Higher Research Degrees at RSA

The ANU Research School of Accounting (RSA) offers suitably qualified candidates the opportunity to undertake a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Accounting within RSA's vibrant research community.

The Higher Research Degree (HDR) programs draw upon the supervision expertise of researchers that are located within the Research School of Accounting, and HDR candidates become active participants in the various research activities in the school.

Full-time study for the PhD program normally requires three to four years to completion; MPhil study one to two years. Please visit the College Graduate Research webpage and CBE Research Services Office webpage for more information.

Information on the HDR programs offered within RSA,  current and past student profiles, and information on support and resources available to HDR students, can be found in the selected tabs below.

Current HDR Students now manage their program online via the ANU Manage My Degree (MMD) system. To access the MMD system, log into your account via the ANU student portal ISIS.

For further advice on assistance regarding your candidature, consult the CBE HDR web pages or contact the CBE HDR Officer.


phd programs

PhD Program in Accounting

This link will take you to the CBE Graduate Research webpage.




mphil programs

MPhil Program in Accounting

Please note: RSA will not accept MPhil Applications for 2020

This link will take you to the CBE Graduate Research webpage.



All applications need to be submitted via ANU Apply Online in order to be assessed.

Before you apply, please ensure that you meet the admission requirements and have followed the guidelines below.

Academic Requirements

  • a degree of bachelor with first class honours or upper second class honours in accounting (or a closely related discipline) from an Australian university; or
  • another qualification (for example, a Masters degree or equivalent postgraduate qualification which included a research component/thesis) that the Delegated Authority is satisfied is equivalent or superior to a degree mentioned in point (a); or
  • a combination of qualifications and professional experience that the Delegated Authority is satisfied is equivalent or superior to a degree mentioned in point (a).

Potential Supervisor

Before you apply, you should identify suitable supervisor(s) that conduct research in your research topic. Information on researchers and their research areas can be found on the ANU Researchers DatabaseRSA People or the RSA Research page.

Note that even though other ANU webpages may recommend that you contact potential supervisors before submitting your application, contacting the researchers directly is not required or encouraged for applications with RSA – you only need to list the name(s) of potential supervisors in your online application form.

Supporting Documentation

To complete your application for assessment, the following supporting documents are required and will need to be uploaded during your online application process or submitted shortly after your online application.

  • Your Research Proposal (see guidelines on how to prepare a competitive research proposal)
  • Example(s) of your written work; e.g. thesis abstract and chapter, research project, or published work
  • Transcripts from all your university degrees (colour scans - please include grade explanation)
  • Completion or graduate certificates from all your university degrees (colour scans)
  • A one-page personal statement/statement of purpose
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS results to demonstrate that you meet the ANU English Language Requirements for Admission
  • Current Resume – please list your research experience and if you have previously been awarded a scholarship
  • Three referee reports - the referee report form will automatically be sent to the referees you listed in your online application

Application Deadlines

Domestic applicants need to submit their application before 31 October.

International applicants who wish to be considered for an ANU Scholarship for the following year, need to submit their application before 31 August.

In order for an application to be considered, all supporting documents, as listed above, should be received by the ANU before the respective application deadlines.

If you are currently completing an honours or masters degree, and final transcripts and results are not available before the application submission deadline, you should submit all available documents prior to the deadline, and you will be asked to submit the remaining results before a final decision on admission is made.

Support for RSA HDR Students

All our HDR students are encouraged to become active members of the RSA community and our academic and professional staff are dedicated to supporting and assisting HDR students on their journey - from commencement of their candidature through to their graduation day.

The College of Business and Economics HDR Administration provides support and advice on program management and organises annual HDR retreats and activities that are attended by HDR students, convenors and supervisors, as well as CBE HDR administration staff.

Further information on HDR student support can also found on the CBE Research Services Office webpage.


RSA HDR students are typically allocated to an office that they share with one other candidate - single rooms may be offered (when/if available) during the final 6 months of their candidature to assist with the completion of their thesis writing.

