Weeds are not generally thought of as helpful plants; most people could probably live quite contentedly without them but for Federation Fellow, Professor Steve Smith, a common weed, Arabidopsis thaliana, is helping to unlock the secrets of how plants use the energy they produce.
Knowing how plants use their CO2 could prove very useful to a world that is running out of fossil fuels.
UWA is a science-focused university. More than 50% of our undergraduates and over 40% of our postgraduate students study the sciences. Our research is rated above world class standard in 38 fields of research, and 79% of these are science fields. We are ranked 18th in the top 100 most international universities in the world (Times Higher Education).
From Astronomy to Zoology, UWA is a multidisciplinary melting pot of expertise and research capabilities.
The diverse nature of our faculty and the resource-rich natural environment here in Western Australia provide our students with unique opportunities for research.
From projects that are helping to feed the world, to preventing diseases and securing sustainable energy, our work is furthering human knowledge and enhancing society, as well as playing a key role in protecting our natural environment. Take a look at some of the projects that are making a difference to people’s lives around the world.
UWA is very much ‘in the zone’, meaning we’re ideally situated within the Asian time zone that’s home to 60% of the global population and many of the world’s emerging economic powerhouses. It’s a region that’s playing an increasingly influential role in international business, innovation and industry, and we’re at the heart of it. Find out more about why being ‘in the zone’ is so important
We are also located close to an international biodiversity hotspot in Australia’s South West – an area of 300,000 square kilometres, with 13,500 kilometres of coastline. In addition to 1,500+ plant species and a host of endemic mammals, we also have World Heritage-listed Shark Bay and Ningaloo Reef – one of the world’s largest fringing reefs – on our doorstep. Read more about our unique environment and some of the myriad research opportunities it presents.
As one of Australia's Group of Eight research-intensive universities, we have an exceptionally strong research culture that’s widely renowned. UWA was ranked as the top university in Australia for Life and Agricultural Sciences and second for Chemistry (according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities, 2012).
UWA is one of only two Australian universities to belong to the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) which is a partnership of 18 research-led universities from Europe, North America, South East Asia and Australia. This alliance fosters and encourages collaboration between members, bringing together the experience, equipment and expertise necessary to tackle the big issues currently facing societies, governments, corporations and education.
The Faculty of Science has more than 5000 students and more than 800 staff members, including ten Highly Cited Scientists, three Federation Fellows, six Premiers Fellows, four Australian Laureate Fellows and winners of numerous national and international prestigious science awards, such as WA Scientist of the Year 2012, Professor Peter Quinn, the world-renowned astrophysicist who played a key role in the success of the nation’s bid to host the world’s biggest radio astronomy project, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA); Professor Mark Spackman, winner of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2013 Gregori Aminoff Prize in Crystallography; and Assoc Professor Phil Vercoe and the Enrich Project team who won the 2013 Eureka Prize 'Caring for our Country Landcare Eureka Prize for Sustainable Agriculture'.
Each school and centre within the Faculty has a strong research focus, which informs and becomes a part of our teaching. Science research takes place within our nine schools:
Domestic students, for information on how to apply for a postgraduate research degree, visit the Future Students website.
International students, if you wish to apply for a postgraduate research degree in the Sciences, you will first need to find a supervisor. To assist you in finding a supervisor, we ask you to complete the online enquiry form. For general questions about undertaking a postgraduate research degree in the Sciences, contact HDR Enquiry.
Find out what our postgraduates are researching.