 3, 2013

How to gain entry into Walter and Eliza Hall Institute as Honours student?

It's approaching the second semester of study for you, readers based in Melbourne and other Australian cities. Some of you may be at your final year of study, approaching graduation after years of working hard for a tertiary experience. If you are in your final year, moreover in your final semester, I ask you to read on for a future important to you.

What happens after a Bachelor's degree? Should I be looking for a job? Or should I continue to pursue Honours?

Why Honours? There are many reasons to continue for an Honours degree, but I sum it up to a few words: it boosts your credentials tremendously, making you much more worthy. Having graduated with an Honours myself, it gave me a big boost to my confidence. It's an opportunity to put knowledge into practice.

Despite majoring in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, I have chosen to pursue my Honours course at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. With a little exploration, I have found a place that is much more worthier, the pride of the Australians; as a foreigner I was just getting to know its significance.

I almost forgot to tell you - Walter & Eliza Hall Institute is synonymous with Department of Medical Biology of Melb Uni.

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute is located a street away from The University of Melbourne, on the grounds of Royal Melbourne Hospital, next to a high school.

It is home to many far reaching discoveries in medical science, including but not limited to Bcl-2 in cell death and colony stimulating factors in blood cell production. Colony stimulating factors, discovered by Don Metcalf, allowed chemotherapy to be carried out at stronger doses, saving many lives of cancer patients. Notably, Sir Macfarlane Burnet from the institute got himself a Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1960 for the discovery of immunological tolerance.

Why do Honours at the Institute instead of other departments at the University? Imma' tell you some secrets.

First, you are automatically awarded a 5000 AUD scholarship once you're accepted. Secondly, the Institute provides manpower dedicated to take care of glass- and plasticware wash ups, so you can focus more on experimental work that matters. That makes your lab life easier :)

How to apply to Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Honours?
  1. Most importantly, decide if you can secure sufficient grades in relevant majors. It's possible to enter with a major in life sciences, mathematics or chemistry, depending on the requirement of the research project. This Institute asks for 80% average for aspiring students, compared to 65% for a typical Honours course.
  2. Look through research interests of professors on the Institute website. Contact the professor, discuss the project and reach an agreement with them. When you have reached an agreement, you have secured supervisor acceptance. Get that sorted out before your final year ends!
  3. Follow a two-phase application process: applying to the institute and applying to the University of Melbourne. Instructions can be found here.
  4. Wait for the offer letter from University of Melbourne. Accept the offer for a project and you're admitted!
Want to study with world class scientists in the prestigious Walter and Eliza Hall Institute? Head over to to start!

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