The joint PhD program, commenced in 2013, offers students the opportunity to complete their doctoral research within both universities to take advantage of the research expertise of both.
Agreement to continue the collaboration until 2023 was signed in Sydney last week. It was among five agreements strengthening Australia-India ties that were exchanged as part of the visit of Indian President Hon. Ram Nath Kovind, the first Indian president to visit Australia.
Among engagements during the visit, President Kovind addressed the Australian Financial Review India Business Summit.
QUT Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Commercialisation) Professor Arun Sharma also attended the Summit, and joined a panel to discuss how tertiary and vocational education can build and leverage stronger bilateral partnerships between Australia and India through increased collaboration and unified positioning.
Professor Sharma said QUT’s continuing partnership with IIITD provided opportunities to grow substantive research to solve real world problems that affect both countries.
“QUT and IIITD share areas of research strength, particularly in information security, mathematical modelling and bioinformatics, and under our collaboration PhD students will be able to undertake end-user projects with global relevance in these areas,” Professor Sharma said.
“The continuing joint PhD program will help develop world-class innovators who will advance research and development in information and software technology to the benefit of both India and Australia.”
Under the PhD program, students spend a minimum of 18 months at QUT and at IIITD and are eligible for fee and living scholarships.
Dhananjay Kimothi is in the second year of the QUT-IIITD joint PhD program, researching coding methods for genomic sequence comparison.
Currently at IIITD, Mr Kimothi plans to return to QUT next year.
“The focus of my research is to develop machine learning techniques to solve bioinformatics applications. Conventional methods used in this area are computationally expensive and not always reliable, so I am hoping to develop methods that are faster,” he said.
“I wanted to work in an intersection of many fields, and this work deals with biology, data, algorithms, statistics and machine learning, which makes it a perfect fit for me.
“I’ve enjoyed my time so far at QUT, and in Brisbane, and look forward to returning next year.”