National Industry PhD Program

Banner for the national industry PhD program. Program logos sit in the top left-hand corner, program partners in the bottom right-hand corner, and an image of a women looking at computer screens takes up the remaining image.
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The National Industry PhD Program is an Australian Government initiative to enhance workforce mobility among higher degree by research students, and to promote knowledge transfer between academia and industries across all areas. Through this initiative, the Australian Government will provide funding towards an additional 1,300 industry-engaged PhD places over the next 10 years. Applications for Round 3 will open late-2023.

The program connects PhD students with industry partners, to undertake a research project that addresses a sector-specific problem. Successful candidates to this program will divide their time between academic and industry settings during candidature and will undertake a specialised training program exploring research translation and cross-sector mobility.

The National Industry PhD Program is divided into two streams:

Industry Linked PhD stream: PhD candidates are recruited to research programs specially designed through university-industry collaboration. Students are based at a host university but will spend between 20-50% of their time embedded with an industry partner.

Industry-linked PhDs will receive a minimum scholarship package of $46k per annum for four years (including a tuition fee waiver). Industry partners will contribute a minimum of $10k p.a. to this stipend.

Industry Researcher PhD: Experienced industry researchers will complete a PhD in partnership with the host university. The candidates will remain embedded with their organisations, but will spend between 20-50% of their time on-campus, collaborating with University-based researchers. Tuition fees are waived.

Industry Researcher PhDs will continue to collect their full salary and benefits from their employer, which will receive a $41k p.a. subsidy from the Australian Government.

The Program Guidelines can be downloaded from the Department of Education's website. The Adelaide Graduate Research School is ready to support our academic staff and industry partners to develop suitable projects for the initiative. For more information about the program, or to discuss prospective projects please contact HDR Industry Enquiries.

  • Program duration

    The Program duration for a full-time Industry Linked PhD candidate at the University of Adelaide will be a minimum of three and a half years (or seven years if enrolled part-time). Their period of support will be increased for any periods of leave approved by the University. The Program duration is calculated from the PhD commencement date.

    The Program duration for a full-time Industry Researcher PhD candidate is four years (or eight years if enrolled part-time). PhD Candidates will continue to work and study concurrently with hours to be agreed between the Industry Partner and Participating University.

  • Student eligibility requirements

    To be eligible for the Program, the defined PhD Research Project must be suitable for PhD Candidates to undertake with a potential industry application. PhD Research Projects can be either single projects for one PhD Candidate, or multiple projects for more than one PhD Candidate.

    To be eligible for the Program, a PhD Candidate must:

    • Be undertaking a PhD (defined as Level 10 Doctoral Degree (Research) or Doctoral Degree (Professional) qualification as described in the Australian Qualifications Framework) for which at least two-thirds is required as research work;
    • Be a domestic or international PhD Candidate;
    • Be supported to participate in the Program by a Participating University;
    • Be awarded an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Fees Offset for the duration of their Industry PhD candidature by a Participating University;
    • Enrol in the year that they are offered a position in the Program;
    • Not have previously completed a PhD program at the time of application.

    A PhD Candidate may be enrolled on either a full-time or part-time basis, subject to the agreement between the Participating University and the Industry Partner. Part-time PhD Candidates are those undertaking less than 75 per cent of an equivalent full-time student load.

    A PhD Candidate who has commenced their first year of study is eligible to apply to join the Program, subject to the approval of their Participating University and their agreement that all other requirements of this program have been met. To be eligible, a PhD Candidate must be informed by their Participating University that they have been enrolled in the Program within 12 months of their PhD commencement date.

    Additional eligibility criteria for Industry Researcher PhD Candidates

    An Industry Researcher PhD Candidate must be employed by an industry partner and supported to participate in the Program by that employer. Their employer will be an Industry Partner for the Program duration.

    A PhD Candidate will undertake study and work concurrently with time spent on each activity to be agreed between the Industry Partner and the Participating University. It is expected that both the study and work components will contribute to the PhD.


  • Industry partner eligibility requirements

    To be eligible for the Program, an Industry Partner must:

    • Be a business or organisation with an Australian Business Number (ABN) registered with the Australian Taxation Office or an Australian Company Number (ACN) registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission; and
    • Undertake Research and Development (R&D) activities. (R&D is defined as ‘creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge – including knowledge of humankind, culture and society – and to devise new applications of available knowledge’.


    Partners for the 'Industry Linked' stream will contribute a minimum of $10,000 per annum towards the student's stipend, and will provide in-kind support to them when on the industry site (e.g. by providing suitable supervision and mentorship).

    Partners for the 'Industry Researcher' stream will continue to support their employee for the duration of the program (including full salary and benefits).



  • Researcher development

    Alongside their thesis research, the PhD candidate will undertake a 12-week training program to develop their research translation capabilities. This training will equip them to:

    • understand the importance of creating positive impact with their research;
    • uncover the problems that potential partners want to solve, and tools and methods to identify and engage with potential industry, government, and community partners; and
    • enhance their industry engagement and collaboration skills to build connections with their Industry Partners.

    This training will be provided by Program partner Cruxes Innovation.


  • Application process

    Applications for the National Industry PhD Program are developed collaboratively between a University-based academic and an eligible industry partner. They should outline the project aims, partner contributions, and expected outputs and impact. An application template, for drafting purposes, is available on the Department of Education's website.

    Following internal review, eligible applications will be submitted online via the Department of Education's ISEO portal, by the Adelaide Graduate Research School. The competitive selection process is overseen by Program Service Provider Campus Plus, in consultation with an independent assessment advisory committee, and the Department of Education.

    Please note that applications for this program must be completed, and submitted to the AGRS by the University supervisor and industry partner. The Department will not accept applications developed solely by students.

    Application process

    1. Principal supervisors and industry partners are invited to submit an informal expression of interest to HDR Industry Enquiries.
    2. Once a project outline has been formulated, the supervisory team will collaborate to develop an application according to the Department’s template. The partner’s financial and in-kind contributions will need to be agreed upon at this stage.
    3. Applications will undergo internal review at the University, with feedback returned to the panel prior to submission.
    4. Finalised applications are submitted to Campus Plus for evaluation in the competitive Round.


    1. Successful applicants will be invited to develop a Collaboration Agreement to manage ownership of Project IP.
    2. If no student has been previously identified for the project, recruitment can begin.
    3. Successful candidate is enrolled into a PhD Program at the University.

    Feedback will be provided to unsuccessful applicants, who are encouraged to reapply in future rounds.