Placements

Career Pathway Placements are offered as part of PhD Xtra. Placements provide valuable learning experiences and evidence of relevant practical knowledge while helping you build your professional network.

If you have an identified career pathway in mind, or even if you simply want to ‘test the waters’, the option of completing a career pathway placement will add another element to your individualised learning program. If you are planning a research-intensive career, a placement within a collaborating research group or laboratory may be negotiated. If you are aiming for a career in industry, government, the public sector or the creative arts, a placement may be negotiated within a relevant organisation to suit your needs. Your placement must be related to your general field of study but in most cases does not need to be related to your research project.

Placement opportunities are available to domestic and international higher degree by research students and the capacity to undertake one will be dependent on the timing and availability. In many cases, it is likely that you and your supervisors will need to play an important role in identifying potential placement providers.

A placement can be taken during any stage of your candidature including the period that your thesis is under examination.

Quote from student: Quote is "Look at the bigger picture and think beyond the PhD - an internship gives you the opportunity to grow as a researcher, to build your own networks and to learn how to apply your research in the real world... the experience will teach you time management, stress management, people management - all essential skills for life in the workplace."

Benefits

There are many benefits for students, supervisors and businesses to undertake a placement, some of these are listed below.

Benefits for students

  • Valuable practical industry/business experience
  • Professional network-building opportunities
  • Relevant organisation to suit your career aspirations
  • Potential future employment opportunities
  • Possibility for stipend payments

Benefits for supervisors

  • New platform for industry engagement
  • Potential future placement opportunities
  • Mentoring a student in a business environment
  • Potential  future research collaborations

Benefits for businesses

  • Develop and innovate their business
  • Access to high-level expertise and knowledge
  • Connection with Deakin University experts
  • Potential recruitment opportunities

Eligibility and rules

While there is significant flexibility around placement arrangements, there are a few basic rules to keep in mind. As a student you must:

  • be currently enrolled in a PhD or Master by Research degree at Deakin
  • have successfully completed your confirmation of candidature
  • be making satisfactory progress in your candidature
  • remain an enrolled student for the full duration of your placement
  • have discussed the placement with your supervisor and acquired the required sign off
  • be aware that the placement must be completed within your normal candidature time limit
  • acknowledge that the maximum time you can spend on a placement is six months (periods of three to four months are more likely)
  • record your placement, including the final project report, in your Individual Learning Plan

Please ensure you read through the Deakin University Student Placement Procedure as well as the HDR Placement Guidelines for further information.

How to apply

Students interested in undertaking a placement but haven’t yet identified an industry partner or organisation to collaborate with should complete the Expression of Interest form. It is recommended that students fill out this form with their supervisor to begin the preliminary conversation and assist with identifying potential opportunities. During this process the Graduate Research Academy (GRA) can help support students in finding opportunities and approaching potential industries to develop a project. Contact the GRA to book a meeting or for further information.

The following documents are provided to assist academic units and students with the organisation and management of placements.

Students who are ready to apply to undertake a Career Pathway Placement should review the forms and documents below. These are provided to assist academic units and students with the organisation and management of placements. Please ensure you also check with your academic unit for area specific requirements and processes.

All students should review the following:

APR Intern

Deakin University has partnered with APR Intern, a not-for-profit organisation who works with Universities and Industry to facilitate 3-5 month student placements. APR Intern advertise placements on their website. Students are encouraged to visit their site to find a placement opportunity and/or to submit a general application outlining their skills and interests.

Students who have identified and consolidated a research project with an external business or organisation may choose to engage in the APR Intern program and the additional benefits the program can offer. The Graduate Research Academy (GRA) can provide guidance and assistance with support from APR Intern Business Developers to scope out the project plan and facilitate the contractual agreement between the student and external organisation/business. Contact a GRA staff member for support or further information about this option.

External Business or Organisation

Students who have identified and consolidated a research project with an external business or organisation, with the support of their Principle Supervisor, must identify an Academic Mentor (this can be the Principle Supervisor) and complete a Career Pathway Placement Project Plan. The Graduate Research Academy (GRA) with then provide guidance and assistance in developing the placement project plan and facilitate the contractual agreement between the student and external organisation/business. Contact a GRA staff member for support.

Once the placement has finished the student must complete the Career Pathway Placement Student Final report to reflect on their learning outcomes and achievements during their time with the organisation. This report can be uploaded into the Individual Learning Plan as the proof of learning.

Additionally, it is expected that the Organisation Supervisor completes the Career Pathway Placement Organisation Supervisor Final Project report to provide feedback on the student and project outcomes. It is the student’s responsibility to forward the form to them to fill out.

Please return all completed forms to the Graduate Research Academy at phdxtra@deakin.edu.au.

Internal Placement at Deakin University

Students who have been approached by a Deakin staff member to mentor them through an internal project on campus at Deakin University must complete the Internal Career Pathway Placement Project Plan with the support of their Principle Supervisor. The Graduate Research Academy (GRA) can help support you with this process by providing advice and guidance around the project plan. Contact a GRA staff member for support or further information.

Once the placement has finished the student must complete the Career Pathway Placement Student Final report to reflect on their learning outcomes and achievements during their placement. This report can be uploaded into the Individual Learning Plan as the proof of learning.

It is also expected that the Academic Mentor completes the Career Pathway Placement Academic Mentor Project Final report to provide feedback on the student and project outcomes. It is the student’s responsibility to forward the form to them to fill out.

Please return all completed forms to the Graduate Research Academy at phdxtra@deakin.edu.au.

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