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 milestone. 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 at least 30 working days (6 weeks equivalent);
  • 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.

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 not approved until a specific legal document (UQ Placement Agreement) has been fully executed between the Graduate School and the Host Organisation.
  • We recommend allowing two months for the approvals process.
  • A Placement is not an employment contract, and you cannot be paid to undertake a placement.
  • 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.
  • 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, possible funding options, and the approach required to secure an approved Placement. There will be opportunity to ask questions.

Contact the Graduate School

Once you have attended an information session and have decided to pursue the option of undertaking a Placement, contact the Graduate School to discuss your proposed activity 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 milestone. 

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.

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. 

Available placements

You'll select materials and design the shape of a spacecraft and test aircraft mounting panel that will be used for human interaction studies.
Apply your data analysis skills to contribute to the understanding of the Queensland Government's long term research and development spending.
APR.Intern is the only national all sector—all discipline internship program placing PhD students into short-term industry and university research collaborations.
The World Health Organisation's Internship Program offers a wide range of opportunities for students to gain insight into this global organisation.
Work in a truly international environment with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and improve your analytical and technical skills.