University Vacation Employment Program

University Vacation Employment Program (UVEP)

Applications for the 2022-23 University Vacation Employment Program (UVEP) have now closed. Applications for the 2023-24 Program will open in July 2023.

Our University Vacation Employment Program (UVEP) is a paid internship run over the summer university break to help you kick start your career by gaining valuable experience in the Australian Public Service. You will have the opportunity to experience a taste of what it’s like to work in Government, and experience our diverse and exciting portfolio areas – infrastructure, transport, regional development, communications and the creative industries. Throughout your placement, you will have the opportunity for a professional coaching session, learning and development opportunities as well as the opportunity to network with other Government agencies. The Program has flexible opportunities around commencement dates and length of placement, all to suit you and your schedule! Placement opportunities are determined through an Expression of Interest where individual preferences are matched with organisational requirements as much as possible. Placements vary significantly and could see you:

  • helping to set the course for Australia’s digital future
  • developing policy that supports and protects our cultural heritage
  • regulating airports
  • assisting in the development of the 2032 Brisbane Olympics
  • developing policy for broadband, telecommunications and broadcasting
  • working on the development of the Inland Rail or Western Sydney International (Nancy-bird) Airport
  • supporting regional development and local communities around Australia.

No matter the placement you will take part in an exciting, rewarding and challenging experience that will support your future career. You will gain valuable on the job experience, meet other university students and develop professional networks that will help you advance your career. You will be encouraged to share your skills and knowledge and will work alongside a leadership team with subject matter expertise across a range of fields. During and after the program you will be supported by a dedicated Entry Level Programs team who are there for you every step of the way!

About the program

  • Applications are accepted from all disciplines and at any point of university studies.
  • No corporate work experience is required.
  • You will undertake an 8 to 12-week placement over the summer break between November and February.
  • You will be paid an APS Level 2 internship – $54,992 per annum (pro rata).


To be eligible you must meet the following requirements:

  • be an Australian citizen
  • be a current undergraduate degree as a minimum (applications are accepted from students at any point in their study)
  • be available for 8 to 12 weeks between November and February
  • be able to meet our security requirements including a Police Check (paid by the department)
  • be prepared to relocate to Canberra for the program if you are from interstate; and
  • be able to meet the department’s security requirements.

Our positions are primarily located in Canberra/Ngunawal Country, with some opportunity for remote placements in our regional offices. Any successful interstate candidates will be responsible for their own travel, accommodation and associated costs.

Application requirements

You will need to submit:

  • a CV (of no more than 2 pages in length)
  • details of 2 referees (professional referees are preferred but not mandatory)
  • a response (of no longer than 500 words each) to a set of questions asking you to demonstrate your interest in working with us and the skills you would bring.

Key dates

Applications open

July  2023

Applications close

August 2023


August 2023


September 2023

Process finalised – offers made

October 2023

Program commencement

Various dates (November 2023 – February 2024)

*subject to change

What do our interns have to say?

Some of our past interns have shared their experience of the University Vacation Employment Program.

Declan Tancred

Declan Tancred

“As an engineering student being accepted into the UVEP program was an exciting prospect. The department were extremely helpful in finding a team that aligned with my engineering internship requirements whilst also allowing me to pursue an area that was of interest to me. The UVEP program and recruitment process was a very eye opening experience, where I witnessed the breadth of roles the department has to offer alongside the vast array of careers there are in the APS. On top of all this, I have also developed my engineering and professional workplace skills working alongside professional and hardworking APS colleagues and they have imparted wisdom and advice to me that will serve useful in my final year of my studies and my oncoming engineering career. As an intern, I was very fortunate to be surrounded by engineers and other experienced professionals who I was able to network with and gain key knowledge and skills from. Most importantly though, the program is extremely well run, the ELP team are very welcoming and genuinely care about your progress and want to see you gain the most out of the experience as possible, you have the opportunity to partake in numerous career building exercises and meet with other UVEP interns and interns of other departments of the APS. I would recommend the program to any aspiring engineers or university students alike who are want to be a part of a program that is invested in YOUR development.”

Ari Glass

“The last 3 months that I have spent at the department has given me opportunities I never dreamed of. It gave me the opportunity to develop skills relevant to any public service job and it did all that while being accommodating. If you do anything this summer make sure it is the University Vacation Employment Program at the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.”

“The department was so welcoming and friendly, we were offered amazing support networks, tailored training programs to help us advance our career development and connections with great colleagues and other interns. Through my UVEP experience I was able to discover more about my individual strengths in a professional working environment, I would recommend this program to everyone.”

Mary Grimwade

“The UVEP was a unique way to gain practical insights on possible career pathways in the APS. The cohort was provided with valuable professional development training and had the chance to build a network of diverse colleagues within the department. I particularly enjoyed the breadth of policy and program areas I was able to explore throughout the experience. Overall, it has prepared me well for future opportunities within the public service and beyond.”

2021 Supervisor

“My experience with the University Vacation Employment Program as a supervisor of an intern was fantastic. We were placed with an enthusiastic student who was willing to jump in and give anything a go. While our branch was not an area of preference initially, our intern gave the placement everything she had and made herself an invaluable member of our team. We were able to task our intern with substantial work, as the skills she has gained from her time at university proved useful in project management and communications. We have been able to extend our intern’s contract until the end of the financial year in a part-time capacity while she returns to university, which we are thrilled to be able to do. I could not recommend taking part in the program more – what a fantastic way to bring talent through!”