The Australian Postgraduate Research (APR) Intern program is placing PhD students into businesses across all sectors to work on tightly-focused, three to five month industry research projects.
Businesses are encouraged to apply for the program and access a new 50 per cent rebate, reducing the cost for a small-to-medium businesses (SME) to take on an intern for three months from around $20,000 to $10,000.
These internships are supported by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training, through the ‘Supporting more women in STEM careers: Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) − National Research Internship Program’.
Locally-based Business Development Advisor Dr David Beecham, who liaises with the state’s universities and industry to match suitably qualified interns with the right companies, including SMEs, said the program benefits both industry and academia.
“Businesses will access specialist research expertise through the PhD and academic mentor team, while students gain invaluable experience in an industry setting,” he said.
Dr Beecham said the program would be of particular value to defence SMEs wanting to expand and improve their products and services. Defence Science and Technology, BAE Systems and BMT Design & Technology are among some of the larger companies that have collaborated with the program.
“In South Australia, defence is a particular sector we are interested in working with because of the significant investment in the industry,” he said.
“An internship has to be around R&D, so the value-add can be varied, but essentially the interns are there to improve the company’s product or processes to help the business.
“There are other benefits in terms of intellectual property and, for SMEs wanting to expand, the internships are a means of trying out talented people before full-time employment.”
So far, more than 280 PhD students have been placed into industry across Australia, with plans to place 1400 students into Australian businesses by 2020.
How can your business use APR.Intern?
The first step towards engaging an APR.Intern is to speak with one of the Business Development Advisors attached to the scheme. They will guide the entire process, starting with help on developing a project brief.
The APR.Intern team will then shortlist a pool of suitable and talented candidates, before you interview and select the right candidate for your needs.
A detailed project plan, including objectives, milestones and details is developed and agreed upon by you, your new intern, their academic mentor and APR.Intern.
Your project will begin, with APR.Intern regularly checking in and problem solving. A progress report at the mid-point of the internship will allow you to review and assess the project, while a final report will detail results and outcomes.
For more information, or to connect to your local advisor, David Beecham, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 8121 5770.