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Appendix 4B: Information Sheet Jointly - Awarded PhD Programs (Including Cotutelle)

What is a Jointly-awarded PhD program?

A Jointly-Awarded HDR program allows approved HDR students to be supervised jointly by academics from the University of Adelaide and academics from a nominated approved university. Selected HDR students are enrolled concurrently at the two universities for the entire period of their program and they spend at least one year in each university.

Each student's program takes place under an Agreement which needs to be drawn up for each student between the two institutions.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is completed by the student, the two institutions and the supervisors and sets out in detail the terms and conditions for joint supervision and examination. The candidate pays fees at one institution only.

It is very important for a student to carefully read the conditions specified in the proposed joint-agreement before committing to the program; some joint-agreements may have special conditions attached which are additional to the standard University of Adelaide requirements.

If successful in completing the program, the student will be granted a single HDR degree jointly-awarded by the two institutions. The testamur will clearly reflect the joint nature of the program and that the degree is jointly awarded by the partner institutions.

What are the benefits of enrolling in a Jointly- Awarded PhD program?

A Jointly-awarded PhD program provides a mechanism:

  • to enhance two way international research collaboration, including recruitment of international research students
  • to facilitate cross-institutional study and experience for PhD students
  • to work in two countries and have access to the latest research equipment
  • to access new funding sources.
  • to devlop networks

The prime intent of Jointly-awarded HDR programs is that they form part of an ongoing or developing cooperative research collaboration between a School or research group in this University and one in another approved University.

Examples of research collaboration include:

  • evidence of dialogue between respective academic scholars
  • exchange of personnel to other institutions
  • co-publication of research.

Of course, not all collaboration needs to be at the level of a Jointly-awarded HDR program. Study leave is another option for students who wish to undertake fieldwork, research or study towards their degree whilst located outside the University for a period of time, not exceeding 12 months in total. A Jointly-awarded HDR program will be a more substantial association, a real collaboration in research supervision, which will raise an existing research collaboration to a higher level. It will provide the best HDR students with international experience and personal links at an early stage of their career.

Major Partnerships for Joint Degrees

The University is working closely with a number of key international partners for the joint award of HDR degrees.  Whilst the list below is not an exclusive list of potential joint-degree parties, it does provide an emphasis the University is anxious to support:

Partner University Fields of Research
University of Freiberg (Germany) Cancer and related biology
Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China) Plant biosciences

University of Nagoya (Japan) Medicine, medical sciences and biomedical engineering
University of Nottingham (UK) Chemistry, plant biosciences, nutrition and food science

What financial support is available to students undertaking a Jointly-awarded PhD degree?

The funding opportunities depend on the location of the student's Primary institution. The Primary institution' is nominated by the candidate at the time of application and is normally the institution where the candidate will spend the majority of their time. The second institution is referred to as the Partner institution.

All students enrolled in a Jointly-awarded PhD program will only be required to pay course fees to their Primary institution. If the University of Adelaide is the Primary institution the student:

  • will not be required to pay course fees to the Partner institution
  • may be considered for a living allowance (i.e. stipend) through the University’s scholarships program. Recipients of scholarship stipends will continue to receive payments while they are undertaking their studies at the Partner institution
  • may be considered for the travelling scholarships offered as part of the Adelaide Scholarships Program, such as the Research Abroad Scholarships.

Information about the Adelaide Scholarships Program is provided on the Adelaide Graduate Centre Scholarships website

If the University of Adelaide is not the Primary institution the following funding situation applies:

  • University of Adelaide course fees will be covered by the University of Adelaide and fees will only be payable to the Partner institution.
  • Students are not eligible to receive a scholarship which provides a living allowance (stipend) from the University of Adelaide. They will therefore need to seek a stipend from another source
  • Students are not eligible for University of Adelaide Research Abroad scholarships.

