As the highest academic award in medicine, the Doctor of Medicine (Research) is designed to give formal, public recognition to scholars who have made substantial, original and outstanding contributions to medical science as evidenced by their published works.

The Doctor of Medicine (Research) is a higher doctorate gained by the compilation of published work on a coherent theme and is judged by national and international peers. It must demonstrate the candidate's authoritative standing in the field and achievements in the advancement of knowledge.

To ensure consistency of higher doctorate programs between disciplines across The University of Queensland, key overarching administrative principles and procedures are centrally governed within the Higher Doctorates Policy and Procedure. In accordance with this policy, key defining principles of higher doctors are:

  1. A higher doctorate is the highest academic award granted by the University. It is delivered as a level 10 doctoral degree qualification, in accordance with the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).
  2. Higher doctorates recognise excellence and give formal public recognition to scholars who have made a substantial, original, distinguished and internationally recognised contribution to knowledge and understanding in their field of expertise.
  3. Candidates for a higher doctorate are assessed on the basis of already completed research, rather than through the process of supervised independent study. Applicants have typically reached a peak in their professional careers, and enrol in a higher doctorate program to explore a theoretical framework and present a synthesis of their published research.

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