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Research and Innovation

Higher Degree by Research Student Internships

Utilise research skills and improve your career preparedness through a short-term industrial internship
Two students on campus at CDU
CDU students


An internship needs you to complete a research project or devote time to gaining experience in a professional setting. The research you undertake will be relevant to your research topic or your skills to carry it out.

The University strongly recommends you explore an internship opportunity early in your candidature, ideally within the first 18 months 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 wish to complete an industry internship, we recommend that you start planning early in your degree, even if you want to finish it later. You may want to consult with your supervisor, HDR internships coordinator, and the HDR team to assist you in planning and exploring how to manage the internship in conjunction with your other university and faculty milestones, coursework, goals, and research activity.

Charles Darwin University offers domestic and international HDR students 3-6 month internship opportunities.

Benefits of internship for research students

An industry internship will help you advance professionally and academically. Some of the benefits of HDR internships are as follows:

  • Build skills that will help you in your research
  • Fast-Track career and enhance your CV
  • Increase employability and develop soft skills to complement research expertise
  • Create networks and acquire industry exposure
  • Flexible conditions and tailored internship arrangements

Industry Placement Duration

Depending on the requirements of the Industry Partner, internship placements last between 3-6 months. Both domestic and international HDR students from all disciplines are eligible to apply for an industry internship.

Student Information

Charles Darwin University HDR internship program aims to improve industry-university cooperation and give postgraduate research students the tools they need to succeed in a real-world setting. Students can gain experience in the commercial application of research by taking on a brief internship. Students may get a $3,000 monthly student stipend on appropriate HDR internship projects.


To be eligible for an HDR internship, students must meet the following criteria:

  • You are enrolled in a higher degree by research course
  • You are a domestic (Australian citizen or permanent resident), or an international student with the appropriate student visa

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

Academic Supervisor Information

Academic Supervisors play a crucial role in the success of each HDR internship project. The Academic Supervisor, typically a student’s principal PhD supervisor, directs and leads the student towards the project’s research goals. Academic Supervisors can speed up R&D and develop relationships by engaging directly with the industry. Academic Supervisors may also be compensated for managing appropriate HDR internship projects. 

Benefits of an HDR internship for the industry partner

  • Rapid turnaround and accelerated innovation (project outcomes are stated in the project plan, and the students are tracked with milestones during the project)
  • CDU academic assistance in identifying problems and proposing solutions
  • Access to valuable new research talent
  • The chance to fill the current skill gaps in the industry
  • Flexibility in project design, including the ability to scope and complete follow-up tasks for larger projects and grants as well as work inside larger projects

Industry partners can express their interest in an HDR internship project by completing the following EOI:

Industry partners can also contact at

How it works for CDU research students

CDU research students can self-source an HDR internship, apply to any internship opportunity advertised by the university or apply to any advertised research internship through a third-party provider. This can work in the following ways:

  1. Eligible research students can contact the HDR internships coordinator to discuss their self-sourced internship opportunity or submit their applications directly to an advertised internship.
  2. If students express interest in applying to an advertised internship opportunity, the HDR internships coordinator will assist in the application procedure.
  3. If successful, the internship provider will be in touch with the next steps.
  4. If short-listed for an interview, the HDR internship coordinator will assist with the interview process.
  5. Students who are offered a placement will then refine the internship’s project plan with the Industry Partner and their Academic Mentor.
  6. Once the agreement and project plan are signed, it’s full steam ahead!

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


Further Enquiries

For more information, please get in touch with the Office of Research & Innovation at

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