Joint PhD Program

What is the intention from both sides to this program?

UQ’s intention is to attract and retain some of the best students. UQ’s intention is to also
have a strong research presence in India. UQ wants to create a positive image in India
through this, through our industry collaborations, our work with affiliate partners and our
enabling partners. In addition, UQIDAR could also be a beachhead for greater (direct)
industry engagement with companies in India.

We want to attract some of the best IIT Engineering undergraduates. Will the program allow us to do that?

The two sets of supervisors will carry out the interviews with the students and rank the top 3.
It is quite conceivable that they would pick an IIT-B Bachelors as rank-1, a Master student
from NIT Warrangal (say) with 2 publications as rank-2 and a Bachelors from University of
Pune as rank-3. The advisory team will have a significant say in deciding who the best student
is to admit into the program. These rankings will be taken into consideration by the interview
panel before arriving at the final decision on offers.

When will this program commence?

Our intention is to definitely launch this program in the November 2018 intake (for students
commencing January 2019).

Why are we doing it this way? Can we not have the students suggest projects and then find a match between the pool of potential supervisors here and in India?

At a mature stage, this would be a good model to adopt. In general, we agree that it would be
a sensible way to go, particularly (or especially) if the supervisors are all in one institution.
But the difficulties associated with managing a potential collaboration discussion across a
5000-mile corridor between India and Australia could prove incredibly difficult for students.
Some students could spend several months in the program before finding the exact project
and supervisors who are willing to supervise a specific project that they had drafted. Which is
why we decided to go down the [Supervisors_First, Project_Next, Student_Last] pathway.
Supervisors at both institutions decide what they would like to work on (need not be
specified in great detail). The best students who have the interest and capabilities connect to
that project. It may not be ideal, but it would work.

What is the duration of the project?

Four years max. At the end of the first year, we’d expect that students will have completed all
their coursework requirements AND have a project proposal (including a literature review, a
gap identified, a problem statement and an initial project plan) that they are able to defend.

Academics / Researchers

Should I contact IIT-D potential faculty members directly to discuss jointsupervision?

Yes, we strongly encourage UQ academics and researchers to contact your existing
collaborators at IIT-D, or identify potential supervisors at IIT-D to discuss research projects
that may be of interest. Research Partnerships Office or Global Engagement &
Entrepreneurship Office are happy to assist with this process. If you would like any help, do
reach out to Professor Mohan Krishnamoorthy or Dr Jessica Gallagher.

Is it possible for UQ academic to state our research interests and then someone could suggest 3 or 4 researchers for us to connect with? We could then request you to connect us up with one or more of them?

Absolutely. No problems at all.

Can I make contact with IIT-D now?

Yes you may. All Faculty at IIT-D have been made aware of the joint-PhD program.

Can we create a pool of academic that’s available in multi-disciplinary areas to engage?

Absolutely! This is the aspiration that we have and we need to start somewhere. In terms of
projects they are being guided at the high level based on UQ’s research impact areas, i.e.
Healthy Aging – this is not just Health areas, it is a board subject which also include
Engineering, Social Science etc. and can link academics in multi-disciplinary collaboration.

Can we include academics from other Universities to co-supervise?

This will be a phase-two or phase-three of the UQIDAR implementation. Ultimately we want
to link the UQ and IIT-D academics together with a high quality PhD project, as long as the
two principle supervisors are from UQ and IIT-D that shouldn’t be a problem. However, our
intention is to get phase-1 kicked off.

Is it possible to have two co-supervisors from UQ?

Yes it is possible to have more than one supervisors from UQ.

I am an academic on a contract at UQ, is having more than one co-supervisors at UQ mandatory?

Yes this might be necessary.

I am a mid-career researcher who is eligible to be a principle advisor on HDR degree however I am still on contract/tenure position at UQ, can I still submit a proposal?

Yes providing that (a) you are able to supervise, and (b) the tenure goes beyond 4 years
which is the PhD candidature duration.

What is the provision for faculty at IIT-D and UQ to participate and exchange visits?

Supervisors are given a small fund to encourage and facilitate mobility, to use for
consumables and on specific aspects of the project for which small discretionary funding may
be needed.

PHD Students

Are the “a-students” limited to Australian applicants only?

Yes “a-students” are restricting to Australian domestic students only as UQ cannot commit
any additional international scholarships, and it is also consistent with the idea of
reciprocation of the program.

I have identified a research project which could accommodate two PhD students, how do I address this in my project proposal?

It is not a problem to indicate in the proposal form that the project could accommodate two PhD students, however we suggest the best format is to create two separate projects that are slightly different and distinct.

From Humanities and Social sciences aspect, not many students will publish in the first couple years and that usually stops them receiving a scholarship. How will this partnership work with the source of candidate?

The source of candidate can come from anywhere domestically or international in all
disciplines. We simply want the best students to apply and the supervisors have a significant say in how students get ranked. This ranking will be arrived at on the basis of transcripts, SOPs, scores in competitive exams, the student’s research plan and their skype/zoom interview with the supervisors. These inputs will then be taken into consideration by the Joint
Admissions Committee.


Do I need to have an industry partner right from the outset to start the joint PhD collaboration?

It is not necessary to have an industry partner right from the outset. We will work to engage
industry in this program and expect that in time there will be industry-related projects made
available to students.

