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, specifically relating to working hours.
  • Candidates enrolled full-time or part-time in an ANU Higher Degree Research program are eligible to undertake an internship. (NB: International candidates must be enrolled full time in their program of study to undertake an internship placement in Australia.)
  • 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 should have successfully completed their ‘Thesis Proposal Review’ milestone, and should 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 approval from their Primary Supervisor and Delegated Authority to undertake the internship.

How long does it take to arrange an internship?

Candidates should discuss with their ANU supervisor as early as possible in their candidature the possibility of undertaking an internship placement.

The HDR Internship Application Form should be completed within the first 18 months of enrolment, if possible. Once signed the HDR Internship Application Form becomes the Commitment Agreement between the Candidate, Host and ANU.

However, Placement Agreements do not need to be completed immediately, but should be finalised at least 10 weeks prior to the placement start date.

What is the difference between an RTP and General Internship?

There are two classes of internship:

  • RTP Internship – candidate eligible to apply for up to 6 months additional scholarship
    • A commitment to undertake the placement must occur within 18 months of enrolment;
    • Usually undertake between the successful completion of their TPR and prior to the submission of their thesis;
    • The placement must be for at least 60 days duration (full-time equivalent) over at least 3 months and not more than 6 months.
  • General internship – candidate may be eligible to apply for up to 3 months additional scholarship
    • Usually undertake between the successful completion of their TPR and prior to the submission of their thesis;
    • The placement must be at least 20 days duration (full-time equivalent) and no more than 6 months.

NB: Research visits and internships with a Higher Education provider (HEP) or international equivalent are not eligible for any scholarship extension.

What is a Research End-User?

An individual, community or organisation external to academics that will directly use or directly benefit from the output, outcome or results of the research.

Specific exclusions are:

  • Higher education providers;
  • Organisations that are affiliates, controlled entities or subsidiaries of a higher education provider; and
  • Equivalents of the above exclusions (international or domestic).

What is the difference between a Paid and Unpaid Internship?

Paid Internship:

There are two types of paid internship:

  • Candidate, host and ANU complete the relevant agreements and the IP sits with the candidate, host or an agreed combination of both. Candidate receives a stipend (scholarship) managed via ANU.
  • Candidate and host sign an employment contract defining agreed deliverables. The host would usually own the IP and the candidate would be receiving a taxable salary paid directly to the candidates. Candidates should check the contract for payment of a minimum wage, the National Employment Standards are met and the terms of any applicable award or registered agreement.

 

Unpaid Internship:

Unpaid internships are defined as purely for educational purposes with learning outcomes, and no scholarship or salary. Candidate, host and ANU complete the relevant Placement Agreements and the IP sits with the candidate, host or an agreed combination of both.

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

In some cases, internship hosts offer a top-up 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 top-up scholarship and any other top up scholarships you are holding is less than 75% of your annual 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.

If I complete an internship, can I apply for extra scholarship support?

Scholarship Extensions:

RTP Eligible internships can be considered for up to 6 months additional funding.

General Internships can be considered for up to 3 months additional funding.

Funding will be provided from the same budget code as the 3.5 year’s base stipend (for example, RTP / URS scholarships are funded from central resources, but ANU PhD scholarships are funded from school / supervisor budget codes.)

In order to access this funding the candidate must complete the HDR Internship Data Form upon completion of the placement. Following confirmation of the internship eligibility status candidates then submit the “Extension of Scholarship” eForm via ISIS, MMD-HDR and include details of the industry host placement and dates/duration. NB: Scholarship extensions are not available to candidates that have already received the maximum 4 years scholarship duration.

 

Top-Up Internship scholarships:

Internship scholarships may be available to undertake an internship placement and are managed through the College / School.

Industry hosts may employ the candidate and pay a salary directly to the candidate undertaking internships with them. (These would be taxable.)

You can continue to receive your HDR scholarship while undertaking the internship, provided the combined value of any internship top-up scholarship and any other top up scholarships you are holding is less than 75% of your annual 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 an internship course (SCNC8001 for CoS and HLMD9001 for CHM) for the duration of the internship by completing the "Change Enrolment - add/drop coursework" eForm located in ISIS, Manage My Degree - HDR.

Undertaking an internship does not increase the duration of your program. PhD candidates are still expected to complete in 4 years.

Whilst on your internship placement candidates are expected to continue to meet the progression milestones applicable to their research program.

Am I insured during my internship placement?

Candidates undertaking ANU managed internship activities are covered under the ANU Insurance policies.

If you are undertaking an internship as an employment arrangement, you must confirm your insurance cover under the host industry partner.

Can I undertake my Internship overseas?

Yes, an internship overseas is possible; the internship will be either an RTP or a General internship depending on the eligibility criteria detailed above. Candidates must follow ANU Travel Approval procedures.

Candidates are responsible for their own travel and living expenses, and would be expected to arrange travel, accommodation, insurance and visa requirements for the placement.

Can I undertake my Internship at a Higher Education Institution?

Yes, however the internship will not be eligible for RTP funds and candidates will not be eligible for scholarship extensions.

What should I do when I have completed my placement?

Upon completion of the internship placement your enrolment should revert back to your research thesis course rather than the internship course code. If this does not happen please complete the "Change Enrolment - add/drop coursework" eForm located in ISIS, Manage My Degree - HDR.
 
Candidates should also complete the HDR Internship Data Form upon completion of the placement. This enables the University to report the industry engagement activity to the government in order to secure additional RTP funding, plus confirms if candidates are eligible to receive any additional scholarship funds up to the maximum 4years scholarship duration.  

