Indigenous students in Science

We are actively working to increase the pool of talented young Indigenous Australians capable of becoming future leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

We are committed to providing a supportive, inclusive environment for Indigenous students to explore and pursue their science interests, from Year 9 all the way to postgraduate study. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students come from all over Australia to study with us, and several hundred Indigenous students are part of our friendly community on campus.

Residential Indigenous Science Experience (RISE)

To foster enthusiasm about science, we offer the Residential Indigenous Science Experience (RISE) – a free week-long camp for Indigenous Year 9 and 10 students who are excited about science, technology, engineering, and maths. We welcome applications from students from anywhere in Australia.

Find out more about RISE

Three RISE attendees, in white lab coats, putting samples into a beaker

Undergraduate study

A Bachelor of Science is the first step towards a dream career in science, health, engineering and technology. For Indigenous students, we have a special entry scheme called Access Melbourne as well as a range of scholarships available. Scholarships include the Indigenous Students in Science Research Scholarship, new in 2022.

We also offer the Bachelor of Science (Extended) – a 4-year course designed for talented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who may not meet the regular Bachelor of Science entry requirements.

As a Bachelor of Science (Extended) student, you’ll have access to the full range of subject choices and opportunities within the Bachelor of Science, plus Indigenous studies subjects and built-in support.

Graduate study

Graduate Access Melbourne, our special entry scheme, is available across all graduate coursework programs offered by the Faculty of Science. We also have range of scholarships available.

For graduate research students, we offer a guaranteed annual stipend as the base level of support available. We can work with you to explore other scholarships or work opportunities. To help you succeed, we will ensure you have a tailored support package to suit your needs.

Kinji May Munkara-Murray

Meet a student: Kinjia May Munkarra-Murray

Tiwi and Rembarrnga woman Kinjia May Munkarra-Murray was hesitant to go into the Bachelor of Science as she felt that there was a still a stigma around being an Indigenous person and a woman in STEM. However, the hesitation didn’t last long.

I’d always loved science, and once I changed over to the BSc, I just thrived. I well and truly blossomed into the academic, science world.

Earlier this year Kinjia was awarded the Agilent Indigenous Leadership Award. The award recognises demonstrated leadership in STEM focussed initiatives by Indigenous students.

“This award prompted a lot of self-reflection for me,” Kinjia says. “It made me realise how much I had achieved over the last few years. Being selected for it validated those feelings, it made me realise that yes I have been contributing to the community and it’s a public acknowledgement of those contributions.”

Our partners

Murrup Barak: tailored support throughout your student journey

Apart from assistance from the Faculty of Science, you’ll also receive support from the team at Murrup Barak, the Melbourne Institute for Indigenous Development.

Murrup Barak Indigenous Student Outreach Officers can help you plan your study and provide advice about pathways, applying, enrolling and starting at the University of Melbourne.

Once you’re here, the Murrup Barak Student Success Team can help you settle into life at uni with dedicated facilities, events, advice and more. The team has dedicated Indigenous Student Success Officers who can offer advice and support on a wide range of academic, cultural and personal matters.

Agilent Technologies: nurturing future Indigenous leaders

The science and healthcare company Agilent Technologies has been pivotal in supporting many of the opportunities we offer to Indigenous students.

Philip Binns from Agilent Technologies said his company felt honoured to partner with the University of Melbourne to increase the pool of talented young Indigenous Australians capable of becoming future leaders in science, technology, engineering and maths.

As a global scientific leader with a significant Australian based R&D capability, we look forward to providing both funding and the opportunity for career mentoring and experience to STEM graduates.

More information