Please find our comments on the revised draft guidelines below. We look forward to working with the Department of Education to share information with our member universities about this important program when it is established and continuing to work with the Department to refine details of the program.
- This new program will further incentivise partnerships between universities and industry. However, it is important to note that universities already collaborate with industry through industry-linked PhDs, and it is important that existing partnerships are not negatively impacted by this new approach. Additionally, it is suggested that this program could be used to support existing collaborations.
- UA is pleased that the Service Provider will take an active role in connecting universities and industry (Clause 6.2) where needed. It is noted that the discovery process will continue to be a potential risk to the success of the program. However, UA seeks further clarification on the role of the third-party Service Provider.
- UA also noted that the Department of Education (Attachment A, 1.6a) will be selecting the Service Provider. UA would welcome consultation on the selection of the third-party Service Provider.
- UA would like to see industry engagement leading to additionality in the industry R&D effort, rather than replacing research that businesses would otherwise have self-funded.
- As noted in our previous submission, UA still has concerns that SMEs in particular will not have project lengths that span the full length of a PhD. UA suggested the option for candidates (for the Industry Linked PhD stream) to work with multiple industry partners, and that this could be tested through a small pilot with industry partners drawn together through an industry representative body.
- The capacity to identify industry projects prior to students enrolling is important, as well as knowing a scholarship will then be available.