RMIT-AcSIR Joint PhD Program

We have partnered with the Academy of Scientific & Innovative Research (AcSIR) in India for a joint research program to foster collaborations with leading research institutions in India to achieve research excellence and innovation. AcSIR works in conjunction with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the largest research and development organisation in India.

With this agreement, RMIT is linked with 39 leading national laboratories in India, offering students a global training experience as well as access to advanced research labs in India and Australia. This partnership is a unique model designed to produce real-world graduates through global partnerships in a collaborative and sustainable environment. The first cohort of 17 candidates have already been enrolled in August 2018.

In 2018, RMIT University was awarded the Victorian Education Award for Excellence in Innovation Award in Partnerships and International Engagement for this joint PhD program. The award was presented by Study Melbourne.

The Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR) is an autonomous governing body that was established for the purpose of granting doctoral and post-doctoral degrees throughout India’s top research institutes and centres.

AcSIR was deemed as an ‘Institution of National Importance’ by the Indian Parliament in 2011, and was granted the authority and autonomy to award postgraduate degrees by the University Grants Commission (UGC) which governs all Tertiary Education in India.

Unlike typical educational organizations, AcSIR acts as a centralized administration hub and does not have a student campus.

Instead, AcSIR functions through the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) which is the largest Research and Development (R&D) organization in India, and runs 39 of some of the country’s top research institutes and laboratories across India. It is through CSIR’s 39 research centres and institutes where the students are hosted and complete their doctoral training during their PhD programs.

Admission Process

Students who are already enrolled in an AcSIR PhD program are eligible to apply for an RMIT-AcSIR PhD Research Scholarship. The PhD student will continue to be based at the AcSIR host institute in India but will spend up to 12 months of the latter stage of their program in RMIT University with an RMIT co-supervisor in Australia.

Benefits of a Joint PhD Degree:

  • At the successful completion of the degree, the candidate will be awarded PhDs from both RMIT University and AcSIR
  • Candidates will gain access to RMIT’s state-of-the-art research facilities and labs
  • Candidates will benefit from supervision under research scholars from both Australia and India
  • Candidates will receive a tax free stipend scholarship for up to 12 months of approximately AUD $31,000 p.a.
  • Candidates will have international research collaboration opportunities

The Scholarship includes:

  • A tuition fee scholarship at RMIT University for the duration of candidature up to 4.0 years.
  • Visa sponsorship for up to 12 months to study at RMIT University in Australia.
  • A stipend scholarship for up to 12 months while attending RMIT University in Australia. This scholarship will be paid at same rate of pay as the current RMIT Research Stipend Scholarship (approximately AUD $31,000 p.a.).
  • Candidates may be considered for a relocation grant of up to a maximum of AUD $1,540 per candidate towards airfare.
  • At the satisfactory completion of all requirements of an RMIT PhD program the candidate will receive a PhD degree from RMIT in addition to their AcSIR PhD degree.


To be eligible you must satisfy the following:

  • Been awarded a fellowship (such as NET, JRF, INSPIRE, AcSIR or CSIR fellowships) tenable at CSIR institutes; or hold an industry funded sponsorship; and
  • Been accepted to a CSIR laboratory for an AcSIR PhD program; and
  • Have commenced an AcSIR-CSIR PhD program;
  • Have completed more than 6 months but less than 2.5 years of an AcSIR PhD program;
  • Applicants must also meet the minimum entry requirements into a RMIT PhD program, including English language requirements. See the RMIT Postgraduate website for more details.

How to Apply:

Interested applicants should first email their AcSIR coordinator at their research lab and/or Arpita Sengupta in the AcSIR Head Office.

For any information regarding RMIT and the admission process, please contact School of Graduate Research at

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nations on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.