2019 has been a record-breaking year for APR.Intern. As we place this year’s 150th PhD student into industry, we reflect on the impact our Program has had in the last 12 months:
- This year, we welcomed 90 new industry partners to our network. From Australian Unity to Australian Super; Boral to Bunnings; Siemens to the South Sydney Rabbitohs; Royal Children’s Hospital to the Royal Australian Air Force, each business has been matched with specialist research experts to fill a skills gap.
- Each internship has changed perceptions, transformed the lives of PhD students and deepened industry-university engagement.
- We are particularly proud of this year’s focus on workplace diversity – 51% of all internships placed in 2019 were female PhD students!
- 33 of Australia’s 40 universities have now taken part in the Program.
- APR.Intern continues to hold a 98.5% satisfaction rating by both interns and industry.
- In a broader sense, many internships in 2019 have advanced the common good of groups and communities across Australia. Under APR.Intern, Australia’s brightest cohort of researchers have helped improve cancer clinical trials, develop specialist technology for job-seekers living with Down Syndrome, and detect early the biological markers of Alzheimer’s disease, along with impactful internships in the nation’s environmental, health, safety, educational, social, cultural and conservation sectors.
- Many internships have led to sustained industry-university collaborations, including a 3D X-ray research project between Meat & Livestock Australia and the University of Sydney.
- New partnerships have been formed with the Innovative Manufacturing CRC, Defence Science Centre WA, Food Innovation Australia Limited and the Reliable and Affordable Clean Energy CRC – expanding opportunities for PhD researchers into diverse industry sectors.
- In September, we partnered with KPMG to host STEMFest 2019 that brought female STEM practitioners together to promote diversity across Australia’s innovation ecosystem. The 400-strong audience heard inspirational speakers from Flamingo Ai, KPMG, Toyota, Cochlear, the Australian Academy of Science and Male Champions of Change. The event also launched AMSI’s Women in STEM Pledge that’s seen over 100 industry and academic change-makers support the diversity solution for our national innovation agenda.
We applaud and thank our top participating universities in each state who have worked with us in 2019 to streamline pathways for Australian PhD students to be industry-literate and career-ready: RMIT (VIC), Macquarie University (NSW), The University of Adelaide (SA), Curtin University (WA), The University of Queensland (QLD) and The University of Tasmania (TAS). We also acknowledge the other 27 Australian universities that have accessed the Program – we look forward to expanding these relationships and collaborating with new partners in 2020.
Thank you to all 150 PhD students, industry partners and university participants that have engaged with the Program in 2019. On behalf of the APR.Intern team, I wish you and your loved ones a very happy and safe holiday season.
Professor Gary Hogan AM