Minister for Science and Innovation Wayne Mapp has announced $1.28m of funding for this year’s internship programme to encourage companies to give science and technology undergraduates experience in a commercial research environment over their summer break.
“This Government wants to see better connections and more collaboration between science and business,” Mapp says. “These internships contribute to this goal.”
The businesses will, in return, be able to “tap into students’ knowledge, insights and skills to contribute to new products, processes or services,” he says.
A grant will subsidise a student’s participation in a defined research project in engineering, technology or science – simply offering work experience will not be judged sufficient. Funding will be available for a $16-an-hour subsidy for up to 400 hours per student, which means as many as 200 students can be financed through the programme.
The undergraduate intern scheme has been running annually for 15 years, says a spokeswoman at the Science and Innovation ministry. Previous exercises of this kind resulted in permanent jobs for some of the interns, Mapp says.
Companies must apply for internship grants. On proving that the students have been paid, the companies will then receive up to the maximum of $6400 per student, plus GST, making the maximum size of the grant $7360.
Deadline for applications is September 27. Companies will be notified of the result of their applications by November 9, and interns are expected to start work by December 2.