PhD candidates have the opportunity to undertake an internship following the submission of their thesis.
What are the benefits?
- PhD internships provide you with the opportunity to apply your research expertise to a short project within an organisational context, gaining practical experience and building professional networks. You can access unique opportunities via the Australian Postgraduate Research Internship program or source your own internship in an organisation of interest.
- PhD Internships are paid opportunities. You can receive up to $3000 per month as a stipend for the period of the internship.
- The Faculty of Science offers the Specialist Certificate in Research Practice for Scientists, which ensures you can gain credit for the work completed and maintain your enrolment.
- Students who submit their thesis in a timely way (on or before the maximum course duration) may be eligible for a fee remission for the internship.
- Completion of the internship provides a framework for further development of employability skills, and a greater understanding of career planning, professional development considerations and employer expectations.
How to get started
It is important to start researching and planning early. We recommended you start this process immediately after submitting your thesis.
1. Register your interest
Submit an Expression of Interest Form so that you can be kept up to date of internship opportunities in your area of interest.
2. Identify opportunities
You may be able to find opportunities through the following channels:
- Careers Online is the University of Melbourne's student employment portal featuring part-time and casual work, graduate programs and unique internship opportunities in Australia and overseas
- The GRSc Newsletter (emailed to all students monthly) for advertised opportunities
- Your Supervisor/ Academic colleagues may have industry connections and might be able to arrange an internship. If this is the case, and you require advice, please email email@example.com
- APR Intern is an internship program placing PhD students into business. You can subscribe to the APR intern mailing list to receive notification of new internship opportunities.
3. Prepare your CV and cover letter
When you apply for an internship placement it is common practice to supply your cover letter and resume. Before you start applying for placements, it’s important to have these documents ready.
These resources may be helpful:
You can also utilise the Careers Centre resources to improve your documents before sending them to organisations.
Contact organisations with your CV, cover letter, and any other requested information to request an internship.
5. Confirm your placement
Once you have secured an internship with an organisation, you'll need to take a few steps to confirm it with the University.
- Complete the Internship Application and Risk Assessment Form
- Apply for the Specialist Certificate in Research Practice for Scientists
Once your internship agreement is signed and in place, you will be sent a course offer and will be able to enrol in SCIE90018 to being your pre-internship modules and assessment.
Frequently asked questions
Please check out these frequently asked questions before contacting us with further questions.
Can I take an internship before I submit my thesis?
The Faculty’s preference is for internships to be completed following submission to ensure that students are focussed on the internship project and available to work on it in a full-time capacity.
In some cases, where Supervisor support is provided, students may be approved to take an internship prior to thesis submission. You should contact firstname.lastname@example.org to seek approval if you wish to start an internship before you have submitted your thesis.
- Do I need to pay for the internship?
I submitted my thesis after my maximum course duration – what options do I have for completing an internship?
All University of Melbourne PhD-Science students, regardless of what stage they submit their thesis, are eligible to complete an internship (and the Specialist Certificate in Research Practice for Scientists) while their thesis is Under Examination. However, if you have submitted your thesis more than 4 years (EFTSL) after your commencement, you may be required to pay fees for the course.
How long after I submit my thesis can I begin an internship/ enrol in the Specialist Certificate?
Ideally, internships are started immediately after thesis submission, or before students receive their thesis examination feedback. Students may be able to complete the Specialist Certificate after completion of the thesis examination. However, this will be difficult for International students as the course is not full time.
Please note, eligibility for a fee remission may not be approved if your thesis was submitted more than 12 months before your internship begins.
Internship opportunities via APR are not available to students whose PhD is completed (e.g. has been submitted and examined/conferred).
I’m an International student, what visa do I need to complete an internship in Australia after thesis submission?
You do not need a new visa to complete an internship. Note that enrolment in the internship (or Specialist Certificate in Research Practice for Scientists) does not provide you with the opportunity to extend or apply for a new visa.
However, International students will have a maximum of 6 months after thesis submission to complete an internship. Therefore, you would need to begin your internship as soon as possible after thesis submission to ensure that you'll be able to complete the project before the 6 allowable months of visa validity after submission is over.
Will the internship stipend be taxed?
No income tax will be deducted from your internship stipend payments. However, the income may be deemed taxable. This is because you may not be considered a full time student while completing the internship, making the payments subject to income tax. You should seek the advice of an independent tax adviser to determine if tax will be payable following completion of a tax return.
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