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Summer Vacation Studentships

Cancer Council is the largest not-for-profit funder of cancer research in Victoria.
We are offering studentships to undergraduate biomedical, medical and basic science students to work on Victorian cancer research projects during the summer period to stimulate interest in cancer research in Victoria. 

2023 Key Dates

Applications: Closed
Applicants notified: Late October - Early November 2023 

2023 Available funding

Approximately 10 studentships are available. No more than two studentships will be funded in any one laboratory or unit.

Max. $3,000 per studentship ($500/week) across max. 30 working days (6 weeks).

A class ruling has been obtained in relation to the income tax status of the Studentships. Provided various conditions are met, our studentships are exempt from income tax. The Australian Taxation Office class ruling is No. CR 2002/4 effective from 1 December 2001. It is available in full on the Australian Taxation Office website.


Undergraduate biomedical, basic science and medical students enrolled at any Victorian university who have not yet completed their final year are eligible to apply.

International students may apply, but must have a student visa that allows limited work to be undertaken. 

Students are not eligible after completing their final year, except for 3rd year science students who are proceeding to the fourth year of an honours degree.

Applicants cannot apply for a student placement in a laboratory or unit where they have previously held a studentship.

Applicants may submit one application for consideration per round (year).

Selection criteria

  1. Quality of the research project - The project is related to cancer research and there is scope for a student to support the project.
  2. Research career development -  The potential to support the student’s interest in cancer research
  3. Student's academic achievements -  The student’s potential to work in cancer research, as demonstrated by strong academic achievements

Application process

Step 1: Find a research project

Students must first find a placement and then apply for a Cancer Council Victoria Summer Vacation Studentship. Placements need to be part of a cancer research project being conducted at a Victorian university, clinical or other research institution. The research program does not have to be funded by Cancer Council Victoria. 

Your university department or faculty office, or the Office for Research, may have suggestions of organisations where cancer research is currently being carried out.

Step 2: Contact a researcher

Once you find a research project you are interested in, you need to contact the cancer researcher and ask if they have a project available for you to work on that they would be willing to supervise.

The application form provides for both a description of the work to be done and a written acceptance by the supervisor. Before completing the description of the work proposed to be undertaken, you should consult with the person who will supervise the work to ensure you have a good understanding of the project.

Step 3. Complete an application form

Simply fill in the application form and forward to the person who has agreed to supervise you for this project, as well as the Research Administration Officer for their signed approval.
If electronic signatures are not available, print the completed application form and get physical signatures, then scan the document for submission.
You will also be required to include a copy of the official statement of your full university results. If you have not yet received this semester/year’s results, please provide your most recent ones.
Once the application form is completed and signed by all parties please submit your application, with a copy of your full university results to:

Format:       A PDF document, named in the following format:

                       E.g., SVS2023_Smith-J_App.pdf


Important documents

Funding agreement

Successful applicants

Applicants will be notified by email in either late October or early November of the success of their application.
Successful applicants and their administering institutions, are required to enter into a non-negotiable funding agreement.
Successful applicants are required to write a short report after their placement covering the work carried out and the experience gained from the studentship.

Frequently asked questions and answers

Does the research project I select need to be funded by Cancer Council Victoria? 
No, the project can be from any Victorian University, clinical or other research institution. 

I am currently completing my honours year (2023) and will be going on to do a PhD in 2024. Am I eligible to apply for this year's round?
No, you are not eligible. Students must must be undergraduate biomedical, basic science and medical students enrolled at any Victorian university who have not yet completed their final year are eligible to apply. 

Further information

If you have any questions about this funding, please contact:   

Research Governance Unit