SME Information

The Defence Industry Internship Program (DIIP) is an initiative of the Commonwealth Department of Defence.

The DIIP matches these SMEs with engineering students nearing the end of their degree for a 12-week (450 hour) paid internship.

Students are offered an opportunity to be involved with small to medium sized Defence Industry enterprises (SMEs) located throughout Australia.

Engineering projects are offered in a range of disciplines including:

Aerospace/Aeronautical, Chemical, Civil, Data Science, Electrical/Electronics, Industrial/Manufacturing, Machine Learning, Maritime, Materials, Mechatronic, Mechanical, Software/Systems

In 2021, 100 internships will be offered throughout Australia to students from all states and territories and from a wide range of universities.



The Program gives interns a 12-week opportunity to contribute to an engineering project for an SME.

QTAC ensures employers have access to 3rd and 4th year university undergraduates who have been carefully matched to your business requirements and location, bringing a range of skills in new technologies and current research.

QTAC reimburses SMEs the intern’s wages ($930 per 37.5 hour working week).

SMEs will be reimbursed $515 per week for hosting an intern (for out of pocket expenses, and paid within 10 working days of your claim).


Eligibility criteria

  • Be able to provide the intern with meaningful duties in line with the needs of the business and the student’s area of study
  • Be undertaking work for Defence, subcontracting to a prime or in the defence supply chain
  • Be able to supervise and mentor an intern for the duration of the 12-week program
  • Be a registered Australian business with current workers’ compensation insurance
  • Be prepared to provide feedback to QTAC regarding the intern’s progress
  • Allow a QTAC representative to visit the intern at their worksite
  • Be able to provide a safe and supportive work environment
  • Have less than 200 employees



QTAC ensures interns and SMEs are matched, taking care of the recruitment and selection process.

Two visits will be made to your workplace during the 12-week internship to assess progress of the engineering project, together with informal emails and phone calls.

Assistance, advice and support is available for SMEs and interns, alongside pastoral care for interns.


Important dates

  • SME applications are accepted up until 31 May 2021. During the application the SMEs will provide information about the business and the project work to be undertaken by the intern
  • A depersonalised list of approved SME projects will be made available to prospective interns, and interns will apply for up to 5 opportunities that best suit their skill set, experience and interests
  • Intern applications will be open from 14 June to 1 August 2021. Prospective interns will provide a CV, academic reference, academic transcript, citizenship documents and a statement about their suitability for the program
  • SMEs will be given information about their proposed intern by mid-September 2021, with all placements finalised by 30 September 2021
  • Internships will commence between 15 November 2021 and 4 February 2022


QTAC administers the DIIP on behalf of the Department of Defence.

DIIP was formerly known as the Defence Engineering Internship Program (DEIP) which was established in 2012.

Intern and SME application numbers may vary from year to year.