The Graduate School Career Development Framework facilitates industry experiences, as Placements, to allow you to experience current practice and develop networks while demonstrating and strengthening your transferable, professional and research skills.

An HDR Placement can enhance your career options and help to develop skills in planning, strategy, communication and leadership. Opportunities for Placements can come from industry, government or non-government organisations. 

To participate in the Placement program, you must be an HDR candidate currently enrolled at The University of Queensland for the duration of the Placement, and must have attained your Confirmation Progress Review. If you are unsure about your eligibility please contact the Graduate School

UQ insurance extends to enrolled candidates who are undertaking an approved Placement, which must:

  • run for 30 ~ 60 working days (up to 12 weeks equivalent)
    • to be eligible for the Career Development Scholarship placements must be at least 60 days and established (via the Graduate School) in the first 18 months of your candidature, but can be undertaken later in candidature. Communications will be coming in early 2022 with information on transition arrangements to accommodate students already well progressed in candidature.
  • be with an Industry, NGO or Government organisation;
  • be independent of your thesis; and
  • develop your transferable and professional skills.

If you are considering undertaking an HDR Placement during your candidature it is important to be proactive and plan ahead. Read through the guidelines and attend a Placements Information Session, so that you understand the obligations of a Placement.  You can also read about placements other HDR candidates have undertaken, or watch interviews with HDR candidates about their placement.

Discuss participation with your principal advisor

When applying to participate in an HDR Placement, formal endorsement from your principal advisor is a requirement; you can request this through my.UQ dashboard.

Make sure your advisor understands that the purpose of an HDR placement is to develop transferable skills, and therefore may not be directly related to your thesis topic. You should discuss how you will comfortably manage the workload of a Placement alongside your candidature. In some cases, your principal advisor may be able to make some introductions to organisations on your behalf.

Consider these important factors

  • Attend a Placement Information Session before you start to seek a Placement opportunity.
  • Placement commencement cannot be approved until a specific legal document (UQ Placement Agreement) has been fully executed between the Graduate School and the Host Organisation. The Graduate School will need to facilitate the Placement Agreement process and will advise you when that has been done.
  • We recommend allowing no fewer than two months for the approvals process.
  • You will be required to submit a reflective report on completion of your Placement. 
  • Participation will be assessed against the HDR Graduate Attributes and the final outcome will be included on your academic transcript.
  • You must demonstrate your suitability for a Placement. Participation is not guaranteed, and offers may be subject to
    • school approval
    • advisor endorsement
    • your progress and conduct
    • the quality of your application
    • your suitability for the role
    • appropriate project scope
    • a successful interview with the host organisation
    • participation in CDF Career planning sessions.
    • Placement commencement date - Must be within a week of submission date if placement is being undertaken post submission and must be fully approved prior to your thesis submission. 
  • The HDR Placement program is open to approved HDR candidates from any discipline. Non-cognate Placements are encouraged so that you can demonstrate the transferable skills you have gained through your research degree.
  • Unless otherwise stated, any advertised Placements are open to International and Domestic students enrolled in a PhD or MPhil program.
  • In some circumstances advertised Placements may be restricted to particular student groups. Any restrictions will be shown on the Placement advertisement.

Attending an information session will give you an overview of the Placement program, projects, and the approach required to secure an approved Placement.  

2022 Dates (All Sessions are held via Zoom)

Contact the Graduate School

Once you have attended a Placement information session and have decided to pursue the option of undertaking a Placement, contact the Graduate School to discuss your proposed activity and the next steps and request the resources required to start your approach.

From time to time, the Graduate School has advertised placement opportunities (see below), however most students prefer to source their own. You may choose to find your own placement opportunity and work with us to ensure it meets UQ Graduate School placement guidelines. It is important to plan ahead as it can take several months to ensure all administrative requirements are fulfilled once a placement location has been found. You should start preparing as early as possible, and at least three months prior to your Thesis Review Progress Review. 

The host organisation that you propose should

  • be a medium or large, reputable industry organisation;
  • not be an academic institution; and
  • must be able to offer an immersive experience and adequate supervision while you undertake meaningful work within that organisation,
  • and must hold appropriate levels of Public Liability insurance (And Professional Indemnity insurance where applicable).

Placements will not be approved for High Risk Destinations (DFAT Level 3 or 4). 

Once you have identified your proposed host organisation, it would need to be deemed appropriate by the Graduate School, as you will need to develop in conjunction with that organisation, a placement project proposal that the Dean will review before endorsing.

On request, the Graduate School will provide you with the resources required to start the process of securing formal approval for the placement. 

The HDR placements program has had many organisations participate in hosting HDR candidates over the past few years. Below is a selection of organisations who have successfully partnered with our candidates and is not an exhaustive list.

You do not have to choose an organisation from this list. It is merely to give you an idea of the options that may be available to you.

