The PhD program in the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre (SDSC) consists primarily of independent research on a topic developed in consultation between the candidate and their supervisor, and compulsory coursework in research design and methods. The outcome of the PhD program is an original thesis incorporating the research conducted during the program and its results. The thesis must make a substantial contribution to knowledge in the field and relate the research undertaken by the candidate to the broader framework of strategic and defence studies.
A full-time PhD program is a minimum of two years and a maximum of four years in duration. It is important to note that scholarships are usually available for three years and therefore students with scholarships are encouraged to complete their program within that timeframe. Part-time candidature may be approved in special circumstances, however this may have scholarship and/or visa implications. Each research candidate at the Australian National University works under the direction of a supervisory panel intended to bring together expertise tailored to the specific needs of the topic. The supervisory panel consists of between three and five members of academic staff, one of whom will be the Chair of Panel. The Chair of Panel is a member of the Centre, however other staff on the panel may, where relevant, come from elsewhere in the University and on some occasions from other institutions in Australia.
The progress of research students in the Centre is closely monitored in accordance with University and School policies. Students will be required to complete various milestones during their candidature, including several presentations, to ensure that they are meeting progress expectations. Unsatisfactory progress may result in the removal of the student from the program. Please see the SDSC PhD Handbook (PDF, 202KB) for further details about academic milestones.