The Cooperative Research Centres Association represents all of Australia’s CRCs as well as a number of other Affiliate and Associate members.
Since the start of the CRC Program in 1991, one of the few common features of all of the more than 200 CRCs, has been a postgraduate training program.
We believe CRCs fund about five per cent of Australia’s PhDs, although it is difficult to be precise because CRCs are often only one of several funders and of course do not award PhD degrees themselves.
One of the original intents of the CRC Program was to increase the level of industry involvement in the training of postgraduate students. Over time, this intent has intensified in relation to PhD students and widened to include non-PhD postgraduates.
Under present guidelines (which are currently undergoing review to align them with the outcomes of the Miles Review 2015, CRCs must still fund a PhD program. However, they are encouraged to foster postgraduate work that is of most value to their particular industry. For example, if a CRC’s Board decides that a major issue for its industry is the dissemination of knowledge, rather than the generation of new knowledge, the CRC might invest relatively more funds into, say, “Knowledge Brokers” who might be more appropriately trained with a Master’s Degree or Diploma.