A new multimillion-dollar scholarship program will be launched in India today to provide the next generation of researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs in Melbourne and India with world-leading academic supervision and support. 

The Melbourne-India Postgraduate Program (MIPP) will link the University of Melbourne with some of the leading research institutes in India: the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore (IISc), the Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK) & the Institute of Technology Madras (IITM).  

A joint initiative of the four institutions, the $3 million (AUD) program will provide 16 PhD scholarships and associated support for research exchanges over the next three years. 

Speaking ahead of the launch, University Vice-Chancellor Professor Glyn Davis said the new program was a valuable addition to Melbourne's already extensive scholarship offerings.  "As a University we are committed to supporting research that has global impact and benefits, and this Program will go a long way to help further this goal.” 

"By enabling students from India and Australia to undertake jointly developed research of the highest quality, we're confident the program will address shared global challenges in areas of environmental, societal and technological need.”

"Beyond this, we're excited that the program will give students the opportunity to contribute to the development of education, cultural and industry links between both countries."

The program will officially commence in 2014 and will be open to PhD students enrolled at the University Of Melbourne, to be co-supervised by staff at IITK, IITM or IISC.  Alternatively, students enrolled in one of the three Indian institutions will have access to co-supervision with Melbourne academics.

IITK Director Professor Indranil Manna said the initiative would bring leading institutions together.  “Australian and Indian communities hold immense respect for each other and this is yet another opportunity that would contribute to the strengthening of cultural ties between the two great nations.

“The Faculty at IIT Kanpur has always advocated and encouraged inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional collaboration and cooperation in all areas of mutual interest in science and Engineering. Such programmes not only contribute to diversity on campus, but also help build bridges across geographical borders,” he said.

“I earnestly wish for stronger interaction and collaboration in the proposed initiative.”

Dean of International Alumni Relations at IIT Madras, Prof R. Nagarajan said the institute is pleased to be joining the venture. 

“IIT-Madras has embarked on a systematic program of research collaboration with leading Universities around the world.  We envision a four-stage process, starting with faculty interactions, leading to research scholar exchanges and joint supervision of PhDs, culminating over time in joint doctorate programs.”

“We are happy that with University of Melbourne and MIPP, we have reached the stage of joint supervision of PhDs and look forward to developing the relationship further.”