All students are encouraged to explore a wide range of funding options. Good starting places are:

  • the universities participating in the Jointly-awarded HDR program
  • national and regional governments
  • overseas embassies and missions
  • Hobsons Course Finder database an online database of postgraduate scholarships

Where do I find a template agreement for a Jointly-awarded PhD program?

Your supervisor should contact the Adelaide Graduate Centre or telephone (08)8313 3506 to discuss the nature of the proposed jointlyawarded program and to obtain the template agreement. The completed agreement must be submitted by the school either at the time of application or after the candidate has commenced, noting that the agreement must be finalised within the first 12 months of candidature. In the case of arrangements with universities in France, the completed agreement must be accompanied by the French institution’s cotutelle contract.

It is important to remember that the agreement is not an application form for HDR candidature. Before a Jointly-awarded HDR program can be approved, an applicant must be approved as eligible for the HDR degree by both of the participating universities. The applicant must therefore be successfully selected for candidature by each of the participating universities in line with their respective selection and other entry requirements. Applicants not currently enrolled at The University of Adelaide must submit a separate application for candidature. For further information about the application process is in Admission section of the website.

When setting up a Jointly-awarded HDR arrangement it is important to keep the following points in mind:

1. A Jointly-awarded HDR agreement must be drawn up between the two participating institutions in respect of each candidate, detailing the particular arrangements pertaining to that particular candidature. Normally such agreements take effect from the beginning of a candidature.

2. The agreement must list the supervisors who are to undertake the joint supervision; the University of Adelaide supervisor must be an employee of the University (not a Titleholder) and admitted to the University’s Supervisor Register.

3. The candidature is to be divided between the two institutions with alternate periods of attendance at each and a minimum of one year to be spent researching at each institution.

4. The agreement must set out the arrangements with regard to payment of fees.

5. There is to be one examination process agreed to by both institutions, and the initial agreement must detail the procedures that will be followed. Both Universities must agree to respect the outcome of the agreed examination process.

Once enrolled in a Jointly-awarded HDR program are tuition fees paid to both institutions?

A PhD student undertaking a Jointly-awarded PhD program will normally only be liable for tuition fees at the 'lead'/'home' institution.

Is there anything that needs to be submitted in addition to HDR thesis for examination?

The thesis will be written in English; unless approval to write in it a different language is acknowledged at the time the candidature agreement is accepted. When permission is granted to produce a thesis in a language other than English, the thesis will include a substantial summary of 5,000 to 10,000 words in English. Conversely in the thesis is written in English, a substantial summary will be written in the language of the other participating university.

How is examination of the HDR thesis conducted in the Jointly-awarded HDR Program?

The examination will be carried out in a manner that meets the essential requirements of both institutions and is at least as rigorous as that required under the academic program rules for the relevant HDR at the University of Adelaide. The home institution normally has the responsibility of coordinating the examination process. Students should be very clear, at the commencement of candidature, as to any special examination requirements such as mandated publications, or an oral exam defence.

Examiners reports on the thesis, prepared in English, must be submitted to the University of Adelaide irrespective of the language in which the thesis is written. Students may be required to undertake an oral examination in defence of their thesis, if one of the participating institutions requires this.

The successful outcome of the examination process would be the granting of a Jointly-awarded HDR degree.

Research Training Program funding

The completion of an HDR student enrolled under a Jointly-awarded degree arrangement will contribute to an Australian higher education institution’s total completion count and will be included in the completions component of the formula for allocating Research Training Program funding. Where the student is undertaking a jointly awarded degree program at the University of Adelaide and another Australian university, the completion will be reported according to the proportions agreed and documented in the Joint Agreement.

What award do I receive once I have passed?

The successful outcome of the examination would be the award of a single HDR degree, with testamurs from both institutions each of which will contain the following expression 'Conferred as a single degree under a joint ['name of program'] program between the University of Adelaide and [name of partner institution]'.

Further information

For further information or advice, please contact the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Operations) after discussion with your supervisor (where applicable).


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