The Industry Engaged PhD (IEP)

The Industry Engaged PhD (IEP)

If you are a student looking for a placement opportunity with an industry partner, professional development activities designed to increase your industry knowledge and the ability to learn from an industry mentor, develop additional workplace skills, and build your industry networks, then consider the Industry Engaged PhD (IEP).

During your placement, you will apply your research knowledge and skills in a non-academic environment, guided by a University supervisor and an industry mentor. An IEP placement provides an opportunity for you to work on a real industry problem, which is distinct from your PhD research topic.

In addition, you will undertake selected Career and Research Skills Training (CaRST) activities as directed by the CaRST Director or industry partner. CaRST activities may include topics on engaging with industry, intellectual property, management/leadership, negotiation, collaboration, entrepreneurship, and research commercialisation.

You can begin an IEP placement at any time from the confirmation of candidature to a maximum of one-month post-thesis submission. A great time to complete a placement is the interval between thesis submission and final examination outcome.

How do I find a placement?

Students are encouraged to utilise their research networks to self-source a full-time placement opportunity of between 1-3 months in duration. IEP scholarships are available on a competitive basis to support approved placements and are funded through the University of Adelaide. It is anticipated that the application process will be competitive in current and future offerings.

Alternatively, students can also access unique third party opportunities, which have their own timelines and conditions. To view current third party placements that are available click here:

View current placements

Key aspects of the IEP

The Industry Engaged PhD (IEP) program is open to all PhD students regardless of residency status, on an opt-in basis. Approval to participate in an IEP placement is contingent on satisfactory progress in the PhD and the establishment of a placement agreement with defined learning objectives which are agreeable to all parties.

Additional conditions may apply, and you are encouraged to discuss a potential placement with the Adelaide Graduate Centre. Placements offered by third parties may also have their own requirements.

University IEP scholarships are available on a competitive basis to support approved placements. The Adelaide Graduate Centre will offer Industry Placement scholarships each year for eligible domestic and international PhD students.

Students who are awarded an IEP scholarship will be provided with a stipend equivalent to the RTPS rate, pro rata, for the approved duration of the placement. The IEP scholarship will be paid on expiry of any existing major award, subject to the student’s ongoing enrolment.

For placement opportunities accessed through third parties, funding is subject to their policies and guidelines.

The IEP will include 6 week-3 month opportunities sponsored by the University. The placement duration will be a minimum of 6 weeks (30 FTE days) and a maximum of three months (65 FTE days) in duration. A placement agreement that clearly defines the schedule, learning objectives, assessable outcomes and other details must be agreed to by all parties prior to commencement.

  1. Check your eligibility
  2. Identify a suitable industry partner (utilising your supervisors’ and your own networks)
  3. Determine the start, end dates and duration of the placement (number of FTE days) and establish the goals and expected outcomes; the placement must have educational value and not simply be work experience
  4. In discussion with the relevant parties complete the Placement Plan, indicating whether you wish to be considered for an IEP scholarship, and the IEP Student Agreement and submit them to the Adelaide Graduate Centre
  5. Throughout the process, contact the Adelaide Graduate Centre’s Industry Research Placement Coordinator: hdrindustryenq@adelaide.edu.au for advice and assistance.

A limited number of IEP scholarships are available to candidates in 2019.

During the placement, students will be required to undertake professional development activities through the University’s Career and Research Skills Training (CaRST) program. Students are required to complete at least 4 out of the 8 core IEP Career and Research Skills Training (CaRST) activities. Available topics include intellectual property, management/leadership, negotiation, collaboration, entrepreneurship, and research commercialisation. In addition, students will undertake training and activities as directed by the industry partner.


  • Information for students

    Recognition on academic transcripts

    Successfully completed IEP Placements will receive official recognition from the University of Adelaide.

    Completion of a placement of a specified number of days in duration will be reflected as a statement on the academic transcript.

    Completion of the IEP program, including the placement and compulsory CaRST activities, will also be reflected as a statement on the academic transcript.


    Placement Assessment

    Assessment of the placement will comprise the preparation of a final report on the Placement Assessment Form including a short (non-confidential) “Impact Statement” to highlight the benefits the student obtained through undertaking the placement and details of any presentations provided during the placement term. A final presentation of placement outcomes to both industry and University representatives is encouraged but not compulsory for placements of less than 4 months in duration.

    The report must be completed by all parties (student, University supervisor and industry supervisor) and submitted to the Graduate Centre within 1 month of placement completion.


  • Intellectual Property (IP)

    Participation in a placement will require an IP agreement. Typically, students will assign any placement IP to the industry partner, whilst any background research IP will be retained by the student/University.


