The University of Adelaide Industry PhD (UAiPhD)

Industry PhD

The UAiPhD is an exceptional and innovative 4 year program, which includes completion of a 6 month industry placement.

As a PhD student, you will have the opportunity to work on an industry problem, while being supported by a University of Adelaide supervisor and an industry supervisor for the duration of the program.

In addition, you will undertake selected professional development activities offered through the University’s Career and Research Skills Training (CaRST) program or as directed by the industry partner. During your placement, you will gain valuable understanding on how organisations innovate and solve real world problems, and how you can make an impact with your research, while gaining a significant employment advantage.

Key aspects of UAiPhD

The UAiPhD is open to all potential PhD applicants who are currently onshore in Australia. Some conditions may apply, however, and you are encouraged to view the individual projects below and discuss your interest with the Adelaide Graduate Centre. Applicants must also:

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

The University of Adelaide offers successful candidates a 4 year scholarship (equivalent to the RTPS rate or higher). In addition, many of our partners provide a top-up scholarship and/or additional funding for travel or research. Please see the below projects for more detail. 

There is a minimum length of time during which students will be placed with the industry partner comprising 6 months FTE (130 working days).

The industry placement may be undertaken on a full-time or part-time basis provided that students maintain their full-time enrolment status and complete the agreed number of placement days.

Applications for the current round close 31 August 2020. Following this: 

  • Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview between September and October 2020.
  • Successful candidates will receive an offer by November 2020. 
  • iPhD candidates will then be able to commence the PhD program in semester 1, 2021 (before 31 March 2021). 

Note: The industry placement may commence at any time following the confirmation of candidature, which occurs on satisfactory completion of the Major Review of Progress at approximately 12 months full-time equivalent (FTE). 

  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 Centre’s Industry Research Placement Coordinator is available for advice on the application process: hdrindustryenq@adelaide.edu.au.

*For supervisors or industry partners interested in creating an iPhD, please note that all iPhD scholarships provided by the University have been allocated for 2021. Supervisors and industry partners looking to establish iPhD projects for 2022 funding should contact hdrindustryenq@adelaide.edu.au after April 2021.

During the iPhD, students will undertake professional development activities as directed by the Career and Research Skills Training (CaRST) Director or industry partner. Selected CaRST courses and activities may include topics in intellectual property, management/leadership, collaboration, entrepreneurship, research commercialisation and participation in the University’s 3MT thesis competition. 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.

Additional information 

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  • Creating an iPhD project

    *All iPhD scholarships provided by the University have currently been allocated for 2021. Supervisors and industry partners looking to establish iPhD projects for 2022 funding should contact hdrindustryenq@adelaide.edu.au after April 2021.

    Note: All potential iPhD projects are first proposed on the iPhD Student AgreementResearch proposals must be suitable for a four-year PhD project and address an industry problem. Supervisory Teams must include a University of Adelaide and Industry Supervisor/Mentor. 

    For additional details on this program, including assessment details and other information, please see the Program Specifications

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  • Information for students

    Project design

    The research project and industry placement are developed in collaboration between the industry partner and the University supervisors. Projects will have an industry focus while complying with the University’s usual requirements for a PhD program. The combination of industry relevant research and placement training provides an invaluable opportunity for students to engage with real world problems.

    Recognition on academic transcripts

    Successfully completed UAiPhD placements will receive official recognition from the University of Adelaide.

    Completion of the UAiPhD program, including the placement and compulsory CaRST activities, will be reflected as a statement on the academic transcript. In addition, completion of a placement, of the required number of days in duration (130 working days), will be reflected as a statement on the academic transcript.

    Assessment

    Project assessment

    The iPhD project will be assessed through the following activities (in addition to the usual schedule of milestones, which all higher degree by research candidates complete):

    • Mid-term Project Presentation: Mid-way through the project, the student will give a short presentation to both the University and the industry supervisor on the progress of the work, a reflection on their challenges and achievements, and a proposed plan for completion. The due date for the mid-term presentation will be set at 18 months FTE from candidature commencement.
    • Final Project Presentation: At the end of the program, the student will give a formal ~30 minute presentation summarising the overall outcomes of the work. The due date for the final presentation will be set at 36 months FTE from candidature commencement.
    • Final Project Report: The student’s final report will be submitted prior to thesis submission. It will be focused on the entirety of the iPhD experience including both project and placement components. The report is to be approved and acknowledged by all parties (student, University supervisor and industry supervisor).
    Placement assessment

    The iPhD placement will be assessed through the following activities:

    • Final Placement Report: The iPhD placement will require submission of a final report by the student. The report is to be approved and acknowledged by all parties (student, University supervisor and industry supervisor) and submitted to the Graduate Centre within 1 month of placement completion.
    • iPhD Impact Statement: Students are required to complete a short “iPhD Impact Statement” to highlight the benefits obtained through undertaking the placement.

