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 institution
- 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.
We provide funded opportunities to conduct a joint PhD with our partner institutions by supporting cohorts of graduate researchers, known as International Research Training Groups (IRTGs). These IRTGs provide a supportive and collegiate environment for you to excel in your research training.
Browse international partner institutions
In addition to existing opportunities within our IRTGs, you could also explore joint PhD options in a different subject area with one of our international partner institutions listed below.
How does a joint PhD work?
When you apply for a joint PhD you nominate either Melbourne or an overseas institution as your Home Institution. Your Home Institution is usually the one where you spend most of your time. This is normally predetermined by the project or joint PhD opportunity you are applying for.
Your project plan will include a research stay of at least 12 months at your Host Institution.
Your PhD will be jointly supervised by at least one supervisor 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, partner institution, and which of the partners is your Home Institution.
Details of your enrolment and candidature will be governed by an agreement between us and your partner institution. This Individual Graduate Researcher Agreement (IGRA) will outline your location periods (of at least 12 months) at each institution, thesis requirements, as well as supervision, funding, examination and graduation arrangements.
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 Graduate Research Scholarships page for more information)
- Continue receiving a living allowance scholarship while undertaking your research overseas at your Host 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 be awarded at your host institution for the duration of your PhD.
If Melbourne is your Host Institution
If the University of Melbourne is not your Home Institution, funding will usually be allocated by the partner institution through a competitive process. This scholarship or stipend would support your Home Institution’s tuition fees and living allowance for the duration of your degree, including the time when you are conducting research in Melbourne with us as your Host Institution. *
As your Host Institution, we will award you a fee-remission scholarship for the duration of your PhD.
*Note that in some arrangements scholarship funding is split between the partners and paid for by the institution at which you are located at any given time.
How to apply
- After making sure you meet the entry requirements for a PhD at both Melbourne (as a domestic or international applicant) and the proposed partner university, identify either:
- Submit your cover letter, CV, transcripts and any supporting documentation to the proposed supervisors
- Once advised to do so by your proposed supervisors, follow the steps to apply for entry to the relevant PhD course (determined by the Faculty that your supervisor is in) 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 appropriate details 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 Individual Graduate Researcher Agreement (IGRA) that sets out the terms and conditions of your jointly awarded PhD, from your Melbourne supervisor - or from the appropriate coordinator if you are applying for a joint PhD as part of an IRTG. IRTG Coordinator contact details can be found on the IRTG website . The IGRA should be completed before you commence your PhD.
For further general information and advice see the FAQs below.