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

Critical Dates

29 June 2020

Call opens - Apply here

17 August 2020 - 5:00pm (AEST)

Applications due

End of August / Early September 2020

Results released



The University of Melbourne (UoM) and Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) seek to support research collaboration and the development of globally-engaged researchers by establishing an international research training group for jointly awarded PhDs. Graduate Researchers (GRs) participating in the joint program will be enrolled at both institutions. The research work will be performed under joint supervision, with one primary supervisor from each of the two institutions.

In 2020, the UoM and SJTU are calling for project proposals to establish up to 10 joint graduate research projects across five separate pairs of Primary Investigators (PIs). 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.

All candidates must meet the eligibility requirements to successfully enrol at both universities.

The ten joint PhD candidates recruited to these projects will form the first cohort of the UoM-SJTU international research training group to:

  • Access expertise, resources and world-class training at UoM and SJTU, spending at least 12 months of their candidature at each;
  • Gain complementary skills from their respective hosts to increase the impact of their research; and
  • Grow the network of UoM and SJTU researchers while developing a global perspective on their research.

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 possibility to extend to a maximum of 4 years for PhD submission.

These awards will also include seed funding for the principal investigators 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 to undertake short-term visits to initiate, deepen and extend collaborative research links with a view to enabling investigators to subsequently make joint proposals to external funding sources for the next phase of their research. Each PI pair will also receive seed funds (20,000 AUD provided by UoM to the UoM PI and 85,000 RMB from SJTU to the SJTU PI).

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


This call for project proposals is open to a supervisory team of at least two principal investigators (PI) with capacity to supervise two jointly enrolled PhD candidates, one with SJTU as the home institution and one with UoM as the home institution. One PI must be employed by SJTU and the other must be employed by UoM.

UoM academics must be registered to supervise as per the Supervisor Eligibility and Registration Policy. For more information, including forms for supervisor registration, please consult the information for supervisors section on the Graduate Research Hub. Honorary employees whose primary academic affiliation is the University of Melbourne are eligible to lead the application if:
a) they are eligible to be a primary supervisor at the University of Melbourne; AND
b) if their primary employer has entered into an agreement to fund the Melbourne seed fund component of the collaborative activity; or may 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.

Additional colleagues (including other partners in Australia, China or internationally) are not eligible to apply as primary supervisors, although they can participate in co-supervision of joint PhDs.

Principal investigators must be able to demonstrate existing research relationships and must provide evidence of such collaborative relationships as part of the application.

Applications 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 on SmartyGrants

    Log in to SmartyGrants to begin your application. Only one of the coordinating investigators will be able to create the application for your team, so you will need to decide who is responsible for submitting the application and collaborate on the application contents offline.  This PDF of the online application form may be useful for collaborative preparation of the single application.

Supporting documents

- UoM-SJTU Joint Call Guidelines 2020

- PDF of online application form for collaborative preparation


Submission and UoM contact details:

Mark Gregory
International Research Project Officer,
Chancellery, Research and Enterprise. The University of Melbourne

SJTU contact details for more information on joint PhD program:

Xu Jun
Assistant dean, Graduate School
Shanghai Jiao Tong University

SJTU contact details for more information on joint seed funding:

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