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At UniSA we’ve transformed the PhD to connect research students to partnered grand challenges in research, and to enhance employability and future careers.

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Transforming the PhD graphicUniSA is committed to ensuring that research degree candidates experience excellent and contemporary research training and that, in the course of their candidature, they acquire a skill set that expands their employment choices post-PhD.

The transformed PhD (tPhD):

  • Connects candidates with partnered grand challenges in research
  • Accelerates PhD graduates towards career success through extensive skill development opportunities
  • Engages end-users of research from public and private organisations and communities
  • Establish the researcher in their disciplinary community.

Panel Supervision

Each candidate has a panel of qualified supervisors, established according to the needs of the candidate and their project. The panel may include supervisors from more than one discipline, and end-user advisors from industry partners, including private, government, not-for-profit or community groups.

Panel supervision provides:

  • Opportunity to enrich the project with multidisciplinary expertise & perspectives
  • Continuity of supervision
  • Broadened networks
  • Development of disciplinary expertise, and expert research skills.


Enhanced end-user involvement in research, through supervisory panels, mentoring and internship experiences, allowing for:

  • Shaping research projects, to achieve real-world outcomes
  • Candidate exposure and experience with industry
  • Formation of networks & collaborations in and beyond the University
  • Promotion of UniSA research graduates as the next generation of high calibre employees.



Explicit career preparation during candidature, through:

  • Development of research and professional skills
  • Structured & experiential learning opportunities
  • Enhanced research outcomes for the benefit of the candidate, supervisor, university and discipline area.

Find out more

Oral Defence

Following the examination of the written thesis or exegesis, candidates discuss their work in depth with their examiners. This provides opportunity for:

  • Interaction with leaders in their fields of study
  • Clarification of any concerns or questions raised by examiners
  • Examination of the candidate as well as the product of the research
  • Establishment of the candidate in their disciplinary community.


Felicity Braithwaite, PhD Candidate

“Having regular access to multiple supervisors on my panel provided diverse perspectives on my research, and paved the way to innovation in my project. My advisor helped me to meet others in his industry, and helped me frame my approach to maximise success when engaging with them.”

Dr Felicity Braithwaite, UniSA PhD graduate

“Being able to discuss my examiners’ written comments helped to cement my understanding and have real clarity around the meaning of their comments. And I guess it helped them understand my work better, because in the end, I only had to make some of the thesis changes identified in their written reports, rather than all of them.

The longer term benefit of the defence is feeling more confident about meeting my examiners in the future or, indeed, following up with them for future advice or collaboration.”

Dr Joel Fuller, UniSA PhD graduate

Dr Joel Fuller, UniSA PhD graduate


The Transformed PhD (tPhD) provides an opportunity for existing, and prospective partners to engage with UniSA to:

  • Access new knowledge and insights that benefit your business
  • Have the opportunity to spot new talent
  • Provide your organisation with staff development opportunities, and
  • Shape the direction of research and knowledge coming from UniSA.

If you would like to know more about the unique partnering opportunities available at UniSA, please contact us at tPhD@unisa.edu.au