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You will undertake a co-designed research project to develop your ability to translate research into commercial outcomes. You'll get real-world experience, develop transferable professional skills, and be well-positioned to work at the cutting edge of industry focussed research while accessing specialised expertise, equipment, and training.

You'll receive:

  • admission to a university PhD program
  • a four-year scholarship package of $45,000 per annum
  • a four-year Project Expense and Development package of up to $13,000 per annum
  • a three-month Industry Engagement Component
  • professional development training to develop your applied research skills
  • supervision by CSIRO, an industry partner and the host university
I would say to anyone considering doing a PhD definitely go for the industry PhD because it's just an ordinary PhD but with a whole lot of advantages the scholarship and funding has really allowed me to dedicate a lot more time into the ph.d program a PhD often gets quite stressful and especially if you have things running alongside it it can be even more stressful so I've been able to work long hours and be completely at ease that the scholarship has supported me the facilities that have been offered at UNSW CSIRO and industry has given me a pretty good advantage because equipment and availability becomes a really big issue in the ph.d program so me knowing that I was able to access these
instruments and facilities and people at three different locations was really big plus points the industry ph.d program offered a lot of structured career development workshops and especially an industry launch camp offered at the end of last year that helped really tailor my research towards customer and focus and consider the value proposition of what I was researching on my supervisors at CSIRO and industry and uni have definitely taken on a very supportive and mentor ship position in my ph.d program especially the fact that they're from very different fields I'm able to get advice from very different sources and that helps me with my research I'm very happy to know that at the end of my ph.d program I will be quite set apart from the other PhD graduates based on the the professional development that I've gotten and also the fact that my industry involvement has already integrated me into the workplace as an AI PhD you need to have very strong communication skills and you need to be able to coordinate a lot of things at the same time as long as you are motivated and you like what you work on and you see how industry challenges need to be integrated into academia you'll do well in the program.
Hear from one of the students in our program.

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Key benefits

  • Deliver greater impact by conducting research relevant to an industry partner.
  • Develop a broad range of industry-focussed skills.
  • Strengthen knowledge in entrepreneurship, innovation and translation of research.
  • Grow transferable professional skills such as communication, teamwork, management and organisational skills.
  • Gain access to specialised expertise, equipment and training from industry, university and CSIRO.
  • Deepen networks with industry, university and CSIRO.
  • Boost employability and broaden future career opportunities.

Eligibility requirements

You must:

  • be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or a New Zealand citizen
  • meet host university PhD admission requirements
  • meet university English language requirements
  • not have previously completed a PhD
  • be able to commence the program in the year of the offer
  • enrol as a full-time PhD student
  • be prepared to be located at the project location(s) that the host university has approved and, if required, comply with the host university’s external enrolment procedures.

Download a copy of the Student T&Cs PDF (30 KB)

Projects and supervision

Projects will address an industry problem while complying with the host university's requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy Degree. Degrees will be assessed through the regular schedule of higher degree by research milestones. Alongside the university supervisory team, you will also be mentored by an industry and CSIRO supervisor, who will provide specialist guidance on the project throughout the candidature.

Training and industry engagement components

You will receive a three-month Industry Engagement component hosted by your industry partner. This will provide you with exposure to the broader work environment and provide opportunities to develop work-ready skills and business acumen.

You will also receive a structured professional development package delivered by CSIRO. This package will help foster essential professional skills including leadership, entrepreneurship and innovation, to support your future career goals and progression.

How to apply

The program has yearly intakes with most projects planned to commence in February/March. Project opportunities, including how to apply, will be advertised on the CSIRO Students and Scholarships webpage as they become available.

FAQ: Students

Research projects are instigated by, or in collaboration with, the industry partner, university and CSIRO supervisor. The projects are designed to align with industry interest, university capability and focus and CSIRO strategy. Projects undergo a rigorous approval process by all parties prior to advertisement.

All Australian companies or companies with a significant Australia presence can participate. Government and not-for-profit organisations are excluded.

Both CSIRO and the university will advertise the opportunity through their respective websites. Expressions of interest will need to be lodged via the university website and shortlisted applicants will be assessed, potentially including an interview.

The three supervisory partners (university supervisor, industry supervisor and CSIRO supervisor) are responsible for nominating the preferred applicant to the relevant Graduate Research School. The Graduate Research School will then invite the preferred applicant to formally apply for the project.

Each project will advertise for different skillsets and discipline areas. Applicants who meet the standard eligibility requirements will be assessed on experience relevant to the project’s field of research, suitability for the project, academic excellence and motivation to undertake an industry-led PhD project.

The program’s three-way partnership calls for the appointment of a university supervisor/s, an industry supervisor, and a CSIRO supervisor. Each supervisor will be responsible for certain aspects of the student’s supervision. However, the Primary Supervisor, allocated from the university, is responsible for monitoring and assessing the students’ progress in accordance with the university’s PhD academic requirements. A tailored project management and communication plan is created prior to project commencement, detailing supervisor roles, level of commitment and communication methods so the student can access appropriate support.

Projects must be in Australia and a primary location is specified on the application paperwork. This may be at your university, at CSIRO or on the industry partner’s premises. The location of the three-month Industry Engagement Component may be different to the project location.

$13,000 per annum is provided to the supervising organisation where you are primarily based to cover project operating expenses and development activities. Project expenses may include lab consumables, fieldwork and other research costs. Travel costs associated with the project and/or approved development activities are also eligible expenses.

The Industry Engagement component provides an opportunity for you to work under the guidance of their Industry partner on research and development activities contributing to their PhD project. Activities should provide you with relevant tools and experience to better contextualise and apply research in an industry setting. Potential activities may include:

  • understanding the research needs of the industry partner and/or the broader industry
  • undertaking practical research translation activities under the guidance of the industry partner
  • testing research assumptions and innovations in an industry setting with end-users.

Ideally, the Industry Engagement component should take place at the industry partner’s premises for a minimum of three months. However, activities can be undertaken remotely, within reason. A mixture of online and in-person engagement is also acceptable. The Industry Engagement component should ideally be completed part-time or in short blocks, strategically placed throughout the PhD to encourage ongoing engagement between the industry partner and the student.

Most training will be delivered online, however there will be some in-person events. The professional development training is mandatory and requires a time commitment of approximately three days per year.

There is no obligation for the industry partner or CSIRO to offer employment during or at the completion of the project.

Students are entitled to personal and sick leave in line with the Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2017. Periods of leave longer than those outlined by the Commonwealth Scholarship Guidelines require approval from the host university, CSIRO and the industry partner.

The host university, CSIRO and the industry partner will agree to a specific IP arrangement. Under all circumstances, students will own the copyright to their thesis.

A party (Industry, CSIRO, University) may restrict disclosure of research related to the project to the extent reasonably required to protect its IP or Confidential Information but must endeavour to limit restrictions and will not prevent or inhibit the student from presenting their thesis for examination purposes.

You must adhere to the host university’s procedures and policies in relation to acceptance, enrolment, standards and review and examination conditions of PhD study. You will be required to sign a CSIRO Student Agreement as part of the scholarship offer and the university admission process.

The agreement is a three-way contract between the student, university and CSIRO which provides a legal framework for publications, intellectual property, confidentiality, and copyright matters.

Contact us

If you have any further questions about the iPhD program, please contact us.

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