Melbourne – A*STAR Call for collaborative PhD project proposals

Critical Dates

Monday,  6 March 2023

Call opens

Friday 28 April 2023  3pm AEDT (Melbourne)

Deadline for project proposal applications 

End of May 2023

Results released

*PLEASE NOTE: Applicants from ABP, please contact for additional EOI steps.


The University of Melbourne and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) Singapore are seeking to build on the foundation of existing research collaborations by developing an institution-wide program to support joint supervision of PhD candidates. Cross-institutional supervisory teams are invited to apply for funding to support collaborative PhD projects through this joint call for proposals. Applications are open to researchers across all disciplines.

Funding for up to 4 PhD projects will be allocated to supervisory teams comprising of at least one Principal Investigator (PI) from Melbourne and one from A*STAR Singapore. Each of these teams will receive funding to recruit high-quality PhD candidates to this unique opportunity, plus additional seed funding to support and expand collaborative activity.

The recruited PhD candidates in each cohort will, together with their supervisors, deepen and enrich the research network between Melbourne and A*STAR Singapore. These candidates will perform their research under active joint supervision by PIs at both institutions throughout the full duration of their candidature. Over the course of their PhD, they will spend 12 to 24 months at each institution and be jointly affiliated to both institutions.


Up to 4 PhD project proposals will be funded. The candidates subsequently recruited by the successful supervisory teams will together form the first cohort of the Melbourne-A*STAR Research Attachment Program. The successful PIs will also receive seed funding to support the growth in collaborative activity.


The supervisory team must consist of at least two Principal Investigators (PIs), one from Melbourne and one from A*STAR Singapore. The PIs must have capacity to serve as co-primary supervisors for the PhD candidates throughout their full candidature.

Melbourne academics

Melbourne academics must be registered to supervise as per the Supervisor Eligibility and Registration Policy. The primary supervisors should be employed at Melbourne beyond the envisaged submission date of their PhD candidates (2027). If their employment contract does not extend beyond the submission date, then alternative arrangements must be in place, by either having:

  1. A named co-supervisor at Melbourne beyond the envisaged submission date of their PhD candidates (2027); or
  2. A letter of support from the respective Head of Department/Head of School detailing the arrangements in place to ensure continuity of supervision.

For more information, including the forms for supervisor registration, please consult the information for supervisors section on the Graduate Research Hub.

Honorary employees whose primary academic affiliation is with the University of Melbourne are eligible to lead an application as a PI if they are a registered Principal Supervisor at Melbourne, and either:

  1. Their primary employer has entered into a written agreement for this call to fund the Melbourne cash component of the collaborative activity; or
  2. They participate at their own expense if they are otherwise unaffiliated (for example, they hold an emeritus position).

A*STAR academics

A list of eligible A*STAR supervisors seeking collaborations may be found at the ARAP webpage under the “Research Areas” section. Eligible supervisors who are not currently on the list may also participate

A*STAR supervisors should meet all the eligibility criteria below:

  1. Have a primary appointment with A*STAR for at least 1 year;
  2. Have a lab with sufficient space and resources to accommodate the student at an A*STAR Research Institute;
  3. Demonstrate capability and experience in leading research projects with good outputs and desirable outcome;
  4. Demonstrate ability to provide guidance and mentorship to PhD students (prior experience in guiding students and early career researchers preferred); and
  5. Possess adequate experience in research outputs (e.g. publications and patents) and competitive grants.

Researchers who do not meet one or more of the criteria may be considered as co-supervisors.

Additional notes for all applicants

Additional colleagues not from Melbourne or A*STAR (including other partners in Australia, Singapore, or internationally) are not eligible to apply as PIs, although they can participate in the co-supervision of PhD candidates.

Adherence to respective equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) policies are a core feature of this program to ensure that all participants can do their best work, thrive and succeed. Applicant teams should consider how they can take meaningful steps in their future collaborations to foster an environment that values, supports and respects a diverse range of views, knowledge and experiences. Applicants should consider EDI including as it applies to gender, indigenous peoples, nationality, disabilities and career stages.

Applicants that do not satisfy these criteria will not be eligible.

How to apply

  1. Review the guidelines

    Please review the guidelines before the submission.

  2. Complete and submit the application

    A single, jointly-prepared application in English must be submitted via SmartyGrants by Friday 28 April 2023 3PM AEDT(Melbourne). Applications should be written in English and for an audience proficient, but not expert.

    All Melbourne PIs must ensure that the Head of Department/School and Associate Dean (Graduate Research) endorsement is attached to the application using the approval forms provided on the Researcher Development Schemes website. Melbourne applicants who hold an Honorary position must also complete the Honorary declaration form.

    While formal approval from A*STAR is not required at this proposal stage, the A*STAR supervisor should ensure that the proposed project would have the necessary funding support.

Supporting documents

- A*STAR - Melbourne joint call Guidelines 2023

- A*STAR - Melbourne SmartyGrants application form 2023

- HoD and Associate Dean (Graduate Research) approval forms

-Honorary declaration form


Melbourne contact details:

Researcher Development Schemes team
Research Grant and Contract Services (RGCS)

Research, Innovation & Commercialisation
The University of Melbourne

A*STAR contact details:

Ms Jamie Low
Ms Charmayne Hoh