HDR Students are given access to an individual desktop computer and an individual phone/number, as well as having access to RSA resources, such as the RSA kitchen, the CBE tea room, photocopiers, colour printers, fax facility and stationery.

Available Funds and Income

During their HDR program, RSA candidates are provided with funding of $5,500 for the duration of their candidature that can be used to attend and present their research at national and international conferences, for data purchases, for attendance at short courses and workshops, for book purchases, and for related research expenditure as well as thesis binding.

Limited amounts of funds are also made available for journal submission fees and thesis editing costs. For information on available funding go to CBE Research Services Office webpage.

Candidates may also have the opportunity to supplement their income through casual employment as tutors (i.e., teaching assistants) in RSA or in other research schools within the CBE. Our HDR students are invited each semester to express their interest in casual tutoring (with the approval of the supervisor).

At times, RSA academics may be looking for research assistants (RAs) and may approach HDR students for paid research assistance work ranging from a few hours to longer term RA work.

Research Resources

HDR candidates have the opportunity to improve their knowledge and extend their network by attending and participating in the weekly RSA Seminar Series where national and international academics are invited to present their latest research. Seminar presenters are invited to participate in a special held lunch with our HDR students.

Candidates also have access to a large number of financial databases for empirical work.


All HDR students accepted to a program are considered for a limited number of scholarships available to outstanding students. Exceptional candidates are able to apply for scholarships that provide financial support for fees and living costs. 

This information is taken from the CBE Graduate Research Scholarship site:

HDR Fee Remission Merit Scholarships. CBE is offering scholarships to cover tuition fees for the duration of the PhD program for all new international PhD students commencing in 2020 who are Honours 1 or equivalent.

Australian Government Research Training Program (AGRTP) International Fee Offset Scholarship. This pays for the full tuition fees for up to 3 years with the potential for two 6 month extensions for a PhD program. The scholarship also provides program length overseas student health cover for the student and their immediate family. The application deadline is 31 August each year. These scholarships are highly competitive. 

ANU-CSC Scholarship  This scholarship is for China residents only. These scholarships cover the full tuition fee costs for up to four years of study for a PhD program. Recipients will also receive a living allowance paid fortnightly. Candidates are strongly encouraged to read the specific conditions that apply to this scholarship on the CSC website prior to application and to contact the CSC Scholarship Liaison Officer at their home university for clarification if required.

Taiwan Australian National University Scholarship These scholarships are for Taiwan residents only. The scholarship program commenced in 2013 and provides tuition fees and stipends for up to 25 Taiwanese students to undertake PhD studies at ANU over the course of the five year agreement. The scholarships will be jointly funded by ANU and MOE.

Australian Government Research Training Program (AGRTP) Stipend Scholarship  scholarships provides a stipend for living expenses ($28,092 p.a. in 2020 and other benefits).

CBE PhD top up scholarships. Starting in 2020, AGRTP scholarship top-ups of A$15,000 per annum will be awarded to the top ranked PhD applicant in each of the four Research Schools in CBE. In order to qualify for these top-ups, applicants must secure an AGRTP scholarship. These top-ups will be paid in addition to the AGRTP stipend, and have a duration of three years, with a possible six month extension.

HDR related ANU policies can be found in the ANU Policy Library.

Info for Current Students

Our HDR students come from broad and varying backgrounds which contributes to the research school's vibrant culture and community.

Information on our current HDR students can be found by accessing the link of the individual student.

Yue Cai

Thesis Topic: Subordinate relative compensation and managerial risk taking

Supervisory Chair: Assoc Prof Mark Wilson

Achmad Fauzi

Thesis Topic: Individual and Instiutional Influences on Managers' Use of Accrual Accounting for Decision Making in Indonesian Public Sector

Supervisory Chair: Assoc Prof Janet Lee

Ziqi Julian Gao

Thesis Topic: The Impact of Lenders' Reputation Loss on Corporate Disclosure

Supervisory Chair: Assoc Prof Louise Lu

Rui Summer Huang

Thesis Topic: The Impact of Sustainable Buildings on Management Forecasts

Supervisory Chair: Assoc Prof Louise Lu

Guqiang Luo

Thesis Topic: The role of news media in the Chinese capital market

Supervisory Chair: Dr Tracy Wang

Yoon-jing Park

Thesis Topic: Risk culture and the Use of Risk Management in the Australian Public Sector

