Industry PhD Program

Our Industry PhD Program is engaging industry and universities to train the future workforce through practical, demand driven research projects. Click here to view our scholarships.

About this program

Program Leader: Greg Morrison

RACE for 2030 (RACE) aims to accelerate the transition to Reliable, Affordable, Clean Energy by 2030 through innovation focused on energy end users and the networks that supply them. The Industry PhD Program is engaging industry and universities to train the future workforce through practical, demand driven research projects. Industry partners, in conjunction with academia, provide the industry PhD research agenda based on their societal knowledge of pressing needs and issues. RACE PhD candidates will have individual and collective passions that can be harnessed to create positive, impactful actions, outcomes, and change.

Each industry PhD project must have an industry partner and an associated Industry Reference Group (IRG) of several members to provide guidance on the PhD research and ensure the research addresses an industry issue, in addition to the support provided through the partner University.

RACE will fund 55 industry PhD candidates to be completed through to 2030 within the four RACE research programs, CLICK HERE to learn more. RACE will provide three years of funding with an expected completion within four years full time. The lead industry partner and host university will attribute $12,500/year towards the PhD scholarship from their RACE contributions, with RACE contributing the remaining $13,000. Additionally, RACE will provide candidates with $3,000/year for three years for additional expenses.

Industry PhD research projects may be submitted for consideration by industry or research partners and there is an emphasis on industry collaboration. The call for Industry PhD topic nominations is now open. Submit your topic nomination now via the RACE community portal, applications close Friday 16th July 2021.

PhD Candidates

We encourage applicants from a diversity of backgrounds and those who meet the RACE core values. Given the historic under-representation of women in the energy sector, female applicants are particularly encouraged to apply. Our ideal candidate starts in a field of industry needs driven research nominated by our researchers and/or industry partners and aligned with the projects identified by RACE. The candidate will be recruited under a competitive process via the University partners.

To be eligible for a RACE for 2030 scholarship:

  1. Scholarships are available for Australian residents and citizens. We encourage female identifying or Indigenous applicants.
  2. Applicants should have a first-class honours or masters degree or equivalent in a related discipline, OR a combination of an upper second-class honour’s degree or equivalent in a related discipline together with a minimum of five years equivalent full-time professional work experience in a relevant field.
  3. Applicants must be eligible for enrolment in their chosen course at a participating RACE for 2030 university partner. It is recommended that students obtain relevant postgraduate information from the relevant university before pursuing a scholarship inquiry.
  4. Applicants must be studying full time.

for our scholarships.

The appointed PhD candidate will follow the regulations of the University where the PhD is to be awarded. However, the normal structure will be through a PhD by publication with a minimum of three peer reviewed publications and will commence with an Industry PhD Rapid Reviews CLICK HERE for more details. A rapid review is a focused review of research on a topic or problem identified by industry. The rapid review brings together knowledge from a range of sources including academia, industry and government reports, to highlight and target future research areas. This is done in a 6 to 8-month time frame and is guided by the industry partner, University supervisor and the IRG. At the end of the process, current knowledge is summarised, and recommendations on future research and policy areas are clearly identified. This allows the industry PhD project to continue with a clear issue to focus on that is beneficial to both industry and academia.

Rapid reviews provide three outputs:

  1. Industry and society policy summary written in plain language (2-5 pages);
  2. Evidence report from the rapid review process ‘review of reviews’ – 30 pages, available for either/both industry and researchers; and
  3. Rapid Review for peer reviewed publication.


The following milestones apply for the industry PhD candidates:

  • 1-6 months: Industry PhD candidate commences, discussions with their IRG regarding the industry identified need for the rapid review topic, undertake scoping searches of the literature to identify the feasibility of the topic. Reporting milestone to RACE for 2030 within 6 months on progress.
  • 8 months: delivery of rapid review outcomes package under the guidance of the IRG and research supervisor(s). The rapid review documents will be available on the RACE for 2030.
  • 31st May and 30th November each year: Milestone report to RACE for 2030 covering activities undertaken including those with the IRG, any difficulties encountered, research outputs, expenses summary and timeline to completion. Industry Partner survey undertaken.
  • End of Year 3: PhD completion with research publications within this timeframe. A six-month extension may be permitted on a case-by-case basis.

There will be a lively program of engagement among industry PhD candidates and with industry and research partners and with the wider RACE stakeholders. This may include summer studies, industry placement, online and IRL seminars, conferences, workshops and social events. More information on these events will be disseminated in due course.

Professor Greg Morrison (Program Leader RACE for Everyone) will oversee the PhD program with support from Dr Jessica Breadsell, the Industry PhD Program Coordinator.

The RACE for 2030 PhD team can be contacted on the following details:

Greg Morrison:

Jessica Breadsell:

Our university partners include: 

  • Curtin University
  • Griffith University
  • Monash University
  • Queensland University of Technology
  • RMIT University
  • University of New South Wales
  • University of South Australia
  • University of Technology Sydney 

Q. I am an industry partner who has a PhD topic idea but I do not have a research partner in mind, what can I do?

A. Contact the PhD team to discuss matching a research partner to your project.


Q. Can I complete my PhD part-time?

A. We are not offering part-time scholarships at this stage.


Q. Are top-up scholarships available?

A. We are not offering top-up scholarships at this stage but may do so in the future.


Q. Can I carry out a traditional PhD with a “thick thesis”?

A. RACE PhD scholarships require a thesis including a rapid review and peer reviewed publications, this model provide clear outcomes for both our research and industry partners


Q. Why do we need industry partners in the PhD program?

A. RACE PhD is funded by the Department of Industry, the industry partners and the Research Partners. RACE is a collaboration in addressing industry needs. Industry partners and the IRG provide the research agenda based on their societal knowledge of pressing needs and issues. The industry partners and IRG also provide a good basis for industry relevance for the PhD student.


Q. I am an international student, can I apply for a PhD?

A. Scholarships are currently available for Australian residents. Non-residents will be considered, subject to project-specific requirements.


Q. How long is the scholarship for?

A. The scholarship is for 3 years with an additional 6 months being granted on a case by case basis.


Q. My University has a coursework requirement for the PhD program, how will that work with the RACE requirements?

A. If your University has coursework requirements, we will work with you and your industry partner and Industry reference group to devise a timeline of research completion that suits everyone.