The CSIRO-UQ Partnership on Responsible Research and Innovation was established in December 2017 to build and raise the profile, scale and credibility of social science expertise in the ethical, social and legal consequences of new and disruptive science and technologies in the Australian innovation system. This commitment is closely aligned with CSIRO’s Future Science Platforms, which aim to develop the early stage science that underpins disruptive innovation and that has the potential to reinvent and create new industries for Australia.

The CSIRO-UQ Responsible Innovation PhD cohort provides an opportunity to attract eight outstanding graduate students with a strong interest in applied social science. The partnership is now seeking expressions of interest for projects from potential advisors.

About the scheme

  • 8 PhD Candidates
  • Topics will be jointly developed with involvement from CSIRO and UQ
  • Joint Supervision between CSIRO and UQ

Topics will be jointly developed with involvement from CSIRO and UQ to position the graduates for future employment and relevant topics may variously explore the policy, governance, legal, social and ethical dimensions of new and emerging technologies of CSIRO’s Future Science Platforms. A PhD cohort of 8 students, all focused on exploring similar governance questions and societal challenges but across multiple technology platforms, provides a rich research environment that delivers valuable scholarly and applied outcomes across multiple disciplines and research organisations.

Advisory teams must include a CSIRO advisor and a UQ advisor. Projects should address an emerging societal issue or challenge associated with one (or more) of CSIRO Future Science Platforms wherethe research question is suitable for a PhD project. It is highly recommended that the advisory team seek feedback on their proposal prior to submission.

As there are a limited number of scholarships under the program (capped at 8), there will be an assessment of EOIs between CSIRO and UQ to determine which projects to progress to advertisement. If successful with the EOI, we will ask both partners to provide written confirmation which outlines the basic responsibilities of the partners to proceed with the program (e.g. an email exchange documenting support from the advisors in CSIRO and UQ would be sufficient).

Once the advisory teams and project are finalised and signed off we will commence the recruitment phases (which will also involve the identified CSIRO and university advisor in candidate selection), with invitations to apply for admission to the university. It is anticipated that all successful Candidates will commence their PhD by the beginning of Term 2 2019 (April 2019).

Key contacts

Associate Professor Paul Henman
Principal Research Fellow, Centre for Policy Futures
The University of Queensland
07 3443 3142 / 0402734218

Dr Justine Lacey
Research Leader, Responsible Innovation Initiative
07 3833 5520 / 0439 788 077


Each successful candidate will receive an annual $32,000 Scholarship p.a. living stipend and tuition scholarship over four years, with a tailored development program plus each candidate’s project will receive research support funds (opex) of up to $16,000 to be spent over the life of their project.

Please Note: where research costs are expected to be greater than $16,000 (for example where the project involves significant travel or multiple sites), advisors must come to an agreement on how this will be funded in advance of the project commencing.

Submit a project

Please submit the completed Project and Advisory Team EOI via the link below by Friday 28th September. Alternatively contact Justine or Paul to discuss your project idea for further development prior to this date to ensure it can be considered.

  • Monday 17th Sep    Project and Advisory Team EOI Open
  • Friday 28th Sep    Initial EOI Closes
  • Early Nov Final projects confirmed and shortlisted
  • Mid Nov Successful teams notified and confirmed in writing
  • Dec 2018    Open applications for potential students
  • End Jan    Close application process
  • TBD    Academic assessment, shortlist and interview
  • TBD    UQ School based enrolment process
  • April 2019 (Research Quarter 2)    Students start 

Submit a project online