Delay industry stay for PhD placements

Another peak body backs the government’s proposed industry internship for PhD students – with one big exception

The Innovative Research Universities lobby supports changes to the Research Training Programme, for PhD candidates to spend at least three-months in industry placements, saying it “has the potential to be part of a sound long-term strategy to ensure PhD employability and university-industry collaboration.”

However, IRU opposes the proposal for placements to occur in the first 18 months of study.  Instead it advocates a flexible approach to when, and in what format placements occur, to suit student-learning and industry need.

“A variety of arrangements, including an intensive block, intermittent, part-time and even virtual internships, would be productive, appropriate and of most benefit to the student, the supervisor and the industry partner … the key issue is that such flexibility is also crucial for the timing of the internship beyond the first 18 months.,” IRU states.

This is in-line with the Australian Council of Graduate Research which calls for later placements, “when PhD students have had a chance to develop their research expertise and transferable skills (CMM July 20).

The Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute, which runs a placement programme for more than maths, agrees. Less than 10 per cent of the 637 PhD students it has placed in industry were in the 18 month of study (CMM July 22).