Build your global research career with an international Joint PhD degree

Undertake a PhD degree, while being jointly supervised by leading academics here in Melbourne and at one of our overseas partner institutions.

Through a Joint PhD you will:

  • Access expertise, resources and world-class training at Melbourne and a leading institution abroad, spending at least 12 months of your candidature at each
  • Gain complementary skills from international colleagues to increase the impact of your research
  • Grow your international networks and develop a truly global perspective
  • Become part of two high-quality research environments and cultures
  • Have the joint nature of your PhD recognised by two testamurs – one from each partner university.

International Joint PhD opportunities

When you undertake a Joint PhD, you are supervised by academics from two institutions. As well as the University of Melbourne, you will spend at least 12 months at an international institution. This means your research will benefit from a truly global perspective, and you will enhance your prospects for an international research career.

There are currently several fully funded Joint PhD opportunities available with universities and research institutions around the world.

Find out more
  • KU Leuven.
  • Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
  • Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS)
    • Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour (UPPA)
    • Université de Lyon - Jean Moulin (Lyon 3)
    • Sorbonne Université
    • Claude Bernard University (Lyon 1)
    • Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) de Lyon
    • Université de Lille.
  • Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
    • RWTH Aachen
    • University of Bonn
    • University of Cologne
    • University of Düsseldorf
    • University of Wuppertal
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  • Max Plank Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology
    • University of Potsdam
  • RWTH Aachen
  • University of Bayreuth
  • University of Bonn
  • University of Hamburg
  • University of Potsdam.
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Madras
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.
  • Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
  • University of Amsterdam.
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Manchester.

You apply for the Joint PhD nominating either Melbourne or an overseas institution as your home institution, this is normally predetermined by the project or Joint PhD opportunity you are applying for.

Your home institution is the one where you will be primarily based, and normally spend most of your time. Your partner institution will host your research stay of at least 12 months.

Your PhD research will be jointly supervised by two academics, one from each partner institution.

The level of funding support (for example, to cover tuition fees or a stipend) will depend on the Joint PhD activity and the location of your home institution.

If Melbourne is your home institution

If we are your home institution you will:

  • Receive a fee-remission scholarship to waive your Melbourne tuition fees
  • Access one of more than 600 living allowance scholarships made available to graduate researchers every year (see the Scholarships page for more information)
  • Continue receiving a living allowance scholarship while undertaking your research overseas at your partner institution
  • Be encouraged to apply for travelling scholarships and other financial support offered through your home faculty, graduate school, or an external sponsor.

A fee-remission scholarship will usually be awarded at your partner institution for the duration of your PhD.

If Melbourne is your partner institution

If the University of Melbourne is not your home institution, funding will usually be allocated by the partner institution through a competitive scholarship application process. This scholarship would support your home university’s tuition fees and living allowance for the duration of your degree, including the time when you are hosted by us as your partner university.

As your partner university, we will award you a fee-remission scholarship for the duration of your PhD.

Your enrolment and candidature will be governed by an agreement between us and your partner institution. This Graduate Researcher Agreement will outline your location periods (of at least 12 months) at each institution, thesis requirements, as well as supervision, funding, examination and graduation arrangements.

  • Identify a project your wish to apply for from the list of Joint PhD opportunities
  • Make sure you meet the entry requirements for a PhD at both partner universities
  • Submit your CV and transcripts to the proposed supervisors and program coordinator of your preferred project for pre-selection
  • Once advised to do so, follow the steps to apply for entry to a PhD at Melbourne as either a domestic or international candidate. Be sure to specify that you want to be considered for a Joint PhD and indicate the details of your external university under the Partner University Details section
  • Apply independently for entry to a PhD at your partner university via their application process
  • Request additional documentation, including the Graduate Researcher Agreement that sets out the terms and conditions of your jointly awarded PhD, from the coordinator of the Joint PhD activity. Coordinator contact details can be found on the websites of the Joint PhD activity you have applied for. The agreement should be completed within your first year of study.

For further general information and advice see the FAQs below.

The University of Melbourne administers jointly awarded PhD degrees with partner institutions with whom we agree to support cohorts of graduate researchers: International Research Training Groups (IRTGs). If your proposed joint PhD arrangement fits within your University of Melbourne supervisor’s plans to develop an IRTG with a new partner university, then please direct them to the Joint PhD and IRTG Staff Hub page for more information.

Unfortunately, we cannot offer Joint PhDs in a part-time capacity at this time.

Upon completion of your Joint PhD, the degree is conferred through two testamurs, one from each participating institution. Both testamurs will state the joint nature of the degree and name the partner institution.

Usually your graduation ceremony takes place at the home institution, although you may wish to attend both graduation ceremonies.

As well as being accepted into a PhD program at each university you must fill-out the individual Graduate Researcher Agreement. This agreement varies depending on the partner institution and can be obtained via the coordinator of the Joint PhD activity. Once complete you should submit the form back to the coordinator.

The agreement must be completed, signed, and dated by all parties as soon as possible after you have been accepted at both institutions. It must be processed within the first year of candidature.

As a Joint PhD candidate you have up to a maximum 4 years of enrolled candidature to submit your thesis to Melbourne. Melbourne stipends are awarded for up to 3.5 years, and Melbourne fee-remissions are awarded for up to 4 years.

Student visas for research stays at a partner institution (where you are a non-national of the partner institution country) will depend on the location of the partner institution and its country’s national regulations. You should seek independent advice regarding necessary visas and accommodation specific to your partner institution.

If you are an International graduate researcher, you must arrange compulsory Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for your time at Melbourne, as part of your visa requirements. Please consult with your proposed partner institution regarding health insurance requirements.

Yes, mobility costs are included for you when successfully enrolled as part of a Joint PhD activity. However, you will be encouraged to apply for external funding to support these activities.

PhD completion and assessment policies differ between UoM and partner institutions. To receive your Joint PhD degree you must abide by the requirements of both institutions, as outlined in your individual agreement.

The program Coordinator along with the lead academics of the Joint PhD activity will make reasonable efforts to assist you in resolving the conflict, which may include finding an alternative supervisor, provided that you are in good standing and in accordance with University of Melbourne policies and procedures.

If you still have questions your proposed supervisor and the coordinator of the Joint PhD activity can provide more information. Alternatively you can contact joint-phd@unimelb.edu.au.