University opens joint PhD program with SJTU

The University of Melbourne has signed an agreement with Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) to launch its first International Research Training Group (IRTG) with a Chinese university.

Applications for the University of Melbourne-SJTU Joint PhD Projects with paired Seed Funding program are now open. Up to five supervisor “pairs” – a pair being one academic from SJTU and one from the University of Melbourne –will each receive financial support for their research collaboration and for two joint PhD candidates in 2021.

These candidates will spend at least 12 months in each institution and be eligible to graduate with a jointly awarded degree recognised by two testamurs, one from each university.

University of Melbourne Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Jim McCluskey said the new IRTG supports the University’s desire to explore new ways to work with universities in China.

“Notwithstanding the challenges of the current pandemic, the University of Melbourne is committed to strengthening its research ties in China and collaborating on projects that deliver benefits for both universities,” Professor McCluskey said.

“This new joint PhD program will provide opportunities to address many shared challenges to our environment resulting from climate change; the governance of our institutions, our health and wellbeing, and the many engineering and natural sciences questions that we share,” Professor McCluskey said.

Professor Lisa X. XU,the Vice-President of SJTU for Graduate Education and International Affairs said:

“It is the first time that SJTU combines the funding of joint research with a partner university directly with co-supervision of PhD students. We hope this new initiative will provide more opportunities for students from both sides to enhance their training with global vision”.

University of Melbourne Pro Vice-Chancellor Graduate and International Research Professor Justin Zobel said the IRTG will benefit researchers and graduate researchers from both institutions.

“When candidates spend at least 12 months at each University they will gain invaluable experience and skills from their hosts, whether it is the University of Melbourne or SJTU,” Professor Zobel said.

“The program will help grow the network of Melbourne and SJTU researchers with experience and understanding of both the Australian and Chinese research landscapes.”

Applications for the University of Melbourne-SJTU Joint PhD Projects with paired Seed Funding program are open until 17 August. Applications can be made here: