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FAQ: Next Generation Graduates Programs

No, they are separate scholarship programs. The Next Generation Graduates Programs are funded by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER). To learn more about Data61 scholarships, visit

The programs are only available to students enrolled in full-time study.

The Next Generation Graduates scholarships are available to domestic students (Australian citizens and Permanent Residents) only. However, the Data61 scholarships are open to international students who are currently residing in Australia.

The scholarships are offered to eligible postgraduate students pursuing an Australian Qualification Framework (AQF8 – AQF10) qualification at Honours (AQF8), Masters (AQF9) or PhD (AQF10) level.

The Next Generation Graduates Programs will run twice-yearly coursework commencing in February and September until 2024. However, the participating universities can recruit and onboard students throughout the year.

The intent of the programs is for the students with varying backgrounds to come into a cohort-based, industry driven, multi-disciplinary environment, enabling peer-to-peer learning and ‘baking-in’ an entrepreneurial mindset. The themes of the cohorts will bind the students and collaborators together, making it larger than a single research project.

The students will be recruited in cohort groups cross-institutionally, the size of which will be dependent on demand from industry partners, scale and scope of the research questions and alignment with national priorities. We anticipate multiple universities will collaborate and assemble a cohort of students, however, the Next Generation Graduates team will also assist with the process of assembly of the cohorts.

Enrolment type PhD Master of Philosophy Masters (RTP Qualified Program)1 Honours & Coursework Masters2 
Research Duration 3.5 years 2 years 1 year 1 year
Industry placement 6 months 3 months 20 days 6 days
Stipend rate (p.a.)3 $40,500.00           $40,500.00 $30,000.00 $10,000.00
Training (p.a.) $5,000.004 $5,000.00 $5,000.00 $5,000.00
Travel (total) $5,000.00 $5,000.00 N/A N/A
Thesis allowance (total) $840.00 $420.00 N/A N/A
Partner contribution (total) $60,000.00 $37,500.00 $13,300.00 $7,500.00
CSIRO contribution (total) $106,046.70 $59,729.72 $21,700.00 $7,500.00

  1. Masters Programs at AQF9 where the second year research component qualifies for an RTP
  2. 1 EFTSL research project similar to honours that is part of a coursework masters degree

  3. 1.8% indexation has been applied to stipends for Master of Philosophy and PhD students to be covered by CSIRO contribution.

  4. PhD Training allowance is $5,000 per year for three years.

No, this is not a top-up scholarship. The Next Generation Graduates Programs offer fully funded scholarships that cover student stipends and allowances.

It is anticipated that an overarching multi-institutional agreement will include broad IP considerations as follows:

  • all parties will retain ownership of any background IP;
  • all parties will be allowed free licence to program IP unless otherwise stated in a project schedule;
  • students will own the copyright to their thesis; and
  • specific IP provisions can be determined at a project level between the parties involved in the project.

The actively recruiting research training programs will be publicised through CSIRO, universities channels and other participating institutions.

Student recruitment for each program will be managed by Chief Investigators (CI) of the Programs from the relevant participating universities across Australia. All awarded programs will be listed on with a list of Chief Investigators and their contact details. Students are encouraged to contact CIs directly for scholarship opportunities.

Yes. Leave entitlements of students who hold the Next Generation Graduates scholarships are unaffected and will follow the entitlements in line with the policies of the host university and RTP guidelines.

All students will be approved by both university and industry partners, in addition to the Next Generation Graduates Programs prior to enrolment.

Host universities will be asked by the program to assess the candidate’s eligibility and notify the program of the outcome. If the student is eligible, based on both the university’s requirements and those of the program, the student will be provided an agreement with the program/CSIRO to enter the program.

Students will participate in project-based learning modules. Our method enhances critical thinking, develops cross-cutting skills and encourages cohort-led solutions. Practical skillsets of problem-solving, communication and knowledge transference are applied for application 'in actuality'.

The outcomes are founded on student-centred designs and delivering inverted solutions. The overarching objective is student led: develop a comprehensive project with research design thinking as the scaffold for learning. This series is an experience-based learning process geared to solve the world's greatest problems via AI and emerging technologies.

The selected students will be co-supervised by a host university supervisor, industry supervisor and CSIRO supervisor (optional), and will spend time working directly with industry partners.

All students are required to complete an industry placement with the industry partner of their program. The commencement date and timing of the placements for individuals in a cohort may vary on a project basis depending on requirements set by the industry and university partner(s). The industry placement will be decided in collaboration with the student, the supervisor and the industry partner to ensure that it is appropriate for all parties.

Examples of industry placements are as follows:

  • PhD student Melissa is working on a machine learning project with a large consulting company. After commencing the project Melissa met with her University supervisor and partner supervisor to discuss the placement where it was decided that she would spend one day per week with the consulting company working on her project.
  • PhD student Paul is developing new machine learning methods with applications in geosciences, his industry partner will be a government agency that oversees Australia’s geological resources. Discussions between Paul, his University supervisor and the government agency determined that Paul would be best placed to work for the first year with his University supervisor on the foundational aspects of the project and then he would work with the government agency one week/month for the second and third year of his candidature.
  • Masters student Rose is working with a mining company to identify and build areas of automation within one of their mines. Due to the workplace health and safety, logistics and intellectual property considerations of Rose accessing the mining site in regional Australia she must undertake placements for 2-3 weeks at a time to maximise her impact and align with mining operations.

All of the examples above were impacted by the border closures and lockdowns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic – these placements were adapted to be ‘virtual placements’ as appropriate in line with the new ways people have worked in the past 18 months.

The locations of the students will be dependent on their supervisory arrangement and how the project is designed to be carried out. Students are encouraged but not required to sit with their cohorts at CSIRO offices in major cities in Australia. We will encourage universities and industry partners to offer remote or mixed attendance for students with specific needs.

The programs seek to bolster diversity with targets set around the inclusion of women, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people and students from rural, regional and remote communities. Data61/CSIRO can provide regional travel allowances to reduce the barrier to entry for regional and remote candidates.

Students receiving a Next Generation Scholarship are expected to endeavour to remain in or seek work in Australia following completion of their Next Generation Scholarship.

Students receiving a Next Generation Scholarship must commit to maintain contact with the CSIRO for up to two years, for reporting and evaluation of outcomes relating to the Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Graduates Program and the Next Generation Emerging Technologies Graduates Program.

Each University will use best endeavours to ensure compliance with these requirements, including each University clearly communicating these expectations to its Students prior to their involvement with the Programs.

Contractual arrangements will be managed between university and industry partners at a project level. CSIRO will provide an overarching Program Agreement that provides direction on what is expected from the project agreements that sit under it.

Insurances are expected to be covered by the general insurance policy that the universities have for student placements within their usual processes.

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