Defence Innovation Network invites industry, academics and  Defence to submit proposals for Defence PhD projects.

DIN will support 14 PhD early-to-mid stage research projects that address current or emerging Defence or industry needs.  Projects must be based on excellent research and be co-developed between industry or Defence partners and academic researchers from DIN member universities.

This program aims to grow local Australian skills and support Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) career pathways in Defence.

These collaborative projects will bring fresh, innovative ideas to Defence and industry, strengthen their relationships with NSW universities and promote STEM job creation in the State. PhD students will benefit from practical, hands-on research experience in a defence setting.

How to submit a proposal

Interested parties are invited to download a project proposal template and submit it to by the due date.

Companies and DST Group researchers can have pre-selected partnering universities, although DIN can help find university partners on request.


01 Apr 21             Call for PhD proposals opens
07 May 21           Call for PhD Proposals closes
14 May 21           Completeness check & approval by DIN Steering Committee
May- Sep 21       Contracting & recruitment of PhD students
Sep 21- Feb 22    Project start

Frequently asked questions

Which universities are eligible to participate in this program?

Universities eligible to participate in partnership with industry and Defence have to be members of the DIN, namely, Macquarie University, UNSW, The University of Newcastle, The University of Sydney, University of Wollongong, UTS and Western Sydney University.

What funding will be provided?

Each DIN member university provides two 3-year PhD scholarships at the Government RTP rate (approximately  $28,000 per year) to cover the student’s living expenses. DIN, supported by the NSW Government, will give an additional top-up stipend of $5,500 per year.

Australian students will be eligible for the Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Fee Offset Scholarship to cover their tuition fees.

What is the duration of the project?

Projects will be three years long.

Can the industry or Defence partner provide additional funding?

Yes. The industry co-funding is not compulsory; nevertheless, contributions in cash or in-kind are welcome to ensure the project’s viability.

Are there any eligibility criteria for PhD students?

Yes. The program aims to support local skills growth; therefore, students must be Australian citizens.

What are the Intellectual Property (IP) and commercialisation arrangements? Can I control the dissemination of the information?

All contractual arrangements, including IP, commercialisation strategies, publishing and dissemination of results, will be made between the parties, namely, the proposer and academic institution that hosts the project.

How much time will it take me to engage with the university?

It will be up to you and the academic researcher to set up the conditions and intensity of your communication. Regular check-ins are recommended to ensure the research team is on track to deliver the project.

Our Partner Universities

Australian National University logo
Charles Sturt University logo
Macquarie university logo
University of New South Wales logo
University of Newcastle logo
University of Sydney logo
University of Wollongong logo
University of Technology Sydney logo
Western Sydney University logo