Placements

Career Pathway Placements are offered as part of PhD Xtra. Placements provide valuable learning experiences. You can learn new skills and apply your research in the real world. We also provide information about our partner programs with Australian Postgraduate Research Intern (APR Intern) and the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC).

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 should 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 undertaking a Doctor of Philosophy or Master by Research. Your 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.

Benefits

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

Benefits

Benefits for students

  • Valuable practical industry/business experience
  • Professional network-building opportunities
  • Relevant organisation experience 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.

Eligibility and rules

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, but placements can be undertaken before confirmation where there is a direct link to your research project
  • be making satisfactory progress in your candidature
  • 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 - candidature extensions will not be approved due to time spent on placement nor can you undertake a placement whilst on intermission
  • acknowledge that the maximum time you can spend on a placement is six months (periods of three to five months are more likely)
  • remain an enrolled student for the full duration of your placement - if under examination you cannot submit the Minor Amendments/Library Copy of thesis until the placement is complete
  • 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 (PDF, 222.3KB) for further information.

Partnerships

Australian Postgraduate Research Intern
(APR Intern)

Deakin University has partnered with APR Intern, a not-for-profit program that pairs PhD and Master by Research students with industry to undertake 3 – 5 month research internships.

Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre Alliance SKILLED Clinical Trial Internships Program (VCCC)

Deakin University has partnered with the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) Alliance to provide Domestic PhD students the opportunity to gain skills, experience, and networks within clinical trials.

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 (PDF, 761.2KB) form. It is recommended that students fill out this form with their supervisor to begin the preliminary conversation and assist with identifying potential organisation or industry partners. 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.

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.

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 (PDF, 310.5KB) in conjunction with the organisation. The Graduate Research Academy (GRA) will also 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 Project report (PDF, 166.5KB) 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 (PDF, 632.4KB) 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.

If you are meeting with a potential industry partner or organisation, we encourage you to share our Career Pathway Placements flyer (PDF, 269.7KB). This captures all of the important information in one document.

Internal Placement at Deakin University

Students who have been approached by a Deakin staff member to mentor them through an internal project at Deakin University must complete the Internal Career Pathway Placement Project Plan (PDF, 231.8KB) with the support of their Principal Supervisor. The Graduate Research Academy (GRA) can help support you with this process by providing advice and guidance around the project plan and facilitate the letter of agreement. 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 (PDF, 166.5KB) 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 (PDF, 141.4KB) 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.

Support

We understand that undertaking a placement can be daunting for some students and you may require support or assistance. Deakin provides students with an array of support options such as DeakinTALENT who can provide support in writing applications, preparing for interviews and understanding your transferable skills. The Graduate Research Academy also have dedicated staff who can discuss your particular options with you one-on-one.

Need assistance with your CV & Cover Letter?

DeakinTALENT is dedicated to advising Deakin students and alumni exploring career opportunities (such as placements). Browse their CV and Cover Letter resources or contact an advisor to receive one-on-one coaching.

Visit DeakinTALENT

Want to speak to someone about your placement options?

The Graduate Research Academy have dedicated staff who would be delighted to meet with you and your supervisor to discuss options available to you.

Contact us

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