Industry-Engaged HDR Program

HDR Public Health student with supervisor, in AHMS building.

The University of Adelaide aspires to prepare its graduate researchers for diverse roles and opportunities across all sectors and build a community of future makers.

Industry engagement as part of your higher degree by research program provides unique opportunities and a strong complement to your academic studies and give you a head start in future employment opportunities.

As an industry engaged HDR student at the University of Adelaide you will collaborate with industry leaders to design innovative research projects that address real-world problems. You will connect with an experienced industry mentor across the duration of your degree and have the opportunity to develop your research skills and sector business knowledge through a research internship. Moreover, you will undertake career-specific training and professional development through the Adelaide Graduate Research School’s Career and Research Skills Training program.

The University has identified a range of prospects, which you can find listed below. We also welcome you to work with your supervisors to identify your own industry-engagement opportunities.

Please contact for advice and assistance.

Key aspects of an Industry-engaged PhD

Industry-engaged HDR projects allow postgraduate researchers at the University of Adelaide to collaborate with a partner organisation on research and development throughout the duration of their candidature, with the option of undertaking a research internship during the degree. Projects will address an industry problem while complying with the University’s usual requirements for a PhD program. The combination of sector-relevant research and placement training provides an invaluable opportunity for students to engage with real world problems.

For more information see our FAQs for students below.

Industry-engaged higher degrees by research programs are open to PhD applicants from all areas who are eligible for onshore study in Australia. Some conditions may apply, however, and you are encouraged to view the individual projects advertised and discuss your interest with the Adelaide Graduate Research School. Applicants must also:

  • Meet the University of Adelaide’s higher degree by research admissions criteria.
  • Meet the University of Adelaide’s English Language Requirements at the time of application.
  • Not have commenced a PhD program at the time of application.

The University of Adelaide, in conjunction with an industry partner, offers successful candidates a 3.5 year FTE scholarship (equivalent to the RTPS rate or higher). Additionally, for some projects our partners provide a supplementary scholarship and/or additional funding for travel or research. Please see the advertised projects for more detail.

Alongside their University team, industry-engaged PhD students will be connected with an experienced industry supervisor, who will provide specialist guidance on the project across the duration of candidature.

University of Adelaide postgraduate students benefit from a specially tailored program of professional development activities directed by the Career and Research Skills Training (CaRST) Director of the Adelaide Graduate Research School. Selected CaRST courses and activities may include topics in intellectual property, management/leadership, collaboration, entrepreneurship, research commercialisation and participation in the University’s 3MT competition. Additionally, all students embarking on a Research Internship receive preparatory training for their placement. For more information, please visit: Career and Research Skills Training (CaRST).

Additional activities may include networking events, attendance at industry meetings, professional association meetings, seminars and conferences.

  1. Check your eligibility
  2. Identify an Industry PhD project of interest from the available opportunities advertised below. Each project page contains specific application instructions.

The Adelaide Graduate Research School’s Industry Engagement and Internships Officer is available for advice on the application process:

Current opportunities

National Industry PhD Program

The Australian Government's National Industry PhD Program provides students with the knowledge and skills to translate their research into real-world outcomes.

Defence Trailblazer Industry Research Program

The Defence Trailblazer program offers HDR students the opportunity to undertake world-leading research, at the interface of academia and the defence industry.

See the Research Internships page for information about standalone internship placements during candidature.

Partner with us

Make history with world-class researchers

Higher degree by research students produce the majority of the University of Adelaide's world-leading research. The Adelaide Graduate Research School aspires to connect these future-makers with industry, to collaborate on sector-specific projects, and solve real-world problems. Partner with us today, and help develop the next generation of industry leaders.

Find out more

Additional information

  • FAQs for students

    What academic background should I have?

    Industry-engaged PhD programs are open to all students with relevant disciplinary qualifications and experience. The University of Adelaide also welcomes expressions of interest from experienced industry professionals who wish to undertake a higher degree by research. To discuss your eligibility for a particular project please contact the Adelaide Graduate Research School’s Industry team:

    How will the degree be assessed?

    An industry-engaged PhD will be assessed through the regular schedule of higher degree by research milestones. If a Research Internship is established as a component of the program the student will be required to complete a minimum three-month/60 day FTE placement with the industry partner.

    I am an international student, can I participate in an industry-focused PhD program?

    Yes, however, you should be aware that some industry partners may have restrictions on international student participation.

    What industry exposure will I gain through my PhD experience?

    As an industry-engaged HDR student you will be partnered with an industry supervisor, who will offer guidance and specialist training during the candidature. In addition, you will be given the opportunity to undertake a Research Internship of three-months duration (60 working days) with the partner organisation. Completion of an eligible Research Internship will be reflected on your academic transcript as follows: <YYYY Completed Research Internship >

    Can I do my Research Internship on a part time basis, for example, 1-2 days per week?

    A placement may be undertaken on a full-time or part-time basis provided that you maintain your full-time enrolment status and complete the agreed number of placement days.

    Please see the Research Internships page for more information about eligible projects.

    What kinds of organisations are eligible to participate in an industry PhD program?

    Eligible organisations must be research end-users according to the Australian Government’s definition. This generally includes most organisations within industry, government, NGOs, or community organisations, although it excludes some organisations such as research institutes or other higher education providers and their subsidiaries. Other universities and educational institutions are not considered to be research end-users. If you are unsure if an organisation is eligible, please contact the Adelaide Graduate Research School for more information.

    Prior to a Research Internship, an agreement regarding intellectual property (IP) covering the placement activities must be agreed to and verified by all parties. Typically, students will assign any project and placement IP to the industry partner, while any background research IP will be retained by the student/University.

    Will I be financially compensated for the additional length of time expected for program completion due to a Research Internship?

    The University will fund students undertaking an eligible Research Internship for an extra three months at the standard RTPS rate (pro rata). This provides students with the flexibility to complete an industry project beyond the standard PhD completion timeframe of 3.5 years.

    Please note: any supplementary scholarship included in your award will not continue past the standard completion timeframe.

  • Useful links

  • Further enquiries

    For any other enquiries about industry-engagement opportunities for HDR students please contact:

    HDR Industry Enquiries


    Tel: +61 8 8313 0260