Skip to main content

Research and Innovation

Australian Postgraduate Research (APR) Intern

Higher Degree by Research
Two students on campus at CDU
CDU students


APR.Intern is Australia’s only national PhD internship program spanning all sectors and disciplines – now also open to Masters by Research students.

The program connects postgraduate research students with industry through short-term research placements, empowering students to thrive in a practical environment. Over 3-6 months, students have the opportunity to apply their analytical expertise to an industry challenge, gain invaluable experience and fast-track their careers.

Benefits of internship for research students

  • Research for Impact Apply your research skills to an industry R&D challenge
  • Fast-Track Career Build industry networks and enhance your CV
  • Increase Employability Develop soft skills to complement research expertise
  • Flexible Conditions Explore tailored internship arrangements
  • Internship Stipend Receive a $3,000 monthly student stipend

Industry Placement Duration

Internship placements are between 3-6 months, depending on the Industry Partner’s needs. Both domestic and international students from all disciplines are eligible to apply for an industry placement through this program.

Student Information

The APR.Intern program is dedicated to strengthening industry-university collaboration and empowering postgraduate research students to thrive in a practical environment. By engaging in a short-term internship, students can dip their toe into the commercial application of research, fully supported by both APR.Intern and their Academic Mentor. Throughout the internship, students receive a $3,000 monthly student stipend.


Eligibility can vary depending the companies the APR.Intern work with and CDU HDR Internship policies. However, all students must meet the following criteria:


  • You are a PhD student currently enrolled at an Australian university (some internships may take Masters by Research students – see the project description for details)
  • You are a domestic (Australian citizen or permanent resident), or an international student with the appropriate student visa
  • You have not previously undertaken a PhD internship with APR.Intern
  • You have met the requirements of your confirmation milestone and can demonstrate that internship participation will not adversely impact your scheduled thesis submission date
  • Your Principal Supervisor has given you written approval to participate in the program

If you are unsure whether you are eligible to apply for the HDR internship, please contact

Academic Mentor Information

Academic Mentors play a vital role in the success of each APR.Intern project. Typically a student’s PhD supervisor, the Academic Mentor provides guidance and steers the student towards the project’s research goals. Through direct engagement with industry, Academic Mentors can accelerate R&D income and strengthen partnerships. Academic Mentors also receive a $1,000 honorarium for overseeing the project.

Business Information

APR.Intern is a platform for businesses to connect with Australia’s brightest emerging research talent. PhD student placements can help businesses unlock their innovation potential, and lead to invaluable industry-university collaborations. The placements are a cost-effective solution for businesses to tackle R&D challenges, fill a short-term skills gap and experience PhD-level research expertise. The short-term nature of APR.Intern projects mean rapid results can be achieved, and the business retains all IP while APR.Intern manages all HR and administration.

The industry cost of engaging a PhD student intern starts at $20,000 for a 3-month project, with subsidies available to businesses in Defence, Manufacturing and MedTech sectors – these lower internship costs by up to 50%.

Custom Internships

If a university brings an Industry Partner and student, or an Industry Partner brings a university and student, these ‘custom’ internships will attract a $5,000 APR.Intern contribution towards the industry partner costs.

How it works for CDU PhD students

  1. Eligible research students submit their applications to APR.Intern – either by applying directly to an internship currently being advertised, or by submitting a General Application, which APR.Intern keeps on file for future opportunities. More information on both processes here:
  2. If you responded to an advertised internship, APR.Intern will be in touch with next steps. If you submitted a General Application, APR.Intern will cross-check your application and skillset against upcoming projects.
  3. If you are short-listed for an internship, you will be interviewed by the Industry Partner (APR.Intern will assist with interview preparation).
  4. PhD students that are offered an internship will then refine the internship’s project plan with the Industry Partner and their Academic Mentor.
  5. Once the agreement and project plan is signed off, it’s full steam ahead!

If you have a prospective industry partner and/or student in mind that would benefit from this program, please contact the Office of Research & Innovation to assist with the process.

    Visit APR.Intern website to submit your applications

    Further Enquiries

    For more information, please visits or contact the Office of Research & Innovation at