Shanghai Jiao Tong University – University of Melbourne: Joint PhD Projects with paired Seed Funding

Critical Dates

12 July 2021

Call opens

30 August 2021 - 5:00PM (CST)

Applications due

October 2021

Results released

* Applicants from ABP, please contact for additional EOI steps


In 2021, UoM and SJTU are calling for joint PhD proposals from all research areas to establish up to 10 joint graduate research projects across five separate pairs of Primary Investigators (PIs), expanding the SJTU – Melbourne International Research Training Group (IRTG).  Each of these five PI pairs will receive seed funding and access funding for two joint PhD candidates, including tuition fee waivers, a full living allowance, health insurance and relocation support.

Joint PhD candidates are enrolled at both institutions under joint supervision, with one primary supervisor from UoM and one from SJTU; providing opportunities for PIs to expand their collaborative activities. The work will be judged according to the academic standards of both institutions. Upon successful completion, each candidate will be eligible to receive a PhD, recognised by two testamurs, one from UoM and one from SJTU. Both testamurs will state the joint nature of the award and the name of the partner institution.

All candidates must meet the minimum eligibility requirements to successfully enrol in the relevant PhD course at both Universities.

The joint PhD candidates recruited to the successful projects will join the SJTU – Melbourne IRTG, gaining:

  • Access to expertise, resources and world-class training at UoM and SJTU, spending at least 12 months of their candidature at each institution;
  • Complimentary skills from their respective hosts that will increase the impact of their research; and
  • A global perspective via involvement in the SJTU - Melbourne research network.

Project proposals must be led by at least one PI/Primary Supervisor from each institution. Joint PhD projects should be designed to be completed in 3.5 years, with potential for the PhD candidate to extend their maximum candidature to 4 years.

These awards will also include seed funding for the PIs to provide initial support for development of high-quality research projects with other members of the research group in areas of mutual strength and shared interest. Funding is available at both institutions for PIs to undertake short-term visits to initiate, deepen and extend collaborative research links and enable investigators to make future joint external funding proposals that will support the next phase of their project.

It is up to the partners involved in the individual projects to cover consumable costs

This call for joint PhD project proposals is open to applications from academic supervisors only. If you are a prospective candidate interested in applying for a joint PhD, please refer to the information available here.


The supervisory team must comprise of at least two Principal Investigators (PIs), one who must be employed by SJTU and one who must be employed by UoM.  The PIs must have capacity to be the primary supervisor for two jointly enrolled PhD candidates.

UoM academics must be registered to supervise as per the Supervisor Eligibility and Registration Policy. Primary supervisors should be employed at UoM beyond the envisaged submission date of their PhD candidates (2026). If their employment contract does not extend beyond the candidates’ submission date, then alternative arrangements must be in place, by either having:

  1. a named co-supervisor employed at UoM beyond the envisaged submission date of their PhD candidates (2026); 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 forms for supervisor registration, please consult the information for supervisors on the Graduate Research Hub.

Honorary employees whose primary academic affiliation is with UoM are eligible to lead an application as a PI if they are a registered Principal Supervisor at UoM, 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).

SJTU academics must be eligible for supervising Ph.D. candidates and follow the university and relevant school/college’s policy of graduate student recruitment. For more information, please consult the Graduate School.

Previous recipients may not currently reapply to the scheme but may participate as a co-investigator.

Additional colleagues (including other partners in Australia, China or internationally) are not eligible to apply as PIs or primary supervisors, although they can participate in co-supervision of the PhD candidates as part of a joint application by SJTU and UoM PIs.

PIs must be able to demonstrate existing research relationships and must provide evidence of such collaborative relationships as part of their proposal.

Adherence to respective equity, 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 as it applies to gender, Indigenous peoples, disabilities, career stages and sectors.

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

How to apply

  1. Review the guidelines

    Please review the guidelines before submission.

  2. Complete and submit the application

    A single, jointly prepared application must be submitted in English through SJTU’s online platform. Please note that this hyperlink can only be accessed by PIs from SJTU using their jAccount to create and submit the joint application, so collaboration on the application contents must be done offline. A template application form is attached for reference.

Supporting documents

- UoM-SJTU Joint Call Guidelines 2021

- UoM-SJTU Application Form 2021


UoM contact details:

Emma Randles
International Research Project Officer,
Chancellery, Research and Enterprise.
The University of Melbourne

SJTU contact details for more information on the joint PhD program:

Xu Jun
Assistant dean, Graduate School
Shanghai Jiao Tong University

SJTU contact details for more information on joint seed funding and application submission:

Wu Yanping
Project manager, International Affairs Division
Shanghai Jiao Tong University