Industry Engagement in your PhD

Engaging with industry during the course of your PhD is an excellent way to develop your skills, expand your networks, and gain experience for your research and future career. At UniSA our PhD candidates have access to a variety of dynamic opportunities which link them directly with and into organisations outside of the university for an industry-engaged experience. In addition to opportunities available through your supervisors, School or Division, there are two national schemes that UniSA actively supports - APR.Intern and IMNIS.

APR.Intern

Australian Postgraduate Research Intern is a national, not-for-profit program, placing PhD candidates from any discipline into Australian businesses – including small, medium and large enterprises, as well as government agencies. The program allows you to apply your research expertise to a short-term project (normally 3-5 months), while gaining experience in an industry setting.

Benefits in participating in APR.Intern include:

  • Research for impact. Put your PhD into practice on an industry problem.
  • Fast track your career. Build industry networks and enhance your CV.
  • Increase employability. Develop transferable skills to complement your research expertise.
  • Receive a stipend. Earning potential of $9k-$15k over 3-5 months.

"The opportunity to apply my skills to a real-world project was the exact opening I needed to start my career in the industry. It gave me practical experience and contacts in the industry.

It gives you an opportunity to get your foot in the door, and what you do from there is up to you. For me, the trajectory is looking good and I have the internship to thank for kick-starting that."
Ryan Green, UniSA PhD candidate and Intern through APR.Intern

 Find out more about Ryan's APR.Intern experience here.

Ryan Green, UniSA PhD candidate

 

 

How to get involved

If you're interested in a PhD internship, and have your supervisors' support*, you can get involved by:

  • Reviewing existing opportunities on the APR.Intern website (you can also subscribe to the APR.Intern mailing list to be informed about new opportunities).
  • Submitting a general application indicating your preferred industry and host organisation/s. APR.Intern will review your application, and if you meet the eligibility criteria, they will endeavour to create an internship for you. This may take some time to establish.
  • Instigate your own internship opportunity. If you or your supervisor have an existing industry contact and would like to set up an internship with them, your supervisors can speak to the APR.Intern Business Developer for SA.

*Information for supervisors is available here (staff login required).

Industry Mentoring Network in STEM (IMNIS)

The Industry Mentoring Network in STEM (IMNIS) provides you the opportunity to increase your understanding of the industry sector, strengthen your skills to be successful within any part of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sectors, including health and medicine, and extend your professional network.

In a one-year industry mentoring program, IMNIS mentees meet their mentor in a professional setting for one hour each month. State-level networking events hosted by IMNIS allow industry mentors and mentees to connect more broadly.

UniSA leads a state-wide evaluation of the IMNIS program, and previous mentees confirm their IMNIS experience increased their knowledge and skills in engaging with industry.

 IMNIS mentoring event              

The way that I communicate with industry has changed a lot. (Because of my IMNIS experience) I know what industry is looking for and how I need to translate my research.

UniSA IMNIS participant 2017-2018.

 

Learn more about the benefits of the program on the IMNIS website, which hosts a number of resources for mentors and mentees.

 

How to get involved

UniSA identifies candidates to take part in the program annually, via nominations submitted by each Division, around June of each year. If you’re interested to take part in the future, speak with your supervisors for their support, then get in touch with the Associate Dean: Research Education in your Division to register your interest.

Email the Graduate Research Development team for more details.