Internship Guidelines

MBioEnt Research Internships

Our Students

The Bioscience Enterprise Programme is a two year Masters qualification open to students with an undergraduate degree in the life sciences. Students completing the programme have therefore supplemented their scientific knowledge with courses in accounting and finance, intellectual property and law, marketing, product development, regulatory environments and research commercialisation. They are highly capable with interdisciplinary skill-sets combining science and business and are frequently recruited by their sponsoring companies on graduation.

The Internships

The internships take place during the final semester (mid-June to mid-December) of the second Masters year. They are an opportunity for a company to engage with a science student who is also business-savvy to investigate a project or issue of interest to the company. As the research performed during the internships fulfils the academic purpose for a Master’s thesis, it offers both academic robustness and engagement with academic researchers within the University of Auckland. These internships therefore offer exciting opportunities for companies to pursue business questions in a robust way through engagement with our programme.

What is the scope of the projects?

Projects can vary widely depending on the company and its area of focus. Project examples from the programme can be found by clicking the following link.

What is the internship process?

First contact us with an expression of interest at Then we will work with you to find the best match between our interns (approximately 25 students), the interested companies, the students’ backgrounds and experiences, and the ‘fit’ between the student and the company. Interested companies are encouraged to interview a short list of students before making any offers.

Companies/industry supervisors can meet the future interns in several ways

  • Through networking forums at the Institute for Innovation in Biotechnology
  • Through the student profiles in the internship booklet
  • By inviting expressions of interest in response to a project or company description

What is the timeline for internship placements for 2018?








End-March- Early April




Mid-June to mid-December

Call for expressions of interest

Engagement with potential internees

Placements finalised

Project descriptions (approximately one page with defined objectives)

Academic Supervisors appointed (ensure that the thesis requirements are met, including providing guidance to background reading and suitable methodology suited to the projects objectives)

Supervisor meetings (Industry supervisor, academic supervisor and student have met to ensure full understanding of the project and to determine a suitable focus and research question for the thesis component)

Literature reviews (initial background reading about relevant topics to thesis)

Research proposals submitted (Semester one ends and ethics applications commenced, if relevant)

Placement with host company

Is there any financial support required?

The programme supervisors and the students greatly appreciate the value of the experience and mentoring received from the company through an internship placement. The project should be one that creates value for the company. There is also recognition of the students need for financial independence at this stage of their lives. We therefore encourage companies to financially support the student for the 6-month placement, if at all possible. There are three customary ways of doing this:

  • Callaghan Innovation Masters Scholarships:
    If you are a private R&D company and the project is relevant to the development of your product, the student may qualify for a scholarship of just over $20,000 per annum on a pro rata basis from date of approval (i.e. $10,000 for MBioEnt student)
  • A private scholarship administered by the University of Auckland Scholarship Office
  • Payment of an hourly rate for other work directed by the company outside the thesis project

Financial support provided by or through the host company allows the student to become more fully involved with the company. In recognition of this the student often has an arrangement with the company to work 10-12 hours per week on tasks outside the thesis. This also allows for some milestones for any C.I. support to be met independently of the thesis. The rationale for this time allocation is that full-time students should be spending an average of approximately 40 hours/week on their thesis research but that, in addition, they would need to allocate 10-12 hrs/wk to paid employment.

Some companies or organisations are not able to provide financial support, which is completely understood. In these situations it is expected that the project and the thesis will overlap completely so that the student has the time to pursue part-time employment elsewhere.

Confidentiality and Intellectual Property

Confidential information received from the company is respected. While all University theses are published eventually (a two year embargo is possible on the agreement of all parties) we are happy to work with you to ensure confidential information is not included in the thesis or divulged during any presentations.

You can obtain the rights to any intellectual property arising out of the project by agreement with the student (this would normally be in exchange for payment by the company or through a Callaghan Innovation scholarship).