Research Internships

Engineering Research

Do you want to turn theory into practice while building, fostering, and enhancing professional contacts and networks in industry?

The University of Adelaide is offering a funded research internship which will ultimately help you build critical skills and expertise, while providing a strong complement to your academic studies and a head start for your future employment opportunities, not only in higher education but across all sectors and parts of our communities.

Information for students

  • Eligibility and requirements

    • Full-time PhD students enrolled at the University of Adelaide must be able to secure an agreement in writing about the research and development activities and internship duration within the first 18 calendar months of their candidature start date (36 calendar months for students who commenced their degree on a part-time basis). The actual internship may be undertaken at any agreed-upon time throughout the duration of a student's candidature.
    • Students must be progressing satisfactorily in candidature and not have previously received funding from the University of Adelaide for participation in a research internship.
    • International students must be able to complete the proposed internship and doctoral degree within the student visa duration (where applicable).
    • The internship must be a minimum of 60 full-time equivalent business days in duration/ three calendar months and can be undertaken on a full-time or part-time basis. Mode of attendance can vary, i.e. full-time block, set days per week, part-time, face-to-face or virtual.
    • The Research Internship/Research and Development activities must be related to the student’s area of research. 
    • All students completing a research internship are required to complete the CaRST ‘Preparing for your Research Internship’ course prior to commencement.
  • Additional information

    • The University of Adelaide offers all PhD students completing an eligible Research Internship a 3-month research internship scholarship, if they are not engaged as an employee by the industry partner.
    • If you are currently or were previously employed to undertake research and development activities related to your area of research, with a research end-user for at least 60 FTE business days within the first 18 months of your full-time or 36 months of your part-time candidature, please contact the HDR Industry Team.
    • The completion of an AGRS-approved Research Internships will receive official recognition from the University of Adelaide and will be reflected as a statement on the academic transcript.
    • Prior to the internship, an agreement covering intellectual property (IP) will be executed by all parties. Typically, students will assign any project and internship IP to the industry partner, while any background research IP will be retained by the student/University.
  • Hear from our past interns

    Undertaking a HDR - Masters or PhD - does not always illuminate your path in a way that you may want. However, undertaking this internship has been an illuminating experience and helped me decide what direction I want to go in my life. The work I did with the Defence Science and Technology Group was an amazing experience. The people I worked alongside are passionate, knowledgeable, and kind. The work I undertook allowed me to put my skills and knowledge to work on a research agenda that was practical, self-directed, and challenging ... My time at DSTG was rewarding and taking that risk to put your HDR on pause to undertake an industry internship will be a worthwhile and rewarding experience. Do not pass on this opportunity!

    Benjamin Cherry-Smith, School of Social Sciences


    "[My internship] was a truly rewarding experience ... I was fortunate to work with a team at the Australian Energy Market Operator on the forefront of Australia's clean energy transition and could make meaningful contributions to a major project going on there. Fortunately, the team at AEMO was also impressed with my work, and I was offered a part-time Power System Engineer position to continue working on the project (while of course doing my PhD full time)."

    Sahand Karimi-Arpanahi, School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering


    "The internship is an excellent opportunity for research students to learn from the industry and understand the gap between research and practice in the industry."

    Yiming Huo, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine
  • Register to start your internship journey

    If you are a student that has self-sourced an internship, identified an internship opportunity with your supervisor or require assistance from the Internships Team, please complete the Student Registration of Interest form and our team will contact you regarding the next steps.

    About you
    Are you a domestic or international student?
    About your candidature
    Did you commence your PhD as a full-time or part-time student?
    Are you studying at Adelaide under a joint-award agreement?
    About the Research Internship
    Have you discussed your internship plans with your principal supervisor, and are they supportive?
    Which of the below options best describe you?

    Section 1

    Section 2

    If you already have an internship organised, are you currently employed by the partner organisation that you plan to complete your internship with?

    Section 3

    The following questions will enable us to understand both your professional experience, and the skillset that you would like to develop through an internship.
    Please list the particular research and development activities that you wish to undertake within an industry setting. E.g. conducting high level data analysis; initiating scoping or literature reviews; producing educational materials; developing a policy paper for government or an advocacy group; assisting with a clinical trial etc. Also highlight your strengths.

    Example response: My PhD examines the obstacles faced by juvenile defendants in the Australian court system. My thesis applies frameworks from the field of Critical Prison Studies, and my research involves structured interviews and qualitative data analysis. I would like to undertake an internship that enables me to apply my research and contribute to public debates, ideally by working with an advocacy group to develop a policy paper or educational materials.

    Be mindful that your research may impact on areas outside your direct field of study. Students are required to undertake an internship related to their area of research and not specifically related to their PhD topic so think broadly. This question allows you to dig deeper into the wide variety of organisations that you can potentially do an internship with, before answering the next question.

