Design options for the future doctorate


The doctorate is instrumental to maintaining quality and capacity at the highest levels of the knowledge workforce. This project proceeded from a growing perception that the Australian doctorate, while effective, was not optimised to best serve the interests of industry, academia or candidates.

The project was advanced as a landmark re-thinking of the doctorate. Working from current policy and practice, the project helped Australian universities fashion targeted and effective futures for the research and professional doctorates.


This project delivered research-driven options for building the quality of the doctorate in Australia, as well as a suite of resources to inform institutions and candidates. The researchers engaged leaders in the field and extended prior institutional, national, scholarly, and international investigations into the doctorate as well as academic and professional work. It involved research and environmental reviews, proposals for policy and strategy, surveys and interviews, and consultation with Australian and institutional stakeholders.

Project partners

This 2015 OLT Strategic Innovation and Development project was led by The University of Melbourne in collaboration with Griffith University, James Cook University, La Trobe  University, Macquarie University, Monash University, Queensland University of  Technology, The University of Queensland, The University of Sydney, The University  of Western Australia, and University of New South Wales.


The Australian Government, Department of Education and Training


An education design architecture for the future Australian doctorate

Contemporary perspectives on the Australian doctorate: framing insights to guide development


Final report

More information

Dr Gwilym Croucher, The University of Melbourne