    Intellectual Property (IP)

    Prior to the placement, an agreement regarding intellectual property (IP) covering both the research and placement components of the degree 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.

  • Information for University supervisor

    Key expectations

    • Collaborate with the Industry Partner to develop a suitable PhD research proposal and industry placement
    • Provide support and supervision to the student in collaboration with the industry partner
    • Evaluate and sign the student’s final reports
    • Attend the student’s mid-term presentation
    • Attend and evaluate the student’s final presentation
  • Information for industry partner

    Key expectations

    • Collaborate with the University to develop a suitable PhD research proposal and industry placement
    • Offer the student guidance regarding training opportunities, career development, and advice on navigating the industry overall
    • Provide a minimum financial contribution of $10,000 per annum towards a Scholarship stipend/top-up and cover operating costs for the duration of the placement
    • Ensure provision of at least one industry supervisor who is registered on the Supervisor Classification and Reporting System (SCRS) for the duration of the placement
    • Evaluate and sign the student’s final reports
    • Attend and evaluate the mid-term presentation
    • Attend and evaluate the final presentation
    • Complete an “iPhD Impact Statement” to express the impact and outcomes of the placement on your organisation
  • FAQs for students

    What academic background should I have?
    The UAiPhD is open to all PhD students, in all disciplines.

    I am an international student, can I participate in an iPhD program?
    Yes, however, you should be aware that some industry partners may have restrictions on international student participation.

    Can I do my placement on a part time basis, for example, 1-2 days per week?
    There will be a minimum length of time during which you will be placed with an industry partner comprising 6 months FTE (130 working days). 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.

    What kinds of organisations are eligible to participate in a UAiPhD?
    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 Centre for more information.

    When can I start my industry placement?
    The placement may be scheduled at any time following the confirmation of candidature (which occurs on satisfactory completion of the Major Review of Progress at approximately 12 months FTE).

    Will I be compensated for the additional length of time expected for program completion due to an industry placement?
    The UAiPhD program has a four-year duration, which allows additional time beyond the standard PhD completion timeframe of 3-3.5 years to undertake the industry placement.

    Can the outcomes of my placement be included in my PhD thesis?
    No, the outcomes of the placement are not to be included in your thesis. Whilst your placement may be cognate to your PhD research topic and will draw on the skills learnt in the PhD, the placement is a distinct undertaking and cannot be used as a proxy for additional time to work on your thesis.

    How is completion of the iPhD recognised on my academic transcript?
    Completion of the UAiPhD program will be reflected as a statement on your academic transcript as follows: <YYYY Completed the University of Adelaide Industry PhD (UAiPhD) program>

    Completion of a placement within the UAiPhD will be reflected as a statement on the academic transcript as follows: <YYYY Completed Industry Placement 130 days >

  • FAQs for industry partners

    How long are industry placements?
    Industry placements within the iPhD program are 6 months FTE or 130 working days in duration.

    What is my financial obligation as an Industry Partner?
    For an industry partner, there is a minimum financial contribution of $10,000 per annum towards a Scholarship stipend/top-up. Where the partner is a community or not for profit organisation, an ‘in-kind contribution’, or waiver may be considered as an alternative.

    How are the projects developed?
    Projects are developed in collaboration between the industry partner and the University supervisors. Projects will have an industry focus whilst complying with the University’s usual requirements for a PhD program.

    A placement agreement, which clearly defines the schedule, learning objectives and assessable outcomes, etc., must be agreed by all parties prior to placement commencement and no more than 12 months from the student’s start date in the iPhD.

    If you are a University supervisor or Industry Partner interested in establishing a new iPhD project, please contact HDR Industry Enquiries at hdrindustryenq@adelaide.edu.au.

    What is the University of Adelaide’s policy regarding Intellectual Property (IP)?
    Prior to the placement, an agreement regarding intellectual property (IP) covering both the research and placement components of the degree 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.

  • Useful links

  • Further enquiries

    For any other enquiries about the UAiPhD Program please contact:
    HDR Industry Enquiries
    Email: hdrindustryenq@adelaide.edu.au
    Tel: +61 8 8313 9127
    Free-call: 1800 061 459