Science Internship Program

Science, Health & Medicine HDR Internships

Program overview

As part of your Higher Degree Research program, there are ways to develop your professional skills and networking opportunities. An internship can provide experience working within a host organisation that interests you, to complete a project that is relevant to them.

Frequent asked questions

Am I eligible for an internship?

  • Both domestic and international candidates can undertake internships. However, it is important to check the eligibility requirements for the specific placement of interest. International candidates should check their visa conditions prior to applying for an internship.
  • Candidates enrolled full-time or part-time in an ANU Higher Degree Research program are eligible to undertake an internship.
  • Candidates should seek their own tax/financial advice for any funding provided by the internship host.
  • Candidates intending to undertake an internship should have all milestones up to date and be demonstrating satisfactory progress.
  • Candidates must have successfully completed their ‘Thesis Proposal Review’ milestone, and must not have submitted their thesis for examination.
  • Candidates must discuss with their Primary Supervisor regarding an appropriate time in their candidature to undertake an internship. Following this discussion, the candidate must seek written agreement from their Primary Supervisor and Delegated Authority to undertake the internship.

What happens to my HDR scholarship while I am undertaking the internship

In some cases, internship hosts offer a stipend or supplementary scholarship for the duration of the internship in addition to any scholarship you may be receiving during your HDR candidature. You can continue to receive your HDR scholarship while undertaking the internship, provided the combined value of any internship stipend and any top up scholarships you are holding is less than 75% of your ANU stipend scholarship (AGRTP, URS, ANU PhD or any other stipend scholarship). Always check the Conditions of Award of your scholarship to ensure you do not breach them by accepting an internship stipend.

Alternatively, you can suspend your ANU scholarship for the period of the internship. Please note that suspending the scholarship without suspending the program will forfeit scholarship payments during the suspension period.

What happens to my HDR enrolment?

ALL candidates undertaking an internship placement enrol in a special research course (SCNC8001) for the duration of the internship by completing Application for Enrolment Change form. Candidate submits the completed and approved Application for Enrolment Change form to their School HDR Administrator. Undertaking an internship does not increase the duration of your program. PhD candidates are still expected to complete in 4 years and Master of Philosophy candidates are expected to complete in 2 years.

Am I insured during my internship placement?

Candidates undertaking University approved internship activities are covered under the ANU Insurance policies, upon completion of the attached form (https://policies.anu.edu.au/ppl/download/ANUP_000968) 

Internship types and how to apply

There are two main types of internship projects available to eligible HDR candidates at ANU:

  1. Internship placements through ANU-Industry Agreements:

ANU-Industry agreements enable candidates to apply for pre-approved placements within specific organisations.

For more information on placements available to HDR candidates, please see: https://students.science.anu.edu.au/careers-opportunities/science-internship-program/available-placements

APR Intern offer PhD candidate industry placements spanning all sectors and disciplines – see: https://aprintern.org.au

Candidates interested in undertaking a project via the APR Intern program can apply for existing advertised projects, or submit a general application, which enables APR Intern to contact the candidate when specific projects become available. See further details below regarding how to apply.

  1. Self-sourced placements:

Candidates interested in undertaking a project with a specific industry partner should ensure they have discussed the opportunity with their Primary Supervisor and sought written approval from the Primary Supervisor and Delegated Authority prior to signing any contracts or agreements.

Candidates and Supervisors can contact hdr.shm@anu.edu.au for information on how to manage this type of internship as part of the HDR program.

How to apply:

For ANU-Industry Agreement Placements:

  • Opportunities are advertised throughout the year (via email, or on the Science Internships website) as they become available.
  • Candidates should seek approval from their Primary Supervisor and Delegated Authority prior to submitting an application, and send the approval to hdr.shm@anu.edu.au for confirmation of eligibility.
  • Following confirmation of eligibility candidates should follow the appropriate application process as detailed by the industry partner, and send relevant documents to Science Internships office, who will forward the application to the industry partner.
  • You may be asked to attend an interview; we will notify you of the outcome of your application.

For APR Intern Placements:

  • Opportunities are advertised throughout the year (via email, or on the APR Intern website) as they become available.
  • Candidates complete a pre-approval form.
  • Candidates seek approval from Primary Supervisor and Delegated Authority – then pass the form to the Dean HDR via ea.dvcri@anu.edu.au – cc’ing hdr.shm@anu.edu.au
  • Following pre-approval – the candidate submits an application for the specific internship opportunity via the appropriate application link on the APR Intern webpage, including the pre-approval form for consideration by the industry partner.
  • APR Intern will organise the selection process, including interviewing the candidate.
  • If successful, APR Intern will manage the process and work with the candidate, industry partner and ANU supervisor.

For Self-Sourced Placements:

  • If a candidate has obtained a potential internship placement through their own contacts, they may be eligible to count the internship toward their HDR program.
  • Candidates should seek approval from their Primary Supervisor and Delegated Authority, prior to completing any applications or contracts.
  • Candidates should send the following documents to hdr.shm@anu.edu.au for confirmation of eligibility:
    • Name & address of Industry partner
    • Title & description of research project, and your duties
    • Location/address of research project (if different from industry partner address)
    • Clearances required e.g. police check, WWVP 
    • Industry partner supervisor contact details: name & email address
    • ANU supervisor contact details: name & email address
    • Intended start/end dates of internship placement
    • Details of any payments / scholarships (if applicable)
    • Written approval from PhD Primary Supervisor and Delegated Authority
  • Following confirmation further information such as an Internship Schedule, Intellectual Property &/or Confidentiality form, will be provided for completion by the Science Internships team.

Program Management:

Supervision Arrangement during placement:

During the Internship, candidates will have an ANU supervisor and an Industry Partner supervisor. It is the candidate’s responsibility to find an appropriate ANU supervisor before the commencement of their Internship. The ANU supervisor does not have to be the candidate’s current Primary Supervisor and/or Chair of Panel, although this would normally be the case.  A meeting between the two supervisors and the candidate should take place within the first week of commencement of the placement to align expectations around the project.

The ANU supervisor should be someone who is familiar with and interested in the area of the Internship. They will form the link between the industry partner and the University and guide the candidate as an academic mentor throughout the placement. It is expected that the candidate organise consultation time with the ANU supervisor at least 4 times during the Internship. This can be through real-time meetings, or appropriate alternatives. The ANU supervisor is expected to uphold ANU policies and procedures regarding HDR progression.

The Industry Partner supervisor will provide the hands-on supervision and guidance in the workplace for the duration of the Internship, and guide candidates through the appropriate processes and any induction within the industry partner organisation. It is expected that the supervisor will provide regular feedback on the candidate’s progress, directly to the candidate as a form of professional development, and via monitoring from Science Internships.

The candidate may nominate an Advisor for their project, either from ANU or elsewhere, who may bring specialist knowledge that can help them with their placement. The Advisor does not take on an assessment role, but can contribute to these discussions as needed.