Supervisory Chair: Assoc Prof Janet Lee

Aditi Shams

Thesis Topic: The impact of institutions on the regulation of corporate governance

Supervisory Chair: Prof Greg Shailer

Jia Wei

Thesis Topic: The Economic Consequences of the New Lease Accounting Standard

Supervisory Chair: Assoc Prof Mark Wilson

Huan Noleen Yin

Thesis Topic: Application of Benford's Law to Financial Statements

Supervisory Chair: Prof Neil Fargher

Fangshu Skye Zhu

Thesis Topic: Audit Work by Overseas Geographically Distributed Auditors

Supervisory Chair: Prof Neil Fargher

Leofo Romalani

Thesis Topic: TBA

Supervisiory Chair: Prof Greg Shailer

Li Kenuo

Thesis Topic: TBA

Supervisiory Chair: Assoc Prof Louise Lu

Dai Jiaxi

Thesis Topic: TBA

Supervisiory Chair: Dr Hai Wu

Ping Helen Yuan

Thesis Topic: TBA

Supervisiory Chair: Dr Hai Wu

Wang Yi

Thesis Topic: TBA

Supervisiory Chair: Assoc Prof Louise Lu

Wang Chen

Thesis Topic: The impact of information consistency on employee performance: evidence from internal awards and relative performance information

Supervisiory Chair: Dr Hai Wu

Wang Steven Weixiao

Thesis Topic: TBA

Supervisiory Chair: Dr Lijuan Zhang

Zhang Zoe Yangfan

Thesis Topic: TBA

Supervisiory Chair: Prof Greg Shailer

Past PhD Students and their Theses


Thesis Topic

Ao Li The influence of security risks on disclosures and corporate investment behaviour
Fanyuan Zhang (Penny) Audit transparency and auditor's reporting behaviour


Thesis Topic

Estelle Li

A comprehensive study of corporate tax strategies in the Australian dividend imputation system  
Mizhi Wu (Cathy)  M&As and Analyst Report Accuracy
Tej Kala The relationship between managerial traits and management guidance and analyst response to management guidance
Analdo Purba Base Erosion and Profit Shifting in Indonesia
Sarini Azizan  Does Corporate Citizenship Influence Financial Reporting Creditability?
Yen-yung Tseng (Katie) Analyst Investment Banking Incentives: The Impact of Regulation and Investor Behaviour and Deal Flow


Thesis Topic

Zichao Alex Wang Risks and Management Control Systems in Inter-firm Alliances
Mayada Hansnata

The impact of digital innovation on the social structure of professional public accounting practice in Australia

Soon Yeow Phang The effects of audit inspections on auditors' judment decision making
Xinning Xiao What Factors Affect Credibility Perceptions of Sustainability Reporting?


Thesis Topic

Amir Riaz Designing Websites to Elicit Emotions and Enhance Comprehension of Web-Based Information
Shue Wen Wendy Cai  Incremental Information Content of Firm-Level and Segment-Level Water Information for Investors' Judgments of Future Earnings
Ruidan Victoria Wang  A New Generation System for Scientific Knowledge Discovery
Andriati Fitriningrum  Are State-Owned Enterprises Successful Vehicles for Attaining their Government Objectives?:  A Study of the Implications of Government Policies and Objectives for State-Owned Enterprises in Indonesia
Brad McCusker The CAT7 Application: An Extended Enterprise Architecture Framework for Managing Complexity in the Public Sector by Optimising the Enterprise's Architecture
Kyusik Maverick Kim  The Quest for Factors Influencing Worker Productivity in Videoconferencing Meetings: A Case Study of a Professional Services Firm


