Every year, dozens of PhD students and postdocs visit the QBI, staying anywhere from a few days to a few years. This page outlines some useful information on moving to Brisbane.

Preparing to move

Once you have a group leader who has either offered to host your visit, supervise your project or provide you with employment, you will need to make some preparations for moving to Brisbane. Group leaders are very busy, and can be frequently away. It is a good idea to email them a few weeks before your arrival to confirm your arrival date and ask them to delegate someone in their group to help you out when you first arrive. Get your helper's contact details and cc them in on any correspondence to your group leader.

You should allow at least three months to get your paperwork in order if you are moving from overseas. To get into Australia you will need:

  • Passport - make sure it's current and keep it with you when you are in Australia. At first, this will be your only acceptable form of ID.
  • Electronic Australian Visa - there are several different types of visas for different situations. The Australian government has created a wizard to help you determine which visa would be most appropriate for you. Processing times range from a few days to a few months, so once you have decided which visa is best, leave yourself plenty of time to apply for it. NOTE: Most of these visas are electronic, which means they will be electronically connected to your passport. Upon arrival, immigration will see this on their computers, and stamp your passport. But you should always print out a copy of your visa receipt just in case.
  • Offer of appointment at QBI - If you are from overseas and are moving to Australia to work you should keep this form with your passport. If you are just visiting, print out copies of correspondence with your group leader and/or official receipts for conferences you might be attending.
  • Contact information - on arrival, immigration needs to know a contact phone number for you and your address, so make sure you book somewhere to stay, at least for a few nights, in advance.


The University of Queensland (postcode: 4072) is surrounded on three sides by the Brisbane River, and on one side by the suburb of St Lucia (postcode: 4067). It is about four kilometres from the Brisbane CBD, and about 40 minutes drive from the airport, depending on traffic. The QBI is adjacent to the main bus terminal at the St Lucia campus. Click here for a link to a map of the QBI at the St Lucia campus of UQ or here for a Google map of QBI's location.

Information about Brisbane

Getting Around

There are several public transport options for Brisbane in general and the UQ campus specifically.

UQ's Transport and Parking guide has details on public transport and parking options at the university. The QBI has a lockable bike shed, so cycling to the Institute is also an option.

To get to other destinations in Brisbane apart from UQ, there are several options:

Public Transport: Buses, ferries and trains service Brisbane. To find out how to get from one place to another, visit the Translink website. This site has a journey finder where you can plug in your starting point and destination and it will display the best route to get there using public transport, as well as times.

The fares for public transport depend on the length of the journey. Each section of Brisbane is divided into zones, and your trip cost will depend on how many zones you travel through. For information about the types of tickets and fares, please click here. Students fares are half of the cost of adult fares, however in order to qualify for a student fare, you must have a full-time student card. If you don't want to buy tickets every time you travel, you can purchase a Go card. This card allows you to pre-load money which can then be used to pay for your journey. Go card fares are 20 percent cheaper than adult and student fares.


The University of Queensland has an accommodation service that will provide you with advice and information about accommodation options. UQ strongly recommends that you only arrange rental accommodation once you're in Brisbane, as it can be difficult to make an informed decision about a property without being on location. The UQ accommodation service can arrange short-term or temporary accommodation while you look for somewhere to stay longer-term. Below is a table that lists the median rents in suburbs that are close to UQ, to give you an idea of how much you might need to budget for rent. This information is for the June '09 quarter. Suburbs further from the university and the Brisbane CBD will generally be cheaper. A full list of median rents can be found on the Residential Tenancies Authority website.

Below are some real estate pages that will give you current listings of both rental and sale properties.

Median rental prices in suburbs around UQ - December 2014
3 bedroom houses 2 bedroom units Suburb
$520 $430 St Lucia
$490 $490 Dutton Park
$600 $500 South Brisbane/West End/Highgate Hill
$550 $450 Milton
$500 $400 Toowong
$475 $390 Taringa/Indooroopilly
$465 $350 Yeronga

QBI Induction

All staff and students of QBI must display their staff-card at all times. Until you have completed your inductions and received a swipe card, you must wear a visitor's tag. These are obtained from the main reception desk on the ground floor of the QBI. Until you have your swipe card, you will not be able to access the building, and will require someone (your helper or another person from your lab) to let you into the building and laboratory space.

The inductions a new person must undertake are:

  • QBI Induction - All new personnel must complete an QBI induction. QBI HR will inform you of future induction dates. Please meet at the Level 3 Reception Area at 9.30am on the day of the induction. The first part of the induction will cover general QBI information, such as intranet, repairs and maintenance, security cards, IT helpdesk, building safety, purchasing and more. If you work in a wet lab, you will also receive more detailed OH&S information. If you work in a dry lab or are not a researcher, you will not need to attend this part of the induction.
  • Workplace induction - This online induction will give you information on The University of Queensland OH&S requirements, and where to go for further information. It only needs to be completed once.
  • Annual fire safety - This online induction gives you information on what to do in the event of a fire. As the name suggests, it must be completed every year.
  • PC2 induction - This is a qualification that must be updated every two years for researchers working in PC2 laboratories.

These inductions should give you all the information you need about working at QBI.

HR Induction

On your first day at QBI, please visit the Human Resources team on level 7. You will receive forms to set up a Tax File Number and a superannuation account. You need these in order to get paid. There are many different financial institutions in Australia, and different people will have different needs in a bank account.