Industry PhD Program

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

Why choose RACE for 2030 for your PhD 

Choosing to pursue a PhD at RACE for 2030 (RACE) presents an exciting and critical opportunity for both personal and global growth. First and foremost, the urgency of addressing climate change and its multifaceted impacts has never been more apparent. Tackling the problems of a Reliable, Affordable, Clean Energy (RACE) future equips researchers with the tools and knowledge to make meaningful contributions towards mitigating the effects of climate change, enhancing environmental sustainability, and fostering community resilience. As a prospective PhD student, the chance to be at the forefront of these transformative efforts is both intellectually stimulating and morally compelling.  

As an industry PhD student, you will apply cutting-edge research techniques to solve complex, real-world problems in industry to build a more sustainable and resilient future. This synergy between industry and universities allows RACE to contribute to the training of the future workforce through practical, demand-driven research projects. Being at the forefront of this new workforce will enable you to cement your seat as a future leader in this field. 

How it works

RACE will fund 55 industry PhD student projects to be completed by 2030 within the four RACE research programs (Click here  for program details). RACE will provide living stipend scholarships of $38,000/year for three years to successful students. The lead industry partner and host university will attribute $12,500/year each towards the PhD scholarship from their RACE contributions, with RACE contributing the remaining $13,000. Additionally, RACE will provide students with a $3,000/year allowance for three years for additional expenses. 

Each industry PhD project must have at least one industry partner. Industry partners, in conjunction with our university partners, provide the industry PhD research agenda based on their knowledge of pressing needs and issues. RACE PhD students are then selected and based at one of our eight university partners. 

It is optional to have an associated Industry Reference Group (IRG). An IRG would consist of several industry 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. 

Partner benefits

Research partners

  • Work with industry on a relevant research project
  • Explore opportunities for new research areas
  • Deliver a rapid review of industry state-of-play giving insights into future research opportunities
  • Validate with a PhD, who will disseminate research for a global audience and what it means for businesses.

Industry partners

  • Receive dedicated research expertise for a three-year period
  • Benefit from a targeted project that responds to your chosen research problem
  • Provide increased opportunities for staff – each project requires a support person from within your organisation, leading to new opportunities for team members to learn management skills
  • Participate in the PhD student selection process
  • Receive a rapid review at 8 months, detailing industry’s state-of-play (this also contributes to university milestones).

Top-up scholarships  

RACE is now offering a top-up scholarship, with allowance, for students undertaking relevant research to any of the four RACE research programs. Eligibility criteria for this include: 

  • Having a minimum of 10 months remaining on their PhD studies. Noting that the scholarship will be paid on a pro-rata basis. However, for students with less than 1 year remaining, the allowance amount will be paid for a full single year i.e., $3,000 
  • Undertaking relevant research (Click here  for details on RACE’s research topics)
  • Students will be selected in-line with partner university guidelines and policies, and RACE for 2030’s diversity and inclusion stance
  • Diversity and inclusion: RACE for 2030 is aligned with Equal by 30. As such, we are working hard to recruit students representing an equitable and diverse cohort to ensure greater fairness and representation within the Australian energy ecosystem. It also means supporting and empowering our students to do their best work and to feel safe in their exploration of new ideas
  • Top-up scholarship students with industry partners who are not current RACE partners are equally eligible. 

Other benefits 

1. RACE’s intention for the PhD cohort is to help shape a community of practice for the students. What is a community of practice? 

A community of practice (CoP) is a group of people who “share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly”. 

RACE PhD students are therefore invited into a private Slack community to share their stories, learnings, and to build a community which is intended to last them well after their studies.  

2. Beyond forming a community, RACE is seeking further training and employment experiences (including internships) with industry to help hone employable skills and develop connections between students and the value a PhD brings to industry.  

These training and development programs are something which RACE is developing in tandem with our partner universities. 

3. On-site events at RACE’s offices to meet your fellow peers. This is also balanced with online sessions throughout the year to practice presentation skills, learn from each other’s research, and provide an ongoing opportunity to develop your industry knowledge.  

Industry PhD students

Industry contribution

Annual PhD scholarship

PhD structure and milestones

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

The appointed PhD student 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. 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 any 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. 


Drew Wiseham

Industry PhD Program Coordinator

Research partners

Frequently Asked Questions

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. Yes, we are offering top-up scholarships. Please contact us for more information.
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. Yes. However, the RACE scholarship is provided as a living stipend. It does not cover any international tuition fees that a University may charge a student.
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.