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School of Mechanical Engineering
SA 5005



Postgraduate research and other research

The School offers research degrees leading to a Master of Engineering Science degree (2 years) or a PhD (3.5 years). Research projects from industry which involve acadmic staff and one or more postgraduate students are welcome. There is one principal way in which your organisation and the university may collaborate to achieve a mutually beneficial outcome; that is by way of the SPIRT (Strategic Partnerships with Industry - Research and Training) scheme. The School of Mechanical Engineering provides project supervision, use of all laboratory facilities and office accomodation for the student as well as considerable technical support and use of computing facilities. In many cases, industry partners have benefited by employing the postgraduate students after they complete their higher degrees.

The minimum SPIRT grant size is $20,000 p.a. for three years and average grant sizes range from $50,000 to $100,000 p.a. for three years, although grants of $200,000 p.a. are not uncommon. If the grant application includes only support for a postgraduate student in the form of an APA(I) scholarship, then the minimum contribution of the industry partner is $5000 p.a. in cash and $5000 p.a. in-kind support. Funds requested in addition to support for the postgraduate scholarship (approximately $22,000) must be matched on a dollar for dollar basis (cash or in-kind) by the industry partner. For projects for which Commonwealth funding of between $50,000 and $100,000 is requested, the minimum cash contribution is $20,000. In all cases, the total cash plus in-kind contribution from the industry partner must match or exceed the requested Commonwealth funding.

Projects generally involve research and development have a moderate to high technical risk and are unlikely to be done by your organisation in the normal course of events. It may include solution of a troublesome problem or development of a new product or process.

If you have a project that would be suitable for a graduate but does not satisfy the requirements of the SPIRT scheme, then you may be interested in being involved in the Graduate Industry Linked Entrepreneurial Scheme (GILES). A graduate is allocated to work for a company for 4 days per week over a period of 12 months while studying one day per week for a Graduate Diploma in Business Enterprise. The fee for this activity is approximately $28,000.

Involvement in any of the above programs enables your company to claim a 125% tax deduction for the cash outlay and all associated expenses.