Requirement for successful candidates for the PhD program is a Research Master’s (or qualified equivalent degree) in Speech and language pathology, Psycho-/ Neurolinguistics, Clinical Linguistics or other language-related fields with a very good grade (at least a B or the equivalent).

Further requirements for successful candidates include:

  • outstanding academic achievement
  • excellent oral and written English language skills
  • aptitude for original, independent and creative work
  • research experience
  • Master students can apply prior to the degree if they do a 2-years program and have been awarded at least 60 ECTS in the first year; in case of selection for the program the offer will be conditional not only
  • on completing the Masters but also on grades – both overall and (particularly) of the thesis.

There are a limited number of scholarships available to support IDEALAB students. Currently the majority of scholarships will have either Macquarie University or Potsdam University as a home university.


There is a single application and selection process for admission to the IDEALAB Program.

The partner universities offer jointly supervised research lines. It is highly recommended that candidates write a proposal that fits into one of these research lines (current projects) and to contact the potential supervisor prior to application.

It is also possible to suggest another project that centres around language and brain (neuroimaging or language impairment). In this case, it is mandatory to contact and get provisional agreement from a potential supervisor prior to application.

Please contact the IDEALAB Director at one of the full partners for further assistance of potential supervisors:

Potsdam University: Dr Barbara Höhle
Macquarie University: Dr Lyndsey Nickels
Groningen University: Dr Roelien Bastiaanse
Newcastle University: Dr David Howard

Next application period: 1.12.2019 – 31.01.2020

Application procedure
To apply for IDEALAB please follow the application procedure below which is via Macquarie University’s online application portal.
If you have any questions or problems regarding the application portal please email Lesley McKnight: or of you have general enquiries about the IDEALAB program then please email Anja Papke:

After you have completed your application, you will receive an email from Anja Papke: informing you whether your application has been progressed.

The first application round will be finished end of April and you will receive notification at this time.
Preselected candidates receive an invitation to a Skype-interview.

To submit application

1) Go to the online application form to register as an applicant.

2) **It is ESSENTIAL that you follow the additional notes below to ensure the application is filled out correctly for the IDEALAB scholarship.

3) Fill our the application form and upload the requisite documents; note you will only be able to submit the application if all mandatory fields and the required supporting documentation has been attached. If you don’t have it organised, save the application and come back to it later.  If you are unable to upload your documents to the required section please attempt to upload them to ‘Z29 Additional Documents supporting your Application (if applicable)’.

4) Click Submit; an acknowledgement of receipt will be sent to your email.

5) Email a copy of this receipt to and

6) Once submitted, track the progress of your application by logging into the application portal.

Supporting Documentation Required

For all previous academic qualifications, the following documents must be provided:

  • Academic Transcripts for all degrees completed or are currently enrolled in
  • Academic transcript key (include range of grades awarded)
  • Testamur (year completed)
  • If there was a thesis as part of your Undergraduate and Masters:

The abstract
You will also be asked for certain details of your thesis:
Word count
The % of your degree that the thesis was worth
The grade awarded
The duration in months of the thesis component of your degree

Required Documents

  • Passport copy (or Birth Certificate if no passport available)
  • Current Australian visa (if applicable, e.g., Permanent Residents or Humanitarian Visa holders)
  • English proficiency test result score card (if required)
  • Research proposal (8-10 pages)

Additional Documents

If any of these documents are not in English you must provide certified English translations.

*Additional notes to help with online application portal

1) Fill in all of your personal details on the first page to register, then continue to course selection.

Note: you can leave the Student-Agent Relationship blank.

2) To select the correct PhD program, Type in ‘PhD’ and then scroll down and select ‘Doctor of Philosophy in Cognitive Science’ and click ‘Apply’

3) Note: you do not need to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning, select ‘Skip this step’

4) Then fill in the application details. Please note below a few essential selections to ensure you apply for the correct programme:

a) ***Make sure you select ‘Yes’ for IDEALAB and upload your motivational letter as the supporting document***

b) Select ‘No’ for Cotutelle or Joint degree (as IDEALAB captures that)

c) Then select ‘Sydney’ as your location (even if you do not intend to be based there)

d) **Select ‘YES’ for scholarship

e) select ‘OTHER – Specify the name of the scholarship’

f) Then please type ‘IDEALAB Co-funded Scholarship’ in the free text box

g) Note: you do not need to submit academic referee reports here

h) Select ‘No’ to external funding (regardless of your situation)

*Note: If you have an English test which is more than 2 years old, then you do not need to sit another test at this point (please select ‘Yes’). However, you will be required to do so before you go to Australia to study

i ) Fill in the contact details of your two academic referees.
Note: ignore the message about report forms. As an IDEALAB applicant, please request that your two academic referees write a reference letter for you (in English) and send it directly to and

5) Ensure all of the necessary details are filled in and the required documents have been submitted.

6) Once you have clicked submit, you will receive a confirmation email. Please remember to send a copy of this email to Anja and Lesley ( and