Joint international PhD scholarships available in exciting partnership with Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras

Research news

06 March 2024

A new four-year doctoral training program will open global doors for early-stage researchers following the signing of a new partnership between Deakin University and The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Madras – forming the IIT Madras Deakin University Research Academy.

The ground-breaking collaboration will foster research innovation and excellence across South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries. It will enable researchers to gain cross-sectoral skills and experiences to launch their careers in research to address global challenges in areas from climate change, smart manufacturing, energy and future infrastructure to critical technology and health care.

Global opportunities and industry-leading PhD support

Deakin will allocate 10 science, engineering and technology research scholarship positions for its students and IIT Madras will allocate 20 positions for IIT students. The successful students will begin their research studies at their home university before spending at least a year studying abroad at the partner university.

Deakin’s Pro Vice Chancellor, International Research Partnerships, Professor Bas Baskaran, says the globally recognised program gives research candidates the opportunity to undertake a PhD in world class facilities and labs across two highly regarded research institutions.

‘The scholarship recipients will have the benefit of receiving supervision by world-class academics in two countries – known as a Cotutelle PhD – and have the opportunity to collaborate and engage with top industry partners in both India and Australia,’ Professor Baskaran says.

‘We’re offering scholarship funds that are on par – or above – national and international benchmarking, meaning our candidates can feel supported every step of the way.’

The partnership was officially launched in January in India by Deakin Vice-Chancellor Professor Iain Martin and Director of IIT Madras Professor V Kamakoti, alongside Sarah Kirlew, the Australian Consul General in Chennai. A new CEO for the academy will be appointed jointly by Deakin and IIT Madras.

Professor V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, alongside Deakin Vice-Chancellor Professor Iain Martin, at the IIT Madras campus on 8 Jan 2024.

World-class STEM research

IIT Madras is recognised by the Indian Government’s National Institutional Ranking Framework as India’s number one engineering university. It is also an ‘Institute of Eminence’, meaning it is a member of a select group of elite Indian universities awarded additional funding, autonomy and global reach.

Meanwhile, Deakin ranks in the world’s top 100 universities for engineering and ranks well above world standard for research in environmental science and management. The University is cementing its place as a leader in sustainability by spearheading the Australia’s largest recycling and clean energy advanced manufacturing ecosystem, the $380 million Recycling and Clean Energy Commercialisation Hub (REACH).

In bringing together the two regarded organisations, Professor Raghunathan Rengaswamy, Dean of Global Engagement at IIT Madras, says: ‘We’re incredibly excited about starting this research academy with Deakin University. We expect to train our students to make meaningful contributions that will give back to the global communities we serve.’

Deakin and IIT Madras: A decade long relationship

Deakin and IIT Madras have worked together since 2012, establishing strong ties in materials science and engineering. Deakin’s Institute for Frontier Materials and IIT Madras’ Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering began collaborating through faculty and student exchanges, and co-supervised research scholars.

In 2018, IIT Madras and Deakin were jointly awarded a prestigious Australia–India Strategic Research Fund grant, establishing India’s first bilateral Centre of Excellence in Advanced Materials.

The two institutions also partnered in 2022 to launch the Australia–India Centre for Energy, a virtual centre promoting collaboration in transdisciplinary research, education and training.

The IIT Madras Deakin University Research Academy continues Deakin’s proud 30 year history with India founded on strong relationships with academia, industry and government.

Find out more about the IIT Madras Deakin University Research Academy.

The text of this article is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 4.0 International license. We'd love for you to share it, so feel free! Please note that images, videos, graphics and logos are not covered by the CC BY license and may not be used without permission from Deakin University or their respective copyright holder. If you have any questions please contact

Thanks for reading! You can find more stories like this at We ask that Deakin University and individuals are appropriately credited and that you include links back to this website. Quotes in this article can be extracted for other articles provided individuals are appropriately credited and you include a link back to the article URL.

Share this story

The IIT Madras Deakin University Research Academy continues Deakin’s proud 30 year history with India.

Key Fact

The IIT Madras Deakin University Research Academy continues Deakin’s proud 30 year history with India.

Share this story

More like this

Research news