    Example response: My research examines the ways that nutritional information is promoted or obscured in fast food advertising. I have a research publication that explains the significance of my analysis for health professionals. However, my findings can also be applied in other areas, for example: Print or online health campaigns aimed at parents and teachers (public health/educational impact); Educational materials for school-level children (educational impact); Policy papers that advocate for advertising regulations (political impact).
    If you need assistance identifying the kinds of organisations and groups that conduct relevant engagement activities consider conducting an online search, and talking to your supervisors and colleagues.
    This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
  • Preparing for your Research Internship (CaRST module)

    All students undertaking a Research Internship are required to complete a complementary researcher development module, as part of the Career and Research Skills Training (CaRST) program.

    Get started

Find out more

Hear from our current student interns, and the HDR internships team, at the Adelaide Graduate Research School's 2023 Information webinar.

Watch Video

*Please note you will need a University of Adelaide login to access this video.


Information for partner organisations and principal supervisors

  • Overview of Research Internships

    The University of Adelaide offers its eligible PhD students a 3-month Research Internship Scholarship if they undertake Research and Development (R&D) activities for a minimum of 60 FTE business days in an area related to their current research, with any research end-user.

    The Research Internships offer a unique advantage to any organisation as they present a cost-effective approach for utilising the services of talented individuals without a hiring commitment. The PhD students bring a research perspective, academic background and unique skillset to the organisation which enables increased productivity to complete specific research tasks on projects of mutual interest. Besides injecting enthusiasm and creating mentoring opportunities for existing teams in the organisations, they enable organisations to tap on to up-and-coming talent for future recruitment. Lastly, they pave the way for fostering long term research collaboration and engagement with the University sector.

    These 3-month Research Internships are also considerably flexible. The commitment to undertake the Research Internship must be finalised within the first 18 months from commencement of the student’s PhD candidature, however, it can be completed on full-time or part-time basis, in blocks of time, face-to-face or online, at any time during the student’s candidature of up to 4 years. This flexibility offers organisations the ability to adjust the project timelines based on their organisational needs. The project scope, timing and nature of research and development activities are mutually agreed between the partner organisation, student, and their supervisor. Typically, the internship IP is held by the partner organisation, while any background research IP is retained by the relevant party

    Prior to internship commencement, formal documentation encapsulating the rights and responsibilities of all parties as well as relevant information about confidentiality, and intellectual property (IP) is executed.

    Internships longer than a period of 3 months require financial support by the Partner Organisation, however, are equally encouraged.

    Download our Partner Handbook

  • Hear from our stakeholders

    Professor Withawat Withayachumnankul’s student is undertaking a remote internship to create and potentially commercialise a new bandpass filter design. He believes, “The industry internship program is a key for the HDR students to connect their research capabilities and skills to real-world problems. It engages the students with practical requirements under challenging limitations.”  

    Professor Alan Collins has organised internships for multiple PhD students. He states “The industry internship scheme that the university has put in place is extremely straightforward to set up, making it manageable for the industry partner as well as for the supervisor. It provides an incredible opportunity for a research student to develop their research and see how it is applied by industry. This is one of the best schemes of its type I’ve seen and a real plus for PhD students at The University of Adelaide.”  

    Dr Ali Pourmousavi Kani, who has facilitated various internships for his students believes, “An internship is a great way for our PhD students to gain first-hand experience in the industry, but it is also extremely beneficial for supervisors, like learning about the ever-evolving rules and regulations in a fast-paced industry like the renewable energy and electricity markets. In addition, it strengthens the connection with industry and provides new avenues for collaboration and research. It could also improve our chances of commercializing our research.”

  • Register your interest in hosting a PhD intern

    Partner Organisation Registration of Interest Form

    Is your organisation interested in finding out more about Research Internships or do you already have an internship and student in mind? If you are a partner organisation or PhD Supervisor, please complete the form and we will contact you to discuss the next steps.

    Please select one of the options below:

    Section 1

    Section 2

    Will you be the partner organisation supervisor of this student during their internship?

    Section 2.5

    Who will be the partner organisation supervisor involved with this research internship? 

    Is the student above a paid employee your organisation?

    Section 3

    Is there anyone else at your organisation that may be involved with the research internship?

    Section 3.5

    Would you prefer a PhD student from a specific faculty area?

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    Section 4

    Would you prefer a PhD student from a specific faculty area?
  • Contact us

    HDR Internships team

    T:+61 8 8313 4918



    Level 10, Schulz Building

    The University of Adelaide

    SA 5005


Current Research Internship opportunities

The following projects are currently open for applications from University of Adelaide PhD students. If you would like assistance from the HDR Internships Team to identify an internship more suitable for your research area please register your interest using the webform above.


APR.Intern connects PhD students with industry through short-term internships. If you would like to apply for one of these opportunities please contact HDR Industry Enquiries to confirm your eligibility.

Find out more


Frequently asked questions

Further enquiries

For any other enquiries please contact:

HDR Internships