Graduate research internships

Expand  your professional networks and strengthen your research, professional and transferable skills through a graduate research internship.

A graduate research internship is defined as a position with a research end-user where a graduate researcher undertakes research and development (R&D) activity that relates to their area of study. Internships can be undertaken at any stage during candidature, including post-submission.

Finding an Internship

Through APR.Intern

APR.Intern facilitates 3-6 month  graduate research internships. Search for opportunities advertised on the APR.Intern website, subscribe to be kept up to date as new opportunities arise, or submit a general application   to be kept on file for future opportunities.

Source your own

Make the most of your existing networks.  Discuss opportunities with your supervisors and keep them informed to ensure the internship aligns with your research and career  plan. Please note that you need to register an internship with the Graduate Research Internships (GRI) team as early as possible, preferably 12 weeks (and at least 8 weeks) before the proposed internship commencement date.

The process at a glance

To be eligible

  • You must be currently enrolled or under examination.
  • The internship must conclude prior to completion of your degree.
  • The internship must consist of research and development (R&D) activity that is related to your area of research.
  • You must be making satisfactory progress in your candidature.
  • You must have the approval of your principal supervisor.
  • If travelling for your internship, you must abide by the University travel policies, including applying for Study Away if required.
  • You must have registered your internship with the Graduate Research Internships team.

An internship may be undertaken at any stage of candidature; however it is strongly recommended that internships commence after successful confirmation of candidature.

Register your intention

Register your intention to undertake an internship  by completing the Internships Registration Form. This form must be signed by your principal supervisor and a representative from the host organisation.

Accept your offer and complete an agreement

You may be required to complete a binding agreement or deed prior to commencement of the internship. Agreements are prepared on an individual basis and will cover matters such as insurance and intellectual property. The engagement cannot proceed unless all outstanding documentation has been returned to the Graduate Research Internships team.

If you have any questions about the legal implications of these documents, we strongly recommend that you obtain independent legal advice. The UMSU Legal Service provides free and confidential legal assistance to all currently enrolled graduate researchers at the University of Melbourne.


After your internship or engagement has concluded, you will be required to submit a final report and complete a feedback survey in addition to any deliverables negotiated with the host organisation.

Key considerations


Internships may be paid or unpaid. Graduate researchers who receive a fortnightly stipend will, in most cases, continue to receive their normal stipend during their internship , subject to the Graduate Research Scholarship Terms and Conditions. Alternative financial arrangements may be required in some circumstances. If you are sourcing your own internship (outside of APR.Intern), please contact the Graduate Research Internships (GRI) team to discuss how your scholarship may be affected.


University-approved internships must be undertaken during candidature, or during the examination period. Graduate researchers are not permitted to take leave of absence in order to undertake an internship.

Intellectual property

Intellectual property will be addressed in your binding agreement or deed prior to the commencement of your internship and will depend on the circumstances of each internship. If you are concerned about your intellectual property, you are strongly encouraged to seek independent legal advice.


The University maintains a range of liability, accident and travel insurance policies that cover you while undertaking a University-approved internship during your enrolment.  Your internship must be approved for you to be covered by the University insurance program.


If you are an international candidate on a visa, you are responsible for ensuring that any internship or engagement is appropriate for your individual visa type and visa conditions. Candidates who are unsure of their conditions or obligations are encouraged to seek advice from a registered visa agent or visa lawyer.

Information for industry

Organisations of all kinds, including government, NGOs and private enterprises, are able to host a graduate research internship. More information on the process and benefits for host organisations can be found on the Research website.


  • How long does an internship typically last?

    Most internships will run for at least 60 full-time equivalent (FTE) days (approximately three calendar months). An internship duration may be longer or shorter, depending on the circumstances.

  • Can I do an internship remotely or in a hybrid location mode?

    An internship may be undertaken on-site at the host organisation (in Australia or overseas), on-campus at the University, in a hybrid attendance or online-only mode. Your location during the internship will be negotiated with the host organisation before commencement of the internship.

  • Does the internship opportunity have to be related to my area of study?

    University-approved internships are course activities that must broadly relate to your area of study. They must make use of, or contribute to, the research skills you develop during your candidature, but do not have to be closely related to your thesis topic.

  • I am a Master by research candidate; can I do an internship?

    Yes, but please note that some internships may only be available to doctoral candidates.

  • When should I start thinking about an internship?

    It is important to plan ahead. Discuss internships with your supervisor in the lead-up to your confirmation milestone and prepare for an internship well in advance. A typical internship runs for three months and is undertaken on a full-time basis. We expect you to discuss opportunities with your supervisor, and ensure the internship aligns with your thesis plan .

  • When can I start my research internship?

    Usually when you are a confirmed candidate, but it may be possible to undertake an internship at an earlier stage. All internships must be endorsed by your principal supervisor, and you must be making satisfactory progress in your candidature.

  • Can the outcomes of my internship be included in my thesis?

    Generally, the outcomes of the internship will not form part of your thesis. However, this depends on factors such as intellectual property rights (determined in the internship agreement) and the type of research activity undertaken during the internship.