What happens if I commit to an Internship within the first 18 months of candidature but then fail my TPR?

This is a College requirement, and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Can I withdraw my decision after completing the HDR Internship Application Form (Commitment Agreement)?

The HDR Internship Application Form once signed becomes a commitment agreement between the Candidate, Host and ANU. However, completion of the HDR Internship Application Form (Commitment Agreement) is not a legally binding document and can be withdrawn without notice.

It is encouraged that discussions with the host and your ANU supervisor should occur before withdrawing to ensure any issues are managed and concerns addressed.

Can I withdraw from the internship placement after commencing?

Yes, a candidate is able to withdraw from the placement after signing the agreement; however, it is advised that the candidate should give a minimum 2 weeks written notice.

Discussions with the host and ANU supervisor should occur before withdrawing to ensure any issues are managed and concerns addressed. A reflection piece should be submitted via Wattle following any withdrawal.

Can I commence an internship after I submit my thesis?

Yes, this is possible; you would need to enrol in the SCNC8001 or HLMD9001 internship course prior to submission. However, you would not be eligible to receive any top-up scholarships or extension of their scholarship.

Once you submit your thesis, you would no longer be an active HDR candidate so any internship undertaken would need to be an employment arrangement directly with the host.

Candidates would need to check their insurance status, as you would no longer be covered by ANU insurance.

Paid vs Unpaid Internships

Paid Internship:

There are two types of paid internship:

  • Candidate, host and ANU complete the relevant agreements and the IP sits with the candidate, host or an agreed combination of both. Candidate receives a stipend (scholarship) managed via ANU.
  • Candidate and host sign an employment contract defining agreed deliverables. The host would usually own the IP and the candidate would be receiving a taxable salary paid directly to the candidates. Candidates should check the contract for payment of minimum wage, the National Employment Standards are met and the terms of any applicable award or registered agreement.

Unpaid Internship:

Unpaid internships are defined as purely for educational purposes with learning outcomes, and no scholarship or salary. Candidate, host and ANU complete the relevant Placement Agreements and the IP sits with the candidate, host or an agreed combination of both.

Process

  1. Once an internship placement opportunity has been identified (either self-sourced or via advertised opportunity), the candidate seeks approval from their Primary Supervisor and Delegated Authority (Associate Director HDR), and completes the “HDR Internship Application Form”. (This document forms the Commitment Agreement between ANU, Host and Candidate – important if candidate is within 18 months of commencement – see above.)
  2. Candidates email the HDR Internship Application Form (Commitment Agreement) to science.internships@anu.edu.au.
  3. The College will confirm eligibility of the type of internship and send the following documentation to the candidate who should liaise with the ANU supervisor and industry host to complete:
    • Host Placement Agreement (ST01)
    • Student Placement Agreement form (ST02)
    • Placement Details form (ST03)
    • Host-Candidate Agreement (ANU document), or an Employment Contract (from the host), if the placement is a paid internship where the IP will be owned by the host and the candidate is receiving a salary.
  4. Once the paperwork has been approved and returned to the College (science.internships@anu.edu.au) the candidate will be notified to change their enrolment details. The candidate should “Change their enrolment – add/drop coursework” through the ISIS Manage My Degree-HDR portal for GRO to enrol them in the SCNC8001 or HLMD9001 course for the duration of the internship program.

Undertaking an internship does not increase the duration of their program. PhD candidates are still expected to complete in 4 years. Whilst on their placement candidates are expected to continue to meet the progression milestones applicable to their research program.

SCNC8001 & HLMD9001 – assessment requirements

As part of the internship course, the candidate will need to provide a written report, a reflection piece and undertake an oral presentation to their host and ANU supervisors at the conclusion of the placement.

The written report and reflection piece will be submitted via the Wattle site for this course. The report can be submitted as a scientific report, a research paper, or another format approved by the host and ANU supervisors. (The College can provide a template if required.)

The oral presentation will be arranged by the candidate with the host to enable the candidate to present to a professional and academic audience at the host institution.

Finally, the candidate will complete the HDR Internship Data Form that will enable the university to report the internship details to the Australian Government as part of RTP requirements.

Scholarships

Scholarship Extensions:

RTP Eligible internships can be considered for up to 6 months additional funding.

General Internships can be considered for up to 3 months additional funding.  

Funding will be provided from the same budget code as the 3.5 year’s base stipend (for example, RTP / URS scholarships are funded from central resources, but ANU PhD scholarships are funded from school / supervisor budget codes.)

In order to access this funding the candidate must complete the HDR Internship Data Form upon completion of the placement. Following confirmation of the internship eligibility, status candidates then submit the “Extension of Scholarship” eForm via ISIS, MMD-HDR and include details of the industry host placement and dates/duration. NB: Scholarship extensions are not available to candidates that have already received the maximum 4 years scholarship duration.

Top-Up Internship scholarships:

Internship scholarships may be available to undertake an internship placement and are managed through the College / School.

Industry hosts may employ the candidate and pay a salary directly to the candidate undertaking internships with them. (These would be taxable.)

Candidates can continue to receive their HDR scholarship while undertaking the internship, provided the combined value of any internship top-up scholarship and any other top up scholarships they are holding is less than 75% of the annual ANU stipend scholarship (AGRTP, URS, ANU PhD or any other stipend scholarship).

Alternatively, a candidate can suspend their 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.

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.