The place for PhD students in industry – the answer’s already out there

The feds’ research commercialisation discussion paper asks what to do with HDR students – there’s already an answer

“Would an Industry PhD program help improve collaboration outcomes?” the paper asks submissions to address.

Which the McGagh review of research training did five years ago?

“Greater opportunities for industry-relevant research training can be provided through a range of approaches, including: • HDR candidates working on research with a potential industry application • HDR candidates working on an industry-defined research problem • HDR candidates undertaking part of their training within an industry setting,” it suggested

Mr McGagh and expert colleagues reviewed research training in a comprehensive paper for the Australian Council of Learned Academies (CMM April 14 2016).

Embedding HDR researchers in industry, they suggested, could help with Australia’s “poor” “translation of research into commercial and societal outcomes.” One way to do this, they suggested was embedding PhD researchers in Cooperative Research Centres.

Looking back, the McGagh review team could wonder why they bothered.

And CRCs (over-sighted by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources) might puzzle as to whether they are unknown to the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, which produced the new commercialisation paper.