Defence Innovation Network has partnered with APR Intern to invest $230,000 to place 23 specialist PhDs in defence over three years. Australian business can access specialist research skills and accelerate innovation.

A not-for-profit, the national program connects businesses with PhD students specialised in computer science, robotics, engineering and more. Over 3-6 months, businesses benefit from rapid R&D results, minimal administration and the ability to retain all IP. APR.Intern program has been extended with internships able to be signed up until 31 March 2021 for completion by 31 August 2021.

 A 90% rebate is now also available to businesses that execute an internship with a domestic PhD student under the Australian Government’s National Research Internships Program from 20 October 2020 (inclusive). This brings down the cost of a 3-month placement to just $2,000.

These increased rebates will:

  • Provide businesses, from all industry sectors, with a low-cost solution to fast-track R&D
  • Increase workforce capacity and capabilities during Australia’s COVID-19 recovery
  • Drive digitalisation, rapid business transformation and competitive advantage
  • Strengthen industry-university research collaboration; allowing more businesses to translate academic expertise into innovation benefits

Defence projects can avail of a further DIN Voucher which will further subsidise your defence-related project. 


  • 3-month project cost: $20,000
  • Industry partner upfront commitment: $20,000
  • Government rebate to industry: $18,000

Net cost of industry partner: $2,000



  • Access to specialised PhD expertise
  • Used for controlled practice growth
  • Suitable for short-term skill needs
  • Eligible for R&D tax incentive


  • Short, intensive 3-6 month projects for quick implementation of results
  • Quick turnaround on the establishment
  • Responsive to changing business needs and priorities


  • IP stays with company
  • No employment requirements
  • Pre-approved contract
  • Simple and transparent model
  • Proven and trusted

 Industry eligibility 

  • Projects must have Defence relevance
  • Intern and business must be based in NSW
  • Business must be a NSW-based small-to-medium company 

Student eligibility

  • Students must be Australian citizens
  • Interns must be currently enrolled in a course in one of the DIN member  universities


Current Opportunities

Our Partner Universities