5. Organise referee reports

We require two academic or professional referee reports before we can assess your application.

You will need to contact two academic referees and ask them to submit one referee report each in support of your application to undertake a research degree.

These are specific forms that must be completed. Your nominated referees can download a copy of the Academic Referee Report (RTF file, 532kb) form.

Who can I ask to be a referee?

Your referees should be academic university staff members or professional staff that know you well enough to support your research degree application and may be any of the following:

  • A former lecturer
  • Course Coordinator/Program Director
  • Head of School/Department
  • Honours Supervisor
  • Masters (Coursework) Supervisor
  • Research Degree Supervisor
  • Examiner of your thesis
  • Employer (please note that your employer must be able to provide details about your research capabilities)

What are my responsibilities?

  • In your online application, you will need to provide details of your two nominated referees
  • Ask your academic referees to complete the official University of South Australia’s Academic Referee Report (RTF file, 532kb) form and instruct them to submit it directly to the Graduate Research Admissions Team at research.referees@unisa.edu.au
  • Ask your referees to advise you that this has been done
  • The referee reports are confidential so you will not be able to view the content or see them attached to your application.

What are the referees' responsibilities?

Referees must:

  • Complete all sections of the report
  • Be able to attest to your research capabilities and your academic performance
  • Forward the report to research.referees@unisa.edu.au as soon as possible but at the latest, one week after you have submitted your online application  (if this is not done it may disadvantage you)
  • Email the Academic Referee Report  directly from their official employment email account
  • Officially sign and stamp the report


  • We cannot accept referee reports from generic unofficial email addresses (such as Yahoo, Gmail etc.), unless the report includes an official university stamp/seal
  • We cannot accept reference letters as the information requested in the Referee Reports is used for assessment purposes
  • We cannot accept reports sent to us from applicants 

Step 6

Areas of study and research

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