Global Engagement
International Doctoral Training Partnership

Our international Doctoral Training Partnership


Since 2015 we have delivered an International Doctoral Training Partnership (Joint PhD award programme), enabling PhD students to undertake a research degree at both universities at the same time.

The researchers spend at least a year in each location, benefitting from the expertise of world-leading supervisors and access to specialist research facilities at both Nottingham and Adelaide.   

This flagship programme initially bridged Nottingham’s School of Biosciences and Adelaide’s School of Agriculture, Food and Wine. Today it spans all disciplines with students enrolled in areas including Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Medicine, Sociology, Education and Mathematics. Co-authored publications have grown year on year, with 192 published in the past three years, including prestigious journals such as Science, Nature and The Lancet.


History of the programme
Our international Doctoral Training Partnership with the University of Adelaide began in late 2015, with the School of Biosciences at Nottingham and the Waite Research Institute at Adelaide. After a successful launch, the partnership quickly expanded beyond Biosciences to include the disciplines of Geography, Architecture, Chemistry and Mathematical Sciences. With the renewal of the partnership in 2019 the two universities agreed to make the PhD partnership an institutional level agreement, meaning any disciplines may easily join the collaboration. 
How it works
  1. Students begin their four-year PhD at their home institution, which is either Nottingham or Adelaide. Their home institution is responsible for most administrative matters.
  2. Typically, students will start their first year developing their research proposal, skills and starting their research project. They will be eligible for training courses and travel grants from both institution. Students will then transfer to the other institution for at least 12 months, continuing their research abroad.
  3. Students return to their home institution for the remainder of their programme completing their research project and thesis, which is co-supervised by both Nottingham and Adelaide academics.
  4. The final defence of the student's research project is jointly assessed.
  5. If successful, students are awarded a PhD, receiving PhD certificates from both Nottingham and Adelaide recognising the partnership.

Students pay tuition fees for the entire PhD at their home institution only.

How to apply

Prospective students are advised to first make contact with their home University to identify a supervisor and discuss their ideas for a research proposal.

We recommend searching for an academic supervisor directly via the school webpages and contacting them stating that you are interested in a Dual PhD with Adelaide and that you have or will be securing funding for your PhD. Please ask them for assistance in finding supervisors at your host institution.

Once you have identified supervisors then please contact the Dual PhD administrator at your home institution: Partner-Relations (Nottingham) and HDR_admissions (Adelaide). You may then apply as detailed below.

Nottingham UK (Home)Adelaide (Home)
Make contact and then apply Make contact and then apply 
Apply here Apply here

When applying to Nottingham via the Online Application system you will be able to select specific 'Adelaide PhD' programmes.



Academically it’s an interesting opportunity to be able to work in two different countries, in two different labs. It also means you create a far broader network than you would when staying in one place and a jointly awarded degree is definitely a plus for finding future employment.
Cindy Callens, Joint PhD Student
Both universities have facilities that I can only access on their campuses, such as X-ray Computed Tomography at Sutton Bonington (Nottingham) and the Plant Accelerator here at Waite (Adelaide).
Olivia Cousins, Graduate Joint PhD Student


Global Engagement

University of Nottingham