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.

Successful candidates must be able to provide evidence of their embeddedness in a suitable industry context, which could include government or non–government agencies, aid organisations or industry. This industry partner must be willing to provide funding and material support for the research candidate and their project.

Other than special cohorts, enrolment intakes are open for one month in Trimester 1 (March) and Trimester 2 (July) 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. The second and third years will usually be undertaken in the home country, conducting research within the candidates’ industry/professional context. The last 12 months and the completion of your Innovation project Portfolio will be carried out in Australia at UNE.

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)

Your research project and the Innovation Project Portfolio will then be completed during the next two years spent in your country of origin and the final year spent in Australia.

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

Faculty of SABL - School of Law

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

Faculty of SABL - UNE Business School

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

Faculty of HASSE - School of Education

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.]

Indonesian Cohort
A Community Engagement Approach to Increase Farmer Level Adoption of Breeding Tools to Boost Reproductive Performance of Bali Cattle (Bos javanicus) in Nusa Tenggara Barat (NYM), Indonesia.

Faculty of SABL - School of Environmental and Rural Science


In Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB), livestock are an important source of income for smallholder farmers. However, their reproductive performance is often a barrier to improved profitability of these smallholder enterprises, due to a range of factors such as long calving intervals, low body condition scores for cows, missed oestrus signs, and bull infertility.


Using a mix of technical and social methods, Ms Febri Ariyanti’s Innovation project involves identifying gaps in detection and record keeping in these areas, determining simple monitoring and record keeping tools and technologies, and providing information on these to smallholder farmers in NTB through face-to-face discussion, focus groups, and printed materials. Practice change in this area has the potential to improve herd quality and breeding frequency, and Febri will assess the level of adoption of recommended tools, as a way of determining how successful engagement has been with the target smallholder farmer audience.

Image of Febri Ariyanti Presenting


Bali cattle (photographer: Bayu Andri Atmoko); Febri Ariyanti presenting her research progress at UNE.

A Risk-Based Evaluation Toolkit for Effective and Efficient Beef Safety Inspection at Traditional Abattoirs in Nusa Tenggara Barat

Faculty of SABL - School of Environmental and Rural Science

Foodborne diseases and zoonosis are significant hazardous risks associated with beef and beef products in Indonesia. In Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB), abattoirs are one of the most significant sources of harmful contamination, including animal diseases and foodborne pathogens, veterinary residues and hazardous chemicals. Any of these may contribute to contamination of beef end-product.


Safety and hygiene in local manually-operated abattoirs is a significant challenge, due to lack of knowledge, poor infrastructure, and poor regulatory assessment and enforcement. Through a participatory risk-based evaluation process,  Fuji Astuti is seeking to explore the problems and constraints facing by both meat safety inspectors and slaughterhouse operators in establishing safety management and control systems. From this information, Fuji’s Innovation project will involve developing an evaluation toolkit for beef safety inspection, with a focus on the conditions faced in NTB’s traditional slaughterhouses.

Fuji Astuti visiting a Cattle Farm in Central Lombok
Photo: Fuji Astuti visiting a cattle farm in central Lombok in 2017 with one of her academic supervisors, Professor Dahlanuddin of Mataram University and Dr Philip Thomas PhD.I Coordinator, UNE.

Development of an Inclusive Business Model for the Indonesian Beef Industry

Faculty of SABL - UNE Business School

The Indonesian beef industry is undergoing strong growth in demand, but is constrained by limitations in beef supply. For smallholder farmers in the province of Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB), these constraints include lack of quality and quantity forage; restricted market access due to weak coordination between market chain actors; and lack of access to finance.


To help address these constraints in NTB, Mr Zenal Asikin is looking to identify innovative practices already occurring in this sector, and the factors driving their implementation and uptake amongst smallholders and other actors in the value chain. From this analysis, Zenal’s innovation project will involve creating new business models that address smallholder beef production constraints. If proven successful, these will be applicable to smallholder beef producers across Indonesia.

Zenal Asikin

Pictured: Mr Zenal Asikin at the University of New England.

Developing an Alternative Marketing Strategy for Selling NTB Beef to Large Urban Markets in Indonesia

Faculty of SABL - UNE Business School

Indonesia’s growing per capita consumption of beef is driven by continued population and income growth, changing lifestyles and preferences, and urbanisation. These factors have created opportunities for marketing locally-produced premium beef products, particularly in urban markets. In order take advantage of such opportunities, the beef industry needs to understand consumer preferences for beef, and from this develop a strategy for promoting differentiated products across a range of market segments.

Focusing on Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB), Mr Tian Wankar is seeking to identify alternative marketing strategies for selling differentiated beef in Indonesian urban markets, as well as locally in NTB. Tian’s Innovation research will involve an analysis of the NTB beef value chain; consumer surveys to understand consumer preferences and willingness to pay; an exploration of alternative marketing strategies. From this research, he will provide the NTB industry with appropriate marketing guidelines.

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Photo: Tian Wankar during field research in Indonesia

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