5. Organise referee reports

We require at least one academic or professional referee report before we can assess your application. If you are applying for a competitive scholarship, it is strongly recommended that you obtain two referee reports to maximise your competitiveness.

Your referees must complete the referee report.  If you have additional written letters of reference you can submit these as supplementary documents in your application.  You will still need to arrange for at least one referee to complete a referee report.

The report must be sent by your referee to the University by email. Ideally these should be from an academic or business email address, but we will accept referee reports from generic email addresses (e.g. gmail, yahoo) where we can independently verify the email address, e.g. is it published on the University's website.

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)

Your proposed supervisor cannot be your referee unless they have directly supervised you whilst you conducted research. 

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 Academic Referee Report and email it directly to research.referees@unisa.edu.au
  • Ask your referees to advise you that this has been done
  • Ensure your referee(s) are aware of any relevant scholarship closing dates (31 August for main international scholarships, 31 October for main domestic scholarships)
  • 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
  • Email the report directly from their official employment email account to research.referees@unisa.edu.au 
  • Submit the referee report by the scholarship closing date that you have given them, or as soon as possible if you are not applying for a scholarship 

Step 6