The program has yearly intakes with most projects planned to commence in February/March. Projects for February/March 2023 commencement will be advertised in late 2022.
How to applyProject opportunities, including how to apply, will be advertised on the CSIRO Students and Scholarships webpage as they become available.
- 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.
Projects & 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 & internship
You will receive a six-month internship 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.
Research projects are instigated by, or in collaboration with, the industry partner, the 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 before advertisement.
All Australian companies or companies with a significant Australian 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 invite the preferred applicant to formally apply for the project.
Each project will advertise for different skill sets 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. A tailored project management and communication plan is created before 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, CSIRO or the industry partner’s premises. The location of the six-month industry internship may be different to the project location.
$13,000 per annum is managed by the supervising organisation where the student is primarily based to cover project operating expenses and development activities. Project expenses may include lab consumables, minor equipment, and fieldwork. Other project-related costs like travel and/or approved development activities are also eligible expenses.
The internship can be completed as an extended block or spread throughout the program and should be conducted predominantly at the industry partner’s location.
The internship will mainly be determined by the industry partner but agreed between the three supervisors and the student. The internship activities may complement the PhD project or be separate from the research project. In all scenarios, the internship cannot be used as a proxy for additional time to work on the thesis. The internship is designed to provide practical learning activities to help develop personal insight into the operations of the industry partner and further develop business and professional skills.
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, industry partner and CSIRO will agree to a specific IP arrangement. Under all circumstances, students will own the copyright to their thesis.
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 also 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, the university and CSIRO, which provides a legal framework for publications, intellectual property, confidentiality, and copyright matters.
Specific arrangements will be outlined in your Student Agreement, but generally, a party (Industry, CSIRO, University) may restrict disclosure of research related to the industry PhD project to the extent reasonably required to protect its IP or confidential information but must endeavour to limit restrictions on publication and will not prevent or inhibit the student from presenting their thesis for examination purposes.