Joint PhD Program

A Joint PhD Program allows for approved PhD candidates to be jointly supervised by both a UNSW supervisor and a collaborating supervisor from an approved international university. The PhD candidate is enrolled concurrently at both institutions for the period of their PhD and receives a single doctoral degree jointly awarded by the two institutions.

What are the benefits of the Joint PhD Program?

One of the aims of setting up a joint PhD is to build upon existing research collaborations and relationships that have already been established between the two institutions. Examples of collaborative research may be evidenced by such activity as a co-publication of research, work on joint research projects, joint research grants, or staff exchanges.

The benefits of the Joint PhD Program to UNSW include:

  • Enhancing UNSW’s international and research profile

  • Encourages research collaboration

  • New funding opportunities

  • Provides UNSW PhD candidates the opportunity to experience international study

What are the requirements for establishing a new Joint PhD Program?

  • Evidence of a strategic and sustainable research relationship

  • Critical mass of prospective students

  • A UNSW academic to ‘champion’ the relationship with the partner university

What to do if you are a UNSW Supervisor who would like to establish a Joint PhD Program:

  1. Familiarise yourself with the Joint PhD Policy & Procedure

  2. Complete the Expression of Interest Form for an International MOU or Student Agreement

  3. The EoI will be reviewed by the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Training)

  4. The Division of Research will advise on the status and progression of your application

Before a Joint PhD Agreement can be finalised a number of steps have to take place that involve agreement and discussion between the institutions regarding candidature terms and conditions, financial/scholarship agreements, IP, examination terms and  time-split between institutions. The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Training) & Dean of Graduate Research leads the discussions with the partner university’s counterpart Dean. These discussions lead to the development of the Joint PhD Agreement and can take anywhere from 3-18 months to complete.

What to do if you are a prospective UNSW PhD Candidate who would like to study in a Joint PhD Program with an International Partner University:

  1. Prior to enrolment at UNSW, discuss with potential supervisors the opportunity for a joint PhD

  2. Your prospective UNSW supervisor needs to lead the request for a joint PhD Program

Important Notes:

  • The Joint PhD Program is only available for full time study

  • You can not apply for a Joint PhD Program if you have already started your candidature


How to apply for a Joint PhD Program with a current Joint PhD Program Partner

  • Information on how to apply for a Joint PhD Program with a current Joint PhD Program Partner is available here.


Contact: Soen Tien Wun