Organisation About
Abt Associates Abt is a global company that provides consulting and research in the pursuit of improving the quality of life worldwide.
Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia Inc (APR.Intern) The Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia recognises and champions excellence in the social sciences and provides evidence-based advice on social policy issues.
Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP) ACAP strives to conserve albatrosses and petrels by coordinating international activities to mitigate threats to their populations.
Alluvium International Alluvium provides consulting in the provision of catchment, river and coastal analysis and advice.
Australian Defence Force School of Special Operations (APR.Intern) The School of Special Operations is an Australian Army training unit part of the Defence Special Operations Training and Education Centre.
Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) is the peak professional body for packaging education and training in Australasia.
Australian Red Cross Lifeblood Lifeblood operates and collects blood donations from around Australia.
Boral Boral is a construction materials and building products supplier.
BMT BMT is a consulting firm specialising in international design, engineering, science and risk management.
Bush Heritage Australia Bush Heritage Australia is an independent not-for-profit that buys and manages land, and partners with Aboriginal people for the purposes of conservation.
Church Resources (Procurement Australasia) Procurement Australasia is a procurement organisation that negotiates and facilitates contracts for members and clients across private and public sectors.
City Fertility City Fertility is a leading IVF and fertility service group of clinics.
CSIRO CSIRO is Australia's national science research agency.
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is an animal attraction working to conserve native wildlife and nurture local indigenous heritage.
Dentroid Technologies (APR.Intern) Dentroid Technologies is a dental technology company based in Canberra.
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, QLD Government DAF is a section of the QLD government in charge of the agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors.
Department of Environment and Science, QLD Government DES is a section of the QLD government in charge of matters involving the environment, science and the arts.
Dream of Detroit Dream of Detroit is not-for-profit organisation specialising in community organising, housing and land development.
Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) DSTG is a part of the Department of Defence that addresses defence and national security challenges.
EarthCheck EarthCheck is a leading scientific benchmarking certification and advisory group for travel and tourism.
Eco Energy Group Eco Energy Group offers a business model to reduce power usage in a range of operations.
Gelomics Gelomics provides the research community with 3D cell culture technology.
Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council (GLNC) GLNC is an independent authority on the nutrition and health benefits of grains and legumes.
Health Strategy and Policy Institute (HSPI) HSPI is a research agency that belongs to the Ministry of Health in Vietnam.
Healthy Land and Water Healthy Land and Water is dedicated to improving and protecting South East Queensland's environment.
Integria Healthcare Integria is a healthcare company offering herbal, nutritional and complementary healthcare products supported by scientific and traditional evidence.
JASCO Applied Sciences JASCO provides consulting and research services for assessing and mitigating underwater noise.
Jatiyo Mohila Sangstha, Government of Bangladesh Jatiyo Mohila Sangstha works to support women in Bangladesh in a variety of different areas.
The Lancet NCDI Poverty Commission NCDI addresses the crushing burden of noncommunicable diseases and injuries on the world's poorest populations.
Live and Learn Live and Learn works with communities to design, implement and learn from community-based development projects.
Mathematical Association of Western Australia (MAWA) MAWA's goal is to improve mathematics education across Western Australia.
Microba Microba is making new advancements using the gut microbiome through precision microbiome science.
NAPCAN NAPCAN is a national organisation dedicated to the safety and wellbeing of Australia's children and young people.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) NOAA is a US federal government agency that works to keep the public informed of the changing environment around them.
Our Watch Our Watch is a leader in the primary prevention of violence against women and their children in Australia.
Peabody Energy Australia Peabody Energy is a leading coal producer, serving customers on six continents.
Pioneer Seeds Pioneer Seeds is a commercial supplier for canola, corn, grain sorghum and summer forage hybrid seed.
QEDDI QEDDI is a UQ company that collaborates with academics to translate university research with the aim of discovering new medicines.
QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute QIMR Berghofer is one of Australia's leading medical research institutes.
Queensland Health Queensland Health is the QLD Government's publich health department.
Queensland Museum Queensland Museum is part of Brisbane's vibrant cultural precinct and connects visitors to Queensland.
Queensland Urban Utilities Urban Utilities is responsible for the delivery of retail water supply and wastewater services in South East Queensland.
Relationships Australia Queensland Relationships Australia provides support and advice to people experiencing difficulties in relationships, addiction, trauma, family and domestic violence and other social issues.
Stanley Roads Stanley Roads is group of companies specialising in road construction, equipment hire and asphalt manufacturing.
State Library of Queensland The State Library of Queensland is the leading reference and research library in Queensland.
True Relationships and Reproductive Health True Relationships and Reproductive Health provides expert reproductive and sexual health services to women.
United Nations Development Fund (UNCDF) UNCDF offers catalytic finance models that unlock public and private resources to reduce poverty and support local economic development.
VitroFlora Vitroflora is a commercial producer of premium plant tissue cultures.
Wild Breads Wild Breads is an Australian specialty wholesale bakery.
Workplace Heatlh and Safety, Office of Industrial Relations Workplace Health and Safety provides information and services for work health and safety and workers' compensation in Queensland.


Available placements

APR.Intern is the only national all sector—all discipline internship program placing PhD students into short-term industry and university research collaborations.