Doctor of Philosophy (Innovation) PhD.I - Professional Practice Doctorate

What is the PhD.I?

The UNE Doctor of Philosophy (Innovation) — PhD.I — is a unique, project-based, higher research degree. The PhD.I cuts across all our school and disciplines, linking professional and industry expertise with academic theory in creating innovation.

It involves contextual research on a project that identifies one or more tangible or process-based innovations that have identifiable impacts when implemented.

This doctorate suits anyone wishing to carry out project-based research on an innovation within their field of expertise. It currently attracts candidates from Australia and internationally who want to research a chosen field of expertise and develop innovation through research.

See more about our current and completed PhDI research projects.

Studying for the PhD.I is broken up into two parts, or phases.

Phase 1: The Research Learning Program

As a candidate, you'll first undertake a tailored PhD.I Research Learning Program. This scaffolds the development and implementation of your innovation project, and the creation of your innovation project portfolio.

Once the Research Learning Program is completed, you'll start Phase 2 — the research within practice-based communities relevant to your innovation project and expertise.

Phase 2: The Innovation Project Portfolio

The portfolio is the assessable research output from PhD.I. It shows how the innovation project:

  • is relevant to a specific context that constitutes an original, scholarly contribution to a field of work or learning
  • bridges the boundaries between the academic research community and practice-based communities relevant to their Innovation
  • conducts highly contextual developmental and evaluation, based on research principles and methods applicable to that Innovation project
  • produces evidence-based research surrounding the Innovation development and its realised or potential consequences
  • communicates, critically analyses and reflects on the entire innovation process including its role in innovation development and implementation
  • produces an Innovation project Portfolio for examination based on empirical evidence and critical analysis
  • comprises of three distinct but interwoven knowledge pillars:
    • Innovation Conception and Development History
    • Innovation Impact and Change Evidence
    • Reflections and Anticipations.

Entry requirements

Candidates must hold either a Masters, Bachelor’s degree with Honours, or other equivalent qualifications. To gain entry as a candidate, you will need to show evidence of research and professional experience and/or publications that can satisfy the University that you are able to complete the research qualification. Other than special cohorts, enrolment intakes commence in March, July or November of each year.

Doctor of Philosophy (Innovation) Interim Course Guidelines

Domestic candidates

Domestic candidates are offered the PhD.I as either full-time or part-time study.

Time periods for PhD.I completion
  • Full-time — 3 years
  • Part-time — 6 years.

Under the guidance of a supervisor, you'll begin your research by completing a tailored Research Learning Program.

Time periods to complete the Research Learning Program (Phase 1)
  • Full-time — 6 months
  • Part-time — 12 months.
International candidates

The PhD.I is offered to international candidates as full-time study over 4 years. You will need to reside in Australia during the first 12 months while you complete  the Research Learning Program.

You'll be expected to visit UNE regularly throughout the course of your research degree: you'll receive the benefits of studying in Australia — at UNE — while conducting your innovation research in the field and country where it is intended to be applied.

Completion of Research Learning Program (Phase 1)

You'll complete your tailored Research Learning Program in Australia under the guidance of an academic supervisor at UNE. Your Research Learning Program must be completed in the first 12 months.

Completion of Innovation Project Portfolio (Phase 2)

You'll complete your 3-year research project and the Innovation Project Portfolio in your country-of-origin.

Your supervisors

You'll be supervised by:

  • an academic from UNE
  • a supervisor from a university within your country of origin (during Phase 2)
  • a suitably qualified professional within your chosen research field (during Phase 2).
Application and Guidelines

Current and completed PhD.I projects

A Community Engagement Strategy for the Control of Wild Pigs

Two men in discussion about their wild pig research, leaning on a ute in a rural area.This Innovation project is focused on research, development and utilisation of an innovative approach for the management of the hugely destructive feral pig (Sus scrofa). Within a blending of scientific research on biophysical feral pig ecology and social science research with landholders, Mr Marshall’s Innovation will integrate community engagement with pig ecology research to create more effective management and extension programs for landholders to effectively control this species.

[Image: Mick Fernance and Darren Marshall. Photo courtesy of Queensland Murray-Darling Committee. Photograph taken near Terry Hie Hie, east of Moree, NSW on landholders property just prior to attaching a GPS tracking collar to a feral pig.]


Harnessing Sources of Innovation, Useful Knowledge and Leadership within a Complex Public Sector Agency Network

A major bushfire with vehicles and a person on a road.Dr Wayne Gregson, Commissioner of the Western Australian Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES), developed and made operational an Innovation project called the Portal2Progress (P2P). The P2P is an online interactive system, designed to capture and cultivate the ideas of the staff and volunteers of the Western Australian DFES, in order to utilise those ideas and knowledge to improve the agency.


A New Approach to Postgraduate Educational Programs for the Creative Industries

Musicians in a studio with technicians working a mixing board.This innovation project focused on research for the development of a new and innovative approach to providing postgraduate education in the creative industries. Two employees from JMC Academy undertook the project which was built around the needs and talents of individual students, and designed to provide an opportunity for commercialisation of student projects.

The two employees developed and completed innovation projects and portfolios that analysed the curriculum within JMC Academy's Master of Creative Industries: Dr Cass focused on pedagogy; Dr Markakis focused on the commercialisation aspect of this innovative curriculum.

[Image: Film and television studio houses a working JMC Academy student broadcast. Photo courtesy of JMC Academy.]