International research opportunities can enrich your UNSW experience by providing exposure to a wide range of research environments along with opportunities to build international research networks and collaborations.
UNSW supports international research experience through conference funding, visiting research opportunities, joint PhD programs, and joint supervision.
We also welcome international HDR candidates who wish to visit our University through the research practicum program.
The Cotutelle program provides candidates with the opportunity to be jointly supervised by a UNSW supervisor and a collaborating supervisor at an approved international university. Candidates enrol in the PhD program available at each university, and submit a thesis to each university, where it is examined separately.
The collaborative supervision arrangements are formalised through an agreement between both participating universities.
The Joint PhD Program allows PhD candidates to enrol at UNSW and an approved strategic partner university. Candidates are jointly supervised by both a UNSW supervisor and a collaborating supervisor from the partner university, they spend time at both Universities, and graduate with a single Doctor of Philosophy jointly awarded by both institutions.
This program builds upon existing research collaborations and relationships that have already been established between the two Universities, including co-publication of research, work on joint research projects, joint research grants, joint research centres and staff exchanges.
Before a candidate can enrol in a Joint PhD Program, there must be a Joint PhD Agreement between UNSW and the partner university.
UNSW has existing Joint PhD Agreements with several universities worldwide. It is also possible for a UNSW supervisor with an existing research collaboration to request a Joint PhD Agreement with a new partner university
Prior to your enrolment at UNSW, you should discuss your interest in enrolling in a Joint PhD Program with potential UNSW supervisors. If your potential supervisor supports this proposal, they will need to lead the application process outlined below.
To be considered, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:
UNSW has Joint PhD Agreements in place with the following institutions:
The application process should be initiated by the UNSW supervisor, and should commence at least 6 months before the intended start date of candidature (for Term Start Dates, visit this page).
UNSW academic staff can express their interest in establishing a Joint PhD Program with a new partner University. There is an Expression of Interest process in which you must demonstrate a strategic and sustainable research relationship between UNSW and the proposed partner university, including a critical mass of prospective applicants.
The process is as follows:
Once approved by the Dean of Graduate Research, there is discussion between both universities about areas including:
The Dean of Graduate Research leads the discussions with the partner university’s counterpart Dean to develop the Joint PhD Program Agreement. These ongoing drafting and discussions can take anywhere from 3-18 months.
There are a number of programs and opportunities open to UNSW HDR candidates who would like to undertake global research activities during their candidature.
Universitas 21 (U21) Researcher Mobility Programs
The U21 is a global network of leading research-intensive universities that delivers programs and initiatives to foster international collaboration and facilitate global knowledge exchange.
The U21 Graduate Collaborative Research Awards support PhD candidates to collaborate with other doctoral candidates from international member universities on an approved 12-month research project. Successful projects receive up to US$5,000, and projects are expected to result in publicly accessible outputs (e.g. peer-reviewed publications). For more information, visit U21 Graduate Collaborative Research Awards.
Member universities also offer a range of short term study abroad opportunities, which are advertised here.
Candidates may organise their own short term (12 months or less) research visits to international institutions with their supervisor’s support.
The UNSW Study Abroad Research Practicum Program is designed for candidates enrolled in a research degree outside of Australia who would like to undertake a short research visit at UNSW Sydney. Candidates who participate in the program have access to an appropriate supervisor, services, libraries, campus amenities and liability insurance for UNSW premises for a duration between 3 – 24 months (subject to Faculty availability and approval).