FAQs for Candidates

Why should I do this PhD Program over any other?

The aim of this program is to produce highly skilled, highly employable, industry-ready graduates. We will teach you the skills you need, tailoring our approach to suit the competencies you enter the program with. We want you to be comfortable moving between industry, applied research agencies and universities so that you can maximise the impact of your career. We seek domestic candidates who want to achieve real impact for Australian industry, and our commitment to you is to set you up for success. This program differs from others – you will have an industry mentor throughout your degree and six months immersion in industry during your four-year scholarship. You will also receive very significant professional development training.

You will get access to a high calibre cohort of open-minded candidates like yourself. As well as deep connections into your chosen industry, you will also get to build connections with the industries that your cohort colleagues are in – this will create a truly multidisciplinary professional network if you seize the opportunity!

What is the scholarship available?

You will receive a scholarship of $40,000 a year, every year for the four years of your PhD program.

What are the selection criteria?

You will need to meet UNSW RTP scholarship requirements as a minimum. You will also be assessed on your interest in industry, your people and communication skills, and any innovation experience or interest you have. Should you meet the academic requirements and be invited for an interview, you will need to be available for further face-to-face assessment. Applicants who reach this stage will be advised of dates for the remaining assessment steps.

How much ‘extra’ work will this program involve?

You will be expected to take a six-month work placement in industry, in addition to completing a high quality thesis.

All candidates will receive training in:

  • IP and commercial product development
  • Lean/agile thinking and practice (including start-ups and investment options)
  • Project management and customer collaboration
  • Leadership and team building
  • Interpersonal skills

Additional skill development such as, communication, pitching or client engagement training will be considered depending on the competencies you have when you enter our program. It is anticipated that this training will take between five and ten days a year. 

Who should apply?

If you have your heart set on being an academic at a university, then this isn’t the program for you.
If you want to have a diverse career with multiple possible career pathways, achieving tangible impact through working with others to deliver excellent science, then this is for you. We want people who are passionate and visionary, who will influence industry to seek and adopt research and development to drive excellence in the Australian innovation system.

Am I guaranteed a job at the end?

There are no guarantees of ongoing employment. You will though have four years of working closely with an employer in your field which gives you a great starting point. The career development skills you will receive, your industry immersion and your industry-relevant research training will give you a great market edge over other PhD candidates in job interviews.

Where will I need to work?

Where you are based (at the university, CSIRO or on an industry site) will depend on the nature of your PhD project. In addition to your research, you will work in one or more businesses for at least six months — the logistics of this will need to be agreed between you and your industry mentor.

Who owns the IP?

The program intent is to train the next generation of industry-focused researchers. IP will be owned by the industry partner (except for copyright in the candidate’s thesis, which will be retained by you, the candidate, and you will retain the right to publish). CSIRO and UNSW may seek a limited licence-back of the IP for further research and education purposes (not including commercialisation).