CSIRO’s Industry PhD (iPhD) Program brings together an industry partner, a university and CSIRO to co-develop a four-year industry-focussed PhD project. The shortlisting, selection and recruitment of the PhD student is conducted jointly by CSIRO, the university partner and the industry partner based on the needs of the research project, the program’s eligibility criteria, and the PhD admission requirements of the participating university.
Commence an industry PhD
If you are a domestic student wanting to commence an industry PhD in Australia, view our current student scholarships.
- admission to a university PhD program
- a four-year scholarship package of $46,000 per annum (2024 rate)
- a four-year Project Expense and Development package of approximately $13,000 per annum
- a 60-day Industry Engagement component provided by the industry partner
- a professional development training program delivered alongside the PhD
- supervision by the host university, CSIRO and an industry partner.
- 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 university, CSIRO and industry
- deepen networks with industry, university and CSIRO
- boost employability and broaden future career opportunities.
- be an Australian or New Zealand citizen, or Australian permanent resident
- meet university PhD admission and English language requirements
- have not previously completed a PhD
- not be in receipt of another primary scholarship
- be able to commence the program in the year of the offer
- enrol as a full-time PhD student
- be located at the agreed project location(s), and, if required, comply with the university’s external enrolment procedures.
Download a copy of the Scholarship T&Cs PDF (136 KB)
Projects and supervision
Projects will address an industry problem while complying with the participating 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.
Research projects are generally instigated by collaboration between an industry partner, university supervisor and CSIRO supervisor. View our current scholarship projects.
However, if you are a student with a project idea in mind, please contact your supervisor to submit an enquiry on your behalf via iPhD@csiro.au. Please note, projects must not have yet commenced, and an open recruitment process for the project must still occur.
Training and industry engagement components
You will receive a 60-day 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 or March. Project opportunities, including how to apply, will be advertised on the iPhD current scholarships page as they become available.
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- Student webinar recording (February 2024)
- Student webinar slide deck (February 2024) PDF (3 MB)
- Student webinar slide deck (February 2024) TXT (7 KB)
- Student brochure PDF (2 MB)
- Student brochure TXT (7 KB)
- Program factsheet PDF (59 KB)
- Program factsheet TXT (2 KB)
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. However, if you are a student with a project idea in mind, please contact your supervisor to submit an enquiry on your behalf via iPhD@csiro.au.
All Australian companies or companies with a significant Australia presence can participate.
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.
Most training will be delivered online, however there will be some in-person events. The professional development training is mandatory and requires an equivalent time commitment of approximately five 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.
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.
The Industry Engagement component provides an opportunity for you to work under the guidance of your industry partner on research and development activities contributing to your PhD project. Activities should provide you with relevant tools and experience to better contextualise and apply research in an industry setting.
Ideally, the Industry Engagement component should take place at the industry partner’s premises for a minimum of 60 full time days, or three calendar months. The Industry Engagement component should ideally be completed part-time or in short blocks, strategically placed throughout the PhD to encourage your ongoing engagement with your industry partner.
At the discretion and with the agreement of your supervisory team, alternate locations may be possible if there are travel limitations, if the project needs access to specific facilities and equipment, or if the entirety of the Industry Engagement cannot feasibly be undertaken at the industry partner’s location(s).
Examples of locations include:
- CSIRO site
- the university
- combination of sites
- or a mixture of remote and in-person attendance.
Different universities have differing requirements for the conduct of research and other activities at locations outside of the University. These may include approvals to work at alternate locations and additional agreements for time spent with your industry partner. Please check with your graduate school early in your candidature to determine any specific requirements.
The university may have reporting requirements, for instance an internship report may need to be completed by the student and signed off by the industry supervisor. To track your attendance, your university may need to provide an appropriate tracking mechanism (e.g., time sheets).
You should engage early with your graduate school to identify any university-specific requirements. Although it is recommended that the Industry Engagement project be scoped early in the PhD, there is an expectation that supervisors and the university will make allowance for changes down the track if required, and these changes will need to be consistent with the Collaboration Agreement.