Jointly Awarded PhDs

Broaden your research career with a national or international joint PhD for maximum local, national and global impact.

Undertaking a joint PhD with us allows you to be co-supervised by both a University of Adelaide supervisor and a collaborating supervisor from an approved national or international partner university. You will be enrolled concurrently at both institutions for the period of your PhD candidature, spend time at each institution and receive a single doctoral degree jointly awarded by both institutions.

  • What are the benefits of a jointly awarded PhD?

    A joint PhD enables you to:

    • study at two high-quality institutions and enhance your student experience
    • potentially work in two different countries and experience different cultures
    • widen your research connections to potentially enable novel field-trial locations
    • expand your professional networks for future employment.
  • Who are our collaborating partners?


    The University of Adelaide currently has joint PhD agreements with the following international institutions:

    • Strasbourg, France (Law School)
    • Ghent, Belgium (Animal and Veterinarian Science)
    • Nagoya, Japan (Medicine)
    • Nottingham, UK (primarily Agriculture, Food and Wine, but open to all areas)
    • Birmingham, UK (Mathematical Sciences)
    • East Anglia, UK (Mathematical Sciences)
    • Copenhagen, Denmark (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology)
    • Freiburg, Germany (Medicine)
    • Hamburg, Germany (Mathematical Sciences)
    • Ottawa, Canada (Medicine)
    • Shanghai Jiao Tong, China (Agriculture, Food and Wine)

    It’s also possible to undertake a joint PhD with other universities not listed above, where there’s an existing or emerging research collaboration. Such collaboration can be shown through things like co-publications, co-supervision, co-funding relationships, staff exchanges and sabbaticals, and joint presentations.

    In Australia

    As the University of Adelaide is a member of Australia’s prestigious Group of Eight (Go8) research-intensive universities, it’s also possible to undertake a joint-award PhD with one of our fellow Go8 institutions.

  • Program structure

    The University of Adelaide’s joint PhD program is structured similarly to the “cotutelle” model offered at many universities overseas, in that it allows two participating institutions to jointly supervise a candidate, resulting in a single PhD degree awarded jointly by the two institutions.

    It’s open to all prospective PhD students across all faculties. If you’re already in your first year of PhD candidature you can also apply to transfer into a joint PhD program.

    The university at which you’re primarily enrolled, and where you’ll spend most of your time, is known as your home institution. The other university in the joint agreement is known as the host institution. After your first year of candidature at your home institution (i.e. after candidature has been ‘confirmed’) you’ll spend a minimum of 12 months full-time at the host institution (or several shorter periods that together total 12 months full-time). Together, the home and host institutions are referred to as the partner institutions.

    You will normally return to your home institution to undertake your PhD examination, which usually includes an oral (or viva voce) component.

Joint PhD with the University of Nottingham, UK

The University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom is one of the University of Adelaide’s key Priority Partners. Our institutions offer a popular joint PhD program that began in 2015 in the area of Biosciences (School of Agriculture, Food and Wine), and in 2019 grew to accommodate students across all faculties from both Adelaide and Nottingham.

In February 2019, Professor Ian Fisk, our key contact at the University of Nottingham, visited the University of Adelaide and gave a presentation on the program, the University of Nottingham generally, and his School of Biosciences more specifically. View his presentation (including the slides).

Current joint PhD student Olivia Cousins (from the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine) had this to say about the program:

Both universities have facilities that I can only access on their campuses, such as X-ray Computed Tomography at Sutton Bonington (Nottingham) and the Plant Accelerator here at Waite Olivia Cousins

Further information

Additional, more detailed information on joint PhDs at the University of Adelaide can be found in the Research Student Handbook, specifically the ‘Which degree should I choose’ section, and Appendix 4A and 4B.

All joint PhDs must be compliant with the Jointly Conferred Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Awards Policy.


If you have any queries about undertaking a joint PhD program with the University of Adelaide, email us at: