We offer industry internships to PhD students in various disciplines across our two Colleges - the College of Science, Health and Engineering (SHE), and the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce (ASSC) - through our collaboration with APR.Intern, Australia’s leading internship program facilitating short-term research projects completed by postgraduate research students across all study disciplines and business sectors to deliver research solutions for industry.
The internships are approximately 4-5 months duration and they focus on clearly defined research projects within industry organisations. Possible host organisations include private sector, government, and not-for-profit organisations in a variety of fields.
If you are keen to boost your research and professional skills in an industry setting, and prepare yourself for your future career – whether in industry or in research – then an industry internship is a great option for you.
Why consider an internship?
There are a number of ways in which a research internship in industry will benefit you:
- Enhance your career prospects and create potential future recruitment opportunities
- Obtain an internship stipend of up to A$3,000 per month for the duration of internship
- Gain research experience in an industry setting
- Conduct research with industry or community impact
- Strengthen your ability to translate research knowledge into end-use application
- Improve your professional skills while progressing towards project goals and milestones
- Establish and enhance your industry networks.
How to get involved
If you are a graduate research candidate enrolled at La Trobe, and your supervisor supports your application, you may be eligible for an internship, please refer to the eligibility criteria for prospective applicants. Once you have determined your eligibility, there are three ways in which you can apply or find an internship:
- Apply for an advertised internship project: Sign up to our mailing list indicating your name, student ID, department and school to receive an email notification each time an internship project in a relevant sector becomes available. If you believe you are suitably qualified for the project, please apply following the instructions in the internship advertisement.
- Send through a general internship application indicating your preferred industry and host organisation/s. APR.Intern will review your application, and if you fulfil the eligibility criteria, they will endeavour to create an internship for you. Please note that creating a tailored internship project may take up to 6 months after your application has been approved, so please remember to plan and apply well ahead so that you don’t miss your opportunity.
- If you have existing contacts in an industry organisation with a short-term (4-6 months) research project and keen to host you as an intern, please get in touch with us to create and administer the internship for you.
Testimonials from previous participants in PhD internships
Monther Alhamdoosh (CSL Limited)
“I have always believed in the importance of industry-academia collaboration in advancing research. The APR.Intern program offered me a unique opportunity to work alongside researchers and academics at CSL Limited and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI), who employ latest technologies in order to solve real world biomedical problems. The project I worked on allowed me to develop a better understanding of the importance of research skills in the real world, particularly in the biopharmaceutical industry.
This placement has helped me to develop new research skills and learn new research methodologies. It has also improved my skills in working within inter-disciplinary teams, where scientists from diverse backgrounds come together to solve challenging problems. The experience of working with Australia’s top research scientists had a dramatic impact on my PhD project. It increased my confidence in the selection of my PhD topic and provided me with a number of insights which have enriched my thesis. It also enabled me to understand new applications and future directions for my PhD research. At the career level, the internship opportunity opened the door for me to join CSL as a full-time research scientist in the Bioinformatics team at the Bio21 Institute. The Research team at CSL comprises of scientists from various disciplines and we all work together towards achieving a better outcome for patients. CSL places great importance on its academic research, and we are encouraged to attend and present at national and international scientific events. We also have access to the weekly seminars and lab meetings at The University and WEHI, and these play a key role in advancing my professional skills and expanding my knowledge in areas of interest.
In summary, I would highly recommend the APR.Intern program and any similar industry placement program for every PhD student at least once during their PhD journey. I believe that the ideal timing to undertake this placement would be towards the end of the third year of candidature.
Finally, this internship would have not taken place without the support of my PhD supervisor, Associate Professor Justin Wang from La Trobe University. I would encourage all PhD supervisors to actively identify and support industrial placement opportunities for their students.”
Selvaraaju Murugesan (Intelligent Energy Systems Pty)
“In 2014, I successfully completed an internship at Intelligent Energy Systems Pty (IES), Melbourne, which was my second APR.Intern internship. IES is a software solutions provider with a focus on the Australian National Energy Market.
This project involved extracting business intelligence from big data and formulating optimisation problems for forecasting purposes.
I developed new skills in SQL Server, writing MATLAB scripts to interface with SQL databases, optimising SQL queries to minimise the run time and memory, automating the data fetching and visualisation of data.
My industry mentor provided me with considerable support with technicalities regarding energy markets, pricing and economics. I was able to apply algorithms in a targeted way to solve forecasting problems based on a thorough understanding of the complexity involved in market forecasting. I had the opportunity to apply my computational mathematics skills to choose the right variables amongst hundreds of variables for formulating optimisation problems and constraints. I applied machine learning algorithms to train my model to forecast with a high degree of accuracy with the model having the ability to adapt itself over time. I was able to broaden my programming skills and applied newer signal processing techniques to solve complex problems in the Australian Energy Market.
My learning experience was great as I was given the opportunity to network with numerous experts in the Energy sector. This APR.Intern internship helped me to broaden my skill set for better employment opportunities.”
Quan Anh Nguyen (Terrafirma Industries Pty Ltd)
“The internship was a fantastic opportunity for me to know more about the contemporary Australian business practices. The market research done as part of the project enhanced my understanding of the industry competition, the behaviour of the Australian customers, and the market condition. With the collection and analysis of both primary and secondary data, the project also largely sharpened my research skills. I would strongly recommend this activity to the other PhD candidates.”
Selvaraaju Murugesan (Biarri)
"I completed an APR.Intern internship with the software company, Biarri in Melbourne in 2012. It was extremely challenging and it provided me with plethora of opportunities to apply my skills.
My project involved solving complex engineering problems pertaining to modern telecommunication networks such as LTE and WiMAX. I formulated and solved some complex optimisation problems in cell planning and demand forecasting, subject to various engineering and economics constraints. I applied targeted optimisation tools to obtain best possible solutions for optimisation problems.
During my internship, I developed new programming skills such as python and C++. In addition to improving my programming skills, I was able to sharpen my project management skills to complete deliverables within deadlines. My team colleagues supported me with all my activities and guided me in applying new tools to build software products. I successfully completed the internship project on time, and my team was impressed by my project report that offered both technical and business insights.
Overall, my internship experience was extremely rewarding and it opened up many doors for future job opportunities in the fields of computational mathematics and communication engineering.”
Omar Rojas (VicRoads)
I completed my PhD in Mathematical Sciences at La Trobe University in 2009. During my candidature, I decided to undertake an industry internship with VicRoads. The internship was both enjoyable and highly beneficial to my career as it allowed me to apply my theoretical scientific knowledge in a practical industry setting. The experience also provided me with an understanding of the real-life problems that firms face and the varying approaches that can be applied to address these problems. I also had the freedom and creativity to develop my own strategies to solve problems using my existing skill set of computer programming, statistical analysis and model development, among others. It also allowed me to experience work in a multidisciplinary team, taking advantage of the knowledge and skill sets of all team members for optimal outcomes.
Since my internship at VicRoads, I have had a successful career spanning a wide range of projects and fields, including IT and electronics. I am currently the Director of Research at the School of Business and Economics at Universidad Panamericana, Guadalajara, Mexico. In this role, I conduct research in financial mathematics and operations and supervise graduate student projects related to the optimisation of productive systems for businesses. I am also co-founder of the consulting firm Negodata that offers data analytics and machine learning services to financial and marketing companies.
I am glad that my career allows me to apply my scientific knowledge for the benefit of society. I strongly recommend an APR.Intern internship to any PhD candidate who aspires a career in industry or applied research.
Research Education and Development team