ATSE has made a submission to the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) in response to the consultation paper Growing industry internships for research PhD students through the Research Training Program implementation paper.
The initiative was announced in the 2021/22 Federal Budget which included $1.1 million over two years from 2020–21 to introduce an additional weighting in Australia’s Research Training Program (RTP) funding formula for PhD students who undertake an industry placement in the first 18 months of their enrolment.
ATSE’s submission strongly supports industry internships as a way to increase industry engagement and cross-sector research collaborations.
The submission argues that to achieve the best outcomes for Higher Degree by Research candidates (research masters and PhD students) and end-users, industry internships should be implemented in a nuanced manner to best accommodate the individualistic nature of a higher degree by research, while maximising benefits arising from end-user engagement. To achieve this the submission proposes a series of principles to guide the implementation of industry internships via the RTP.