Thesis Topic

Daesun Paul Ahn Construction and Representation of Public Sector Accounting:  A Case Study of Implementation of Accrual Accounting in the South Korean Public Sector
Sunil Jayathunga Dahayanake The Enactment of Auditability:  Developing Value for Money (VFM) Audit Practice in the State of Victoria
Lijuan Lily Zhang Accruals Quality, Stock Returns Seasonality and the Cost of Equity Capital
Nacanieli Rika Reputational Risk and Environmental Performance Auditing in the Public Sector: Framing and Overflows in the Audit Process
Zhe Isabel Wang The Impact of Tone at the Top and Control Mechanisms on the Objectivity of Internal Auditor Judgment
Seng Thiam Teh The Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on the Comparative Value Relevance of GAAP Versus Non-GAAP Earnings
Yilin Gladys Lee The Use of Whistle-Blowing to Detect Fraud
Yi Ava Wu Audit Firm Industry Specialisation and Analyst Forecast Accuracy
Abel Da Silva Cultivating Sustainable Information Systems Projects in Public Sector Institutions in Least Developed Countries
Jungchen Ben Hu The Impact of Regulations on Earnings Management via Related Party Sales in China
Shrutika Chugh Regulation, Accounting Policy and Governance:  Examination of the Choice of International Stock Exchanges for Foreign Firms

Analyst Investment Banking Incentives:

The Impact of Regulation on Analyst and Investor Behaviour and Deal Flow

Job Placements of previous RSA HDR graduates

The majority of our Higher Research Degree Graduates generally continue their career in academia. A smaller proportion pursues a career in the industry or government. Our Accounting HDR graduates can be found lecturing in universities all over the globe.

Here are some of our previous HDR graduates, their initial placements, and links to their current profiles.


Ao Li

Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB), Melbourne, Australia

Fanyuan Zhang (Penny)

Associate Lecturer at ANU Research School of Accounting, Canberra, Australia


Estelle Li

Australian Tax Office, Brisbane, Australia

Minzhi Wu (Cathy)

Lecturer at University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia

Tej Kala

Lecturer at ANU Research School of Accounting, Canberra, Australia

Analdo Purba

Directorate of International Taxation, Directorate General of Tax, Indonesian Ministry of Finance, Jakarta Indonesia

Sarini Azizan

Lecturer at Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia

Yen-Yung Tseng (Katie)

Lecturer at Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand


Soon Yeow Phang

Lecturer at Monash University Business School, Melbourne, Australia

Xinning Xiao

Lecturer at Monash University Business School, Melbourne, Australia

Zichao Alex Wang

Lecturer at ANU Research School of Accounting, Canberra, Australia

Folototo Seve 

Faculty of Business and Entrepreneurship, National University of Samoa, Samoa. Seve Folototo is currently the Dean, at the Faculty Business and Entrepreneurship, National University of Samoa.


Shue Wen Wendy Cai

Casual Lecturer at Deakin University Business School, Burwood, Australia

Andriati Fitriningrum

Lecturer at Sampoerna University, Jakarta, Indonesia


Daesun Paul Ahn

Lecturer at University of New South Wales Business School, Sydney, Australia - Dr Ahn is now based in the Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow, Scotland

Sunil Jayathunga Dahayanake

Lecturer in the Craig School of Business, Missouri Western State University, USA

Lijuan Lily Zhang

Lecturer at ANU Research School of Accounting, Canberra, Australia

Zhe Isabel Wang

Senior Lecturer at University of Western Australia Business School, Perth, Australia - Dr Wang is now based at the Research School of Accounting, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.

Nacanieli Rika

Lecturer at University of South Pacific School of Accounting & Finance, Fiji

Yilin Gladys Lee

Senior Lecturer at University of Melbourne Business School, Australia

Jungchen Ben Hu

Lecturer at Bond University Business School, Brisbane, Australia

Ava Wu

Lecturer at University of Sydney Business School, Australia


Yi Louise Yu

Senior Lecturer at ANU Research School of Accounting, Canberra, Australia

Ziyang John Zhang

Lecturer at University of Edinburgh, Scotland - Dr Zhang is now based at the University of Liverpool, England.

Peni Fukofuka

General Manager & Finance Manager, HomeGas Ltd, Tonga - Dr Fukofuka is now at Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand