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Our program is available to all Australian universities and is designed to support industry-university relationships to drive research translation and commercialisation. Guide your PhD candidates to develop solutions to real-world problems in partnership with industry and Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO.

How it works

Program benefits

  • Access an industry PhD (iPhD) training program aligned to national priorities.
  • Develop new or strengthen existing relationships with industry and CSIRO.
  • Enhance innovation and the commercialisation potential of research with industry and CSIRO.
  • Provide PhD students with an opportunity to develop industry-focused professional skills.
  • Gain access to CSIRO and industry facilities, infrastructure, and expertise.

Associate Professor Wayne Leifert, CSIRO Principal Research Scientist.

The Industry PhD brings people together to really focus on translating knowledge into something that's valuable for the community worldwide.

Associate Professor Tara Pukala, University of Adelaide.

The university sees this as a big opportunity to produce career ready graduates. It gives the students an opportunity to be involved in research that is really at the forefront of something that might have impact.

Kym McNicholas, CSIRO iPhD Candidate.

My name is Kim McNicholas and I am an Industry PhD student here at Biosensis. The aim of my project was to try and increase the sensitivity of these assays using gold nanoparticles. So it is a procedure or a technique that's used in the lab to measure concentrations of a particular protein in a sample.

Professor Robert Rush, Biosensis Managing Director and Chair.

The research program with Adelaide University and CSIRO allows us to identify new biomarkers in a cohort of patients who have been screened and shown to either have cognitive impairment or dementia.

Associate Professor Tara Pukala, University of Adelaide.

And then with our CSIRO and industry partners, we can translate that to what might ultimately be a diagnostic test for early detection of Alzheimer's disease.

Kym McNicholas, CSIRO iPhD Candidate.

They've all been able to address different needs that are needed over the time of the PhD. Biosensis, being able to work in a laboratory with access to quality materials, CSIRO to access statisticians and IT professionals, as well as a very good, valuable patient cohort. And the university has this amazing, structured program which helps all Ph.D. students just get through.

Associate Professor Wayne Leifert, CSIRO Principal Research Scientist.

If I was to describe the IPhD student experience, I would be thinking something along the lines of collaboration, teamwork and translation.

Kym McNicholas, CSIRO iPhD Candidate.

The benefits for me personally in the iPhD, as I've got an amazing exposure to the manufacturing and industry environment, I probably wouldn't have got in a university lab.

Professor Robert Rush, Biosensis Managing Director and Chair.

So, in addition to the individual project that they carry out, they look at more broadly marketing, finance, and so I think we give them a much broader view of what commercial operations are.

Associate Professor Wayne Leifert, CSIRO Principal Research Scientist.

We often think about, you know, how do things get made, how do things get built? How was I thought of? This is the opportunity to be able to do this. If you're an iPhD student and if you're a student that's interested in a PhD, they would be suggesting consider this as an option.

Kym McNicholas, CSIRO iPhD Candidate.

It's a very enjoyable experience. It opens your horizons. It broadens your view. You get a feel for what real manufacturing life is like. If someone was to ask me whether they should do an Industry PhD, I would genuinely say go for it.

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Program funding and support

The iPhD program is funded by the Australian Government and the industry partner for up to four years. Funding consists of three components:

  1. Student scholarship of $46,000 p.a. (2024 rate) comprising of $34,000 p.a. provided by the Government and $12,000 p.a. provided by the industry partner.
  2. Project expense and development package of up to $13,000 p.a. provided by the Government for research operating costs and research skill development.
  3. Student career and professional development training funded by the Government to be developed and delivered by CSIRO.

Program requirements

iPhD projects must:

  • align with Australian Government and CSIRO priorities
  • address an industry problem while complying with the university’s requirements of a PhD program
  • be with an Australian industry partner or an industry partner with an Australian presence (Government and not-for-profits are excluded)
  • be limited to domestic students
  • include an Industry Engagement Component (minimum 3 months), conducting research under the guidance of the industry partner.

Universities must:

  • provide a suitably experienced researcher to supervise the PhD student for up to four years
  • lead student advertising, recruitment, and enrolment processes with support from CSIRO
  • provide access to facilities and infrastructure if required for the project
  • provide a fee off-set for the student
  • monitor and assess the student in accordance with the university’s Higher Degree by Research policies.

Become a university partner

If you are a university researcher who has a project idea in mind, or work in a Graduate Research School and would like to learn more about how the program can be integrated into your university, please contact us.

Program intake dates

  • Expressions of Interest (EOI) are accepted from February to May for the commencement of the following year. However, we may accept EOIs outside this these dates. Please contact us if you have an idea outside this time frame.

Program resources

Contact us

If you work within the Graduate Research School or University Leadership and would like to learn more about how the program may be integrated into your university training system, please contact us.

If you are a university researcher who has a potential project idea in mind, please contact us.

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