How will you attract industry? Do we need to bring our existing industry partners? Does IITD have existing industry partners?

Yes, IIT-D has a strong base of industry partners and we will look to leverage these
relationships, as well as develop new ones, to support the joint PhD program. India has had a
massive surge in the number of multi-national companies that have set up R&D centres in
India. The Academy’s CEO will need to be talking to all of them with a view to engaging them
(and other companies from India, Australia and elsewhere) to participate in this program as

Can projects be suggested by industry?

Absolutely, it doesn’t have to be just suggested by the two supervisors

Research Projects

How do I develop and suggest a project?

First complete a web-based due diligence of your “match” at IIT-D. All faculty members at IITD
have been made aware of this program. So, if you are happy with your due diligence, you
could reach out to the matched faculty member at IIT-D or an academic you have identified independently. If you would like assistance with reaching out to your “match” please contact Professor Mohan Krishnamoorthy or Dr Jessica Gallagher as they are happy to assist. After that, please do have interactions and Skype/Zoom meetings with your potential IIT-D collaborator(s). Then fill in the Project Proposal template.

Is there a restriction in number of project proposals?

There are NO restrictions on the number of proposals. We encourage high quality strong proposals to attract a higher quality pool of students into the program. In general though, even if you only want to take one student, having 2-3 Project Proposals may result in a better pool of students to choose from.

How many students a UQ supervisor can take on either side?

There is no limit on the number of students, but ideally one student per project. If a project is
large enough to admit 2-3 students, the advice is to split it into 2-3 projects that are distinct.
Students can choose up to 3 projects when they apply.

What about project availability? Will all projects beaccepted?

In the first intake, we may be a bit relaxed in terms of the project we accept. However, we will have a Management Committee that reviews projects and accepts them on the basis of supervisory team, capacity to supervise, the likely impact of the project, funding arrangements of the projects and how well the project has been articulated with a view to attracting the strongest candidates. This committee will provide feedback to those projects that have not been chosen so that these may be strengthened in future intake rounds.

Funding and Scholarships

How is this program funded?

This is a centrally funded program both at UQ and IIT-D. We aim to allocate central funding plus scholarship to support this program except for a-students, supervisors must provide clear indications of adequate funding arrangements in place. In the fullness of time, the assumption is that approximately 30% of the Academy PhD students will be funded by industry.

How will students be funded (tuition fee, living allowance, operating fund etc.)?

IIT-D will contribute a stipend for the 3 years while students are based in India. For this, the IIT-D academic will need to have a “grant” to support the basic IIT-D scholarship. UQ will contribute the stipend for the one year spent in Brisbane. UQ will also contribute the top-up for students while they are studying at IIT-D for 3 years. Students will not be provided any
stipend or scholarship beyond 4 years.
For international students, the scholarship would need to be covered in full by UQ.Top up or development costs could be covered by IIT-D from project funding. The Academy will commence with targets of 80%domestic and 20% international students.
We are anticipating that industry contributions towards the stipend for each student will commence from Year 2, rising to about 30% by Year 5. We will not be providing operating funds as part of the program. However we are aiming to 5
offer a small contribution to the supervisors at each end to cover minor operating costs and mobility.

What is the scope of funding expected for i-student or a- student in terms of Scholarship/ Research assistantship; travel /logistics; contingency and others like institute overheads etc

For an i-student the scholarship (when the student is in IIT-D) will come out of your project. Travel and scholarship in UQ will be borne by the Academy. For an a-student your UQ partner should have a project to support the student. A foreign student could be funded by the IoE grant.

Is there scholarship available for the program?

Students are encouraged to consider scholarship via the usual process of UQ Graduate School’s scholarship rounds, or consider applying scholarship via the Academy of Research with the condition that they will need an IIT-D supervisor.

The Joint PhD program will pay for the students and their travels, so what academics need to budget for?

The program will make available supervisor funds to cover travel, so a project is likely to be successful if the supervisors have funds (through grants and other means) to cover project related costs including expenses related with filed work to collect data, attending conferences, and publications expenses when required. We encourage the supervisors to frame the project accordingly.

Is it mandatory to connect to a sponsored project currently running under me as Principal Investigator from other funding agencies such as Indian Govt or Australian Govt etc?

If you have a sponsored project under which you can hire a PhD student then please mention details of that project. If you do not have a project then please mention so as well, we might be able to find a student who has his/her own scholarship.

Expression of Interest

What are the next steps?

IIT-D has informed all their academics of this program. You could look at the IIT-D website and look at matches with your research interests (either the names we have suggested or names of academics that you would like to make contact with). Reach out to the IIT-D supervisors (feel free to copy Mohan and Jess). If you need an introduction email, feel free to reach out to Mohan and/or Jess. We will carry out the ‘handshake’. After email/skype/zoom discussions with your IIT- D collaborator, fill up your Project Proposal (template has been sent already, but if you do not have it, reach out to Mohan/Jess). Send it back before the Project Proposal deadline.

What is the deadline for EOI?

Expressions of interest to get involved in the program are welcome at any time. In general though, the deadline for Project Proposal submissions will be 31 March for the May-June intake and 30 September for the December intake every year. We will send out Calls for Project Proposal in February and August every year.

Where do I submit my project proposals?

Please submit all project proposals to uqidar@uq.edu.au