  • Information for the University supervisors

    Key Expectations:

    • Assist the student to identify an appropriate placement opportunity
    • Negotiate the placement goals, learning objectives and any other requirements during the placement establishment phase
    • Evaluate and sign the student’s final report
    • Evaluate the student’s final presentation (if applicable *)

    * A final presentation of placement outcomes to both industry and University representatives is encouraged but not compulsory for placements of less than 4 months in duration.


  • Information for the industry partner

    Key Expectations:

    • Provide an opportunity for the student to work on an industry problem, which is distinct from a student’s research topic
    • Provide financial or in-kind support for the placement
    • Complete a 250-300 word “Impact Statement” to express the impact and outcomes of the placement on your organisation
    • Contribute at least one industry supervisor/mentor who is registered on the Supervisor Classification and Reporting System (SCRS) for the duration of the placement
    • Evaluate any presentations the student completes during the placement term (if applicable*)
    • Evaluate and sign the student’s final report

    * A final presentation of placement outcomes to both industry and University representatives is encouraged but not compulsory for placements of less than 4 months in duration.


  • FAQs – for students

    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.


    Can I do my placement on a part time basis, for example, 1-2 days per week?
    Provided you maintain a full-time enrolment and all parties are in agreement, you may undertake a placement on a part-time basis (e.g. 3 days on your PhD and 2 days on your placement).

    As additional considerations may apply, it is recommended that you contact the Industry Research Placement Coordinator to discuss your individual circumstances if you are interested in a part-time placement.


    How can I source an industry organisation for my IEP?
    Placements for the IEP are self-sourced. Utilising your supervisors’ and your own research networks is recommended.


    Is the IEP a paid industry placement?
    A limited number of scholarships are available each year to support eligible and competitive domestic and international PhD students to undertake an IEP placement.

    For third party placement opportunities (e.g. APR Intern), funding is subject to their specific policies and guidelines.


    What kinds of organisations are eligible to participate in an IEP?
    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, however, please contact us for more information.


    I am an international student. Am I eligible to participate in an IEP?
    Participation is open to all students, regardless of discipline or residency status, on an opt-in basis. Approval to participate in a placement for international students, however, is contingent on the ability to complete the placement and PhD within the standard program duration.


    I am a domestic student who will be undertaking an IEP after thesis submission, can I still receive an IEP scholarship?
    Yes; where a full-time placement is undertaken in the post-submission period, you will receive a pro rata stipend equal to the value of a Research Training Program Stipend (RTPS) for the approved placement duration. If a part-time placement is approved, any stipend will be taxable.


    Can I cancel my placement?
    Once you have opted into undertaking a placement, completion of that placement becomes a pre-requisite for the award of your PhD. Where extenuating circumstances apply, please contact the Industry Research Placement Coordinator for advice.


    Can I do my placement after my thesis is submitted?
    If you are a domestic student, you may commence a placement up to one month following the submission of your thesis for examination. As satisfactory completion of the placement becomes a pre-requisite for the completion of your PhD, in practical terms this may have the effect of requiring your final (post-amendment) thesis outcome to be withheld until the outcome of your placement is determined.


    How is a placement documented on my transcripts?
    Successfully completed IEP placements will receive official recognition from the University of Adelaide. Completion of the IEP (including the compulsory CaRST activities) and the placement will be reflected as statements on the academic transcript.


    I am a Master of Philosophy student, can I undertake an IEP?
    No, you must be enrolled in a PhD at the University of Adelaide in order to participate in an IEP.


    If I am not a recipient of an IEP scholarship, can I still do an industry placement?
    You may participate in the IEP program without being awarded a placement scholarship subject to the usual conditions of candidature and any scholarships or sponsorship you are in receipt of.

    Participation in a placement is not considered grounds for the extension of any major scholarship you may be in receipt of.


    If I do an industry placement, will I be compensated for the additional length of time expected for program completion?
    Yes. If you are a domestic student, your candidature expiry date will be extended by the approved duration of your placement.


  • FAQs – for industry partners

    What academic background will the students have?
    The Industry Engaged PhD program is open to all PhD students. The University of Adelaide continues to attract top talent PhD students who bring cutting-edge research to industry. Our students are problem solvers, innovators, cutting edge users of technology, and always striving to find creative solutions to industry challenges.


    How long are the placements?
    The placement duration will be a minimum of 30 working days and a maximum duration of three months (65 working days). A placement agreement which clearly defines the schedule, learning objectives and assessable outcomes will be agreed to by all parties prior to placement commencement.


    What is my financial obligation as an industry partner?
    It is not compulsory for an industry partner to contribute to a stipend payment but it is expected that the industry partner will provide some level of financial or in-kind support for the placement.


    What is the University’s policy regarding Intellectual Property (IP)?
    Participation in a placement will require an IP agreement. Typically, students will assign any placement IP to the industry partner, whilst any background research IP will be retained by the student/University.


  • Useful links

  • Further enquiries

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