Frequently Asked Questions

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Intern FAQ

  • Do I have to be an Australian citizen?
  • Yes. Due to Defence restrictions, this program is only open to Australian citizens.
  • Can an intern approach a defence SME before applying for DEIP?
  • Yes. If you have already made arrangements with a defence SME and fit the requirement of completing 12 weeks of placement you should contact AITEC to discuss this further.
  • Can I stop and start completing the online application process partway through and come back to it later?
  • Yes. You can save your application and submit later.
  • How do I withdraw my application?
  • Please tick the 'I do NOT intend to complete this ' box on the application page. If you have already submitted please email AITEC to advise that you would like to withdraw your application.
  • Will the application time be extended?
  • No.
  • Does the pdf of the acadmic record need to be a scan of an official transcript?
  • No. A pdf of your university academic record is all that is required, most universities have this available online. The academic record must show all courses studied and those enrolled in as this is proof of your enrolment and your grades and the course work undertaken or to be undertaken will be considered in the internship matching process.
  • Who can provide me with an academic reference?
  • The academic reference should be a short letter from a lecturer or course coordinator about your academic performance so far in your degree. Futher information about reference letters and templates can be sourced online.
  • When will I find out if I am successful?
  • If you are successfully matched with an SME, then you will be contacted to confirm your continued interest to progress to an interview. This will be approximately 4-6 weeks after the close of the applications. If you progress past the interview you will liaise with the SME to develop a work plan for the internhsip. Your internship will then be put to the Department of Defence for final approval and this can take a further 2-4 weeks. If approved you will be employed by the SME for the period of the internship.
  • What happens if I can not continue the work placement?
  • If, for any reason, you can not continue with your work placement, you will need to contact AITEC straight away. You will only receive the financial incentive for the internship satisfactorily completed.
  • Does a public holiday count as a work day?
  • A public holiday does count as a work day if you are at work for that week.
  • What happens if I am sick for a few days?
  • You will need to notify the host SME for your placement.
  • Can I take leave from the internship or finish early?
  • The internship cannot be cut short as the full 12 weeks must be completed. Any required leave should be discussed during the interview as the SME is not obliged to approve any time off during the employment period. Leave that is required after the internship starts needs to be negotiated with the employer and AITEC, any leave is at the discretion of the employer and the time will need to be made up so that the full 12 weeks is completed.
  • Will my evaluation be forwarded to my university?
  • No. The evaluation will be used by AITEC and the Department of Defence to evaluate the effectiveness of the program and shape future programs. Your university may require that you complete an additional evaluation for thier purposes, this is independent to DEIP.
  • Is my university involved in this internship?
  • Your university is not involved in arranging the placement in this program. This placement may contribute to your university program requirements, however, if you have any special university requirements these will need to be discussed and agreed upon by the SME. Note that the SME may not agree to include special university requirements in the DEIP internship. You will need to be clear of any special requirements and discuss these at the interveiw.
  • Is the intern payment taxable?
  • As the financial incentives under DEIP are likely to constitute income for taxation purposes, it is strongly recommended that you seek independent taxation advice.
  • Am I an employee of the SME?
  • Participation in the DEIP placement is likely to create an employment relationship with the SME.
  • Can I break the internship into more than two blocks?
  • Yes. It is possible to complete the placement in more than two blocks if necessary, though this is not recommended. Timing of the placement needs to be agreed with the SME when completing the workplan details.
  • Who do I contact about work matters once the placement has begun?
  • All work matters should be taken up with the host SME.
  • Who do I contact if I need to talk about any issues with my placement at the SME?
  • If you need to talk about an issue with the host SME please contact AITEC.
  • Can I change the workplan? If so, how?
  • Any changes to the workplan first need to be agreed with the host SME. Changes then would need to be submitted to AITEC for approval, possibly involving the Department of Defence.
  • What happens if I can not complete the internship by 31st March?
  • All internships must be completed by 31st March. If something happens that prevents this, financial incentives will only be paid for the period of the internship satisfactorily completed. If there are any concerns please contact AITEC straight away.
  • Can I apply for an internship if I have already completed a DEIP internship previously?
  • No. As there are only 30 internships nationally each round, students cannot apply if they have already completed a DEIP internship in prior rounds.
  • Are there civil engineering positions in the Program?
  • All current engineering students may apply for the Program but the experience to date is that the type of work experience being offered by SMEs does not include civil engineering. Clearly this is an important engineering discipline for the ADF and larger defence suppliers but it does not seem to be a requirement of the SMEs seeking to host a DEIP intern.
  • What if I am a student at Melbourne University?
  • We understand that the Melbourne University model differs from other universities. 4th and 5th year students from Melbourne University are eligible to submit applications for the DEIP as are students from other universities with a similar model.
  • If the structure of my degree is not a standard 4-year engineering degree, am I eligible?
  • It will depend on the level of engineering studies that you have completed. Please contact AITEC.


  • What is the definition of a SME?
  • In Australia, a SME is defined as having 199 or fewer employees. Microbusinesses have 1-4 employees, small businesses 5-19, medium businesses 20-199, large businesses 200+.
  • What do I do if the intern does not show up?
  • You will be supplied with contact details of the intern. If they do not attend the internship placement as agreed, in the first instance you should attempt to contact the intern to determine why. If the matter cannot be easily resolved please immediately advise AITEC.
  • Do I get paid if the intern does not show up?
  • No.
  • How are payments made?
  • Interns are employed with the SME for the period of the internship and should be paid according to standard company proceedure. All payments for the internships will be made directly to a nominated bank account of the SME upon sign off on attendance and submission of an invoice from the host SME. The payments are made for each completed 5 days of the internship placement with $515 for the SME to cover associated employment costs and $800 contribution for the intern payments.
  • How is the intern matched to my business?
  • Interns are matched with SMEs on the basis of their rating, preferences and relevant course work undertaken or listed in the academic record as due to be taken prior to the internship.

    The SME will review the proposed intern details to confirm suitable internship placements. The potential interns will also be contacted to confirm their continued interest to progress to an interview for the placement. If the candidate is not suitable we progress to the next recommended candidate. After a successful interview the company will liaise with the candidate and develop a work plan for the internship.

    All internships are subject to approval by the Department of Defence which can take up to 2 weeks after the submission of the work plan. After approval is received, notification will be made to both successful and unsuccessful applicants. Successful applicants will be required to enter into an Internship Agreement with AITEC and will be employed by the host SME.
  • How rigidly does the workplan need to be observed?
  • The agreed workplan forms the basis of the internship and the financial incentives offered. While the program will have flexiblity to cater for legitimate changes in business activity and the timing of tasks, the workplan should be adhered to reasonably closely. The site visits will monitor the progress of the internship against the agreed workplan.
  • Can I change the workplan? If so, how?
  • Any changes to the workplan first need to be agreed with the intern. Changes then would need to be submitted to AITEC, possibly with approval by the Department of Defence.
  • What happens if the internship can not be completed by 31st March?
  • All internships must be completed by 31st March. If something happens that prevents this, financial incentives will only be paid for the period of the internship satisfactorily completed. If there are any concerns please contact AITEC straight away.
  • Can my organisation host more than one intern?
  • Yes, it is possible to host more than one intern. You are asked to provide information on how many interns you could host when registering your interest in participating in the program.
  • Can I change the timing of the internship?
  • Changing the timing of the internship requires changes to the workplan. Changes first need to be agreed with the intern, then would need to be submitted to AITEC for approval.
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The Defence Engineering Internship Program is an initiative of the Australian Government represented by the Department of Defence.