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Graduate Research School Industry Engagement

Industry Engagement Opportunities

The Graduate Research School welcomes the opportunity for industry partners to engage with our HDR students (PhD and Masters of Philosophy). The benefits of collaboration between industry and universities through engagement with research candidates include career development opportunities for candidates, increased workforce capability and enhanced innovation. We recognise that many of our graduates will ultimately not remain in academia, and we wish to support them develop skills and opportunities to create networks outside the university sector. Even for those who will have an academic career, the ability to understand relevant industry needs and to establish partnerships outside academia is crucial.

Industry Scholarships

There are many different types of organisations that are considered industry for the purposes of industry engagement:

  • Government – State, Federal, Local
  • Companies/businesses
  • Not-for-profits & Non-government organisations
  • Start-ups
  • Community groups and communities

Other higher education providers and organisations that are affiliated with or controlled by higher education providers, such as research institutes, are not considered industry partners.

Industry Scholarships provide industry with an opportunity to engage with research students studying James Cook University. This collaborative relationship across sectors enables our future leaders to transform innovative research into workplace practice, deepening the partnership between the University and the private sector.

I am an industry partner looking to support a HDR research candidate through a scholarship

The purpose of an Industry research scholarship is to provide living allowance support to the candidate during their studies.  There are a variety of ways industry can support from full scholarships to top up scholarships. If you are an industry partner further information is explained in this information document on supporting a candidates.

I am an industry partner looking to donate money to support a HDR candidates scholarship

These are called philanthropic scholarships. usually donors are individuals who support  HDR scholarships. The Advancement office looks after these opportunities and works in partnership with the the Graduate School to oversee the  establishment of new HDR philanthropic scholarships, their advertisement  and  award. if you wish to donate money to support a HDR candidate, please see more information here.

I am an Advisor wishing to seek industry funding to support a HDR candidate. 

As an advisor it is important to understand how to work with the teams at JCU to support a candidate. This industry scholarships information guide for Advisors is a useful information resource, to help you when considering Industry support for a candidate. It is also useful for candidates to understand how these are established.

Where can I find more information about the importance of HDR Industry engagement?

The Australian Council of Graduate Research (ACGR) has information on their website and useful downloadable information guides.

If the primary purpose of the project is to fund a research student stipend through a research contract,  particular care must be taken with negotiating terms and conditions. The JCU Connect Contracts team works with the Graduate Research School to arrange agreements where there is a student involved.


At JCU we wish to support your candidature journey by offering industry internships that offer exceptional opportunities to apply and further develop professional skills in your specific field. As an HDR candidate there are many benefits to be gained from undertaking an internship including:

  • develop and establish networks
  • demonstrate and strengthen professional and research skills
  • gain experience in a ‘real life’ setting
  • apply research knowledge into an actual project
  • enhance your employability
  • develop links with industry
  • professional development opportunity

The HDR Placement program is open to approved HDR candidates from any discipline enrolled in a PhD or MPhil program. There are two internship programs to consider if you are an HDR candidate, TropINTERN and APR Intern.  A downloadable information resource can be found here for information.

The TropINTERN program is JCU's HDR Internship program. It is very flexible in terms of internship duration and financial arrangement, but with the structure behind it to ensure success. It is a research project based internship in which a proposal and report along with presentation are expected by the candidate.

Internships can be anywhere between 30 days to six months and can be paid or unpaid. Stipend opportunities maybe available. The TropIntern Program is open to approved HDR candidates from any discipline. Unless otherwise stated, internships are open to International and Domestic candidates enrolled in a PhD or MPhil program.

How do I find an internship placement?

There are three ways that a internship is usually developed. The first is the main way internships are sourced and we encourage candidates to self source their own internships.

  • HDR student or supervisor have idea for specific research project with a certain Industry Partner
  • HDR student or supervisor are interested in Internship without having a specific project in mind
  • Industry Partner has available research projects and would like to find Intern

What forms do I need to fill out?

Before you start : Project plan and approval form

When you finish your internship: Internship completion acknowledgement form

Please contact for more information.

APR.Intern is the only national all sector – all discipline internship program placing PhD students into industry.

A not-for-profit program, APR.Intern provides PhD students with the opportunity to apply their research expertise to a short-term 3-6 month project, whilst gaining invaluable experience in an industry setting.


APR. Intern’s Australian Government grant period has come to a close and they are in discussions about transitioning to a new version of the program in 2022.

For now, APR Intern is currently still operating without the Federal Government grant. Candidates will continue to receive a $3,000 monthly stipend for the duration of their internship until further notice.

Sector Subsidies

Businesses in the following sectors may be eligible for subsidies through our funding partnerships, with more to be announced:

  • Defence: Up to $10,000 in funding support
  • Food & Agribusiness: Up to $5,000 in funding support
  • Manufacturing: Up to $7,500 in funding support
  • MedTech, BioTech & Pharma: Up to $10,000 funding support

How do I apply for the APR Intern program?

(1) Applying for an advertised internship position


(2) Submitting an application with a specific industry partner

If you already know who you want to do your internship with and you have discussed this opportunity with your industry partner,

you can submit a general application. Please fill out an EOI here and APR intern will get in touch.

All Candidates wishing to do an internship need to:

  1. Have completed their Confirmation of Candidature Milestone
  2. Their Primary advisor needs to be in agreement that they do the internship
  3. They shouldn’t be overdue to submit their thesis (if they are, they can still do the internship but submit thesis first, then do it while thesis is being examined.)
  4. Domestic candidates have their candidature put on hold during the internship. However, International candidates may have to undertake the internship without the candidature being put on hold because of visa conditions. Please speak to the GRS about this.
  5. Inform the GRS of the intention to undertake an internship at ATTENTION: Fiona Whittenbury
  6. Unless otherwise stated, any advertised placements are open to International and Domestic candidates.