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HDR internship opportunities

Apply research skills and gain invaluable experience with a short-term industry internship.


The University of Sydney has partnered with Australian Postgraduate Research Intern (APR.Intern) to connect both domestic and international HDR students with industry partners through a paid 3–6 month internship.  

Undertaking an internship will involve completing a project, or period of work in a workplace environment. The research that you complete will be related to your research topic or the skills that you need to complete your research.

The University strongly encourages you to take on an industry internship during your HDR program and to source an internship early on in candidature, ideally no later than the first 18 months of your candidature for full-time equivalent candidates.  You may choose to complete the industry internship at any point throughout your course, prior to your thesis submission.

If you are interested in completing an industry internship, we recommend you make plans early in your degree, even if you want to complete it later. You may wish to use the Research Education Candidature System (RECS), Milestones and Goals feature to help you plan and to consider how best to manage the internship in parallel with your other university and faculty milestones, coursework, goals and research activity.

Why undertake an internship?

Completion of an industry internship will help you grow professionally and academically.

Benefits of an internship:

  • develop the eleven research graduate qualities
  • develop competencies that will contribute to your own research
  • improve your employability
  • gain industry exposure and build networks
  • flexible conditions.

Available opportunities

Visit APR.Intern's website for the full list of available internship opportunities.

The internship opportunities span across a range of sectors and disciplines. These include:

  • Building & Construction
  • Defence & Aerospace
  • Environment
  • Food & Agribusiness
  • Government & Utilities
  • Manufacturing
  • Medical & Healthcare
  • Mining & Energy
  • Professional & Scientific Services
  • Telecommunications
  • Banking
  • Business & ICT Wholesale & Retail.

APR.Intern is in the process of sourcing non-STEM internship opportunities. Refer to their website and subscribe to their internships alerts and newsletter for more information.

APR.Intern can also assist you to formalise internship arrangements if you self-source an industry internship opportunity. Contact APR.Intern for further advice.

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible to undertake an internship you need to be an enrolled PhD student, either domestic or international (with the appropriate visa). Some internships may accept Masters by Research students – this will be outlined in the project description. Refer to the APR.Intern website for the full list of eligibility requirements.

How to apply

There are two ways to apply for an industry internship through APR.Intern. You can respond directly to an advertised internship or submit a general application. Before applying, you should consult with your supervisor about internship opportunities.

To apply:

  1. Visit the APR.Intern website for full list of available internship opportunities.
  2. Discuss with your supervisor your willingness to undertake an internship opportunity and the benefits this brings to your research project and research skills.
  3. Download and complete the Student approval form.
  4. Email the completed form to for University validation and approval. You will receive an acknowledgement of receipt email.
  5. Once the form has been validated and approved by the University you will receive a confirmation email from HDRAC Ops outlining additional factors for consideration should you be successful in obtaining an APR Internship. Allow up to 10 working days to receive this email.
  6. Complete your application on the APR.Intern website, and submit your Student approval form signed by the University.

Visit APR.Intern's website for more information about the application process.

Considerations in undertaking an internship

Primary scholarship status

If you’re the holder of a primary scholarship at the University, the Scholarships Office will contact you. The University will allow flexibility in how students accommodate an HDR industry internship into their program of study.

The default position will be that your primary scholarship will be suspended for the duration of your internship, during which time you will receive the HDR internship stipend scholarship payment funded through the Scholarships Office. This will allow your scholarship to be extended at the end of candidature by a similar time to the time spent on the internship.

Tuition fee support

You may be able to receive tuition fee support for your HDR candidature whilst on your internship. If eligible:

  • international students will receive a tuition fee scholarship covering the research period of the internship.


You may be eligible if your internship is DESE-compliant and meets all of the criteria below:

  • your internship is negotiated and signed within 18 months of your HDR candidature commencing
  • your internship is at least 3 months (60 full-time equivalent days) in duration
  • your internship is with an eligible research-end user, that is where the organisation has no affiliation with any university
  • your research and/or research skills are broadly related to the internship.

Internship stipend scholarship

If you’re successful in obtaining an internship, you will need to work with the Scholarships Office directly to execute your formal agreement and APR internship scholarship arrangement.

Suspensions to candidature and commencements of internships

If you are a domestic candidate intending on suspending your candidature for the duration of your internship, you will need to request leave from your research through RECS. If you are an international student in most situations your visa conditions will not allow you to suspend your candidature for the duration of your internship. Some visas may allow you to suspend if you choose, but you will need to seek advice around your visa restrictions. You may wish to contact SUPRA for independent advice.

If you do intend to suspend, please ensure that the commencement of your internship aligns with the research period for which you are seeking a suspension.

If you suspend your candidature for the duration of the internship, there may be tax implications for your internship funding and you are strongly encouraged to seek independent tax advice from a registered tax agent.

Intellectual property

Intellectual proprty will be covered in your internship agreement and will depend on the nature of the internship. If you are concerned about your intellectual property you can seek independent legal advice from SUPRA Legal Service.


The University maintains a personal accident insurance policy that covers you while you’re undertaking course-related activities, including internships. Find out more about this insurance cover, including how to make a claim.

If you undertake an internship separately, without the knowledge of the University, and not related directly to your study and/or researcher skills needed to complete your research, then you may not be covered by insurance.

Recording your internship activity

We encourage you to use RECS to help plan your internship. Upon the commencement of your internship, you are encouraged to log into RECS and update your milestones and goals to capture your internship.

We invite you to refer to your milestones and goals when notifying us of the successful completion of your internship. Ensure that you have completed these relevant steps as this does not happen automatically. This evidence will be used by your Progress Evaluation Meeting (PEM) panel to facilitate conversation around your progression in your degree along with other milestone checks and candidature requirements. 

Higher Degree by Research Administration Centre


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Last updated: 28 August 2023

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