In-country program postponed

The in-country version of this program has been postponed until further notice. A virtual version of the program is being offered for 2020/21. 

Virtual summer industry placements

As the in-country version of this program is postponed until further notice, virtual Malaysia science industry internships are available for Summer 2021/21. 

Join a team of students and virtually intern with science industry partners in Malaysia while getting 6 UOC elective credit (SCIF3199). Scholarships are available for domestic students!

Industry projects are available for the following science programs/majors:

  • Biotechnology
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Data Science and Decisions
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Management
  • Food Science
  • Mathematics
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Statistics

For more information, check out the internship 'Program Guide'. 

Program guide 2021-22

Apply for Malaysia virtual summer internship

Applications close 11:45pm Sunday 7th of November.

Get valuable industry work experience in Malaysia

  • UNSW Science is working with The Global Student to provide you with an eight-week science work placement in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This is a fantastic opportunity to develop your practical skills and knowledge over the summer holidays.

    Malaysia is rapidly investing in infrastructure and attracting foreign investment through the development of STEM industries.

    Work Placements are available for students in the fields of Chemistry, Biotechnology, Biomolecular, Medical, Biological and Environmental Sciences. 

    Students undertaking programs and majors is the Schools of BABS, BEES, Chemistry and SOMS are encouraged to apply. 

    Benefits of the program

    • Gain global work experience and give yourself the graduate edge.
    • Enjoy networking opportunities with key business and UNSW alumni in the region.
    • Experience Southeast Asian culture and life in one of the world’s most diverse cities.
    • Gain credit towards your science degree: you’ll receive 6 UoC by enrolling in SCIF2199 Science Work Placement and completing online assessment tasks.
    • This program is supported by the Australian Government New Colombo Plan (NCP), with $3000 scholarships available to domestic students.

    What does the program include?

    • 8-week internship within science industry (related to your major).
    • Accommodation and work placement arranged for you.
    • 6 UoC credit-bearing course SCIF2199 Science Work Placement.
    • $3000 scholarships available for domestic students.
    • This program provides eight-week science work placements in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as part of the 6 unit of credit science elective SCIF2199.

      Students are placed within an organisation and will contribute productively to a project or series of activities set up by the organisation for their placement.

      While the exact nature of the work will vary depending on the organisation, it is a requirement that students will be involved in work that is related to their major of study.

      Students are also expected to complete online assessments before and during the work placement. This prepares students for the professional work environment, providing insights on key transferrable professional skills and allows students to reflect on their professional development throughout the experience. More information about specific details of assessments is available at: SCIF 2199.

      Students will be allocated a supervisor within the organisation to mentor and support them throughout the experience. In addition to this, a course coordinator is also assigned to SCIF2199, who will monitor progress throughout the placement. The Global Student will also provide 24/7 emergency support throughout the work placement.   

    • The dates for the program are set as Saturday, 12th of December 2020 – Thursday, 11th of February 2021.

      These dates are non-negotiable and students applying for the program are expected to be available within this timeframe.

    • This Host Organisation Info Pack outlines examples of host organisations for the summer 2020/21 Kuala Lumpur Science Work Placement Program, or have expressed an interest in hosting UNSW students for the program. This document is continually updated as more organisations come on board. 

      The Global Student (our program partner in Kuala Lumpur), will discuss placement preferences with students selected for the program. They cannot guarantee that students will be placed with their preferred organisation, however they will ensure that students are placed with an organisation that will provide work experience directly related to students’ major of study.

      Once a student is accepted by an organisation, a Position Description outlining specific work tasks will be negotiated. Work tasks will depend on the capabilities of the host employer and the student’s skills and interests. A minimum requirement is that the tasks must be directly related to the student's major of study. The negotiated Position Description requires final approval by UNSW Science before the student is enrolled in SCIF2199.

      Host organisations are available for students studying BABS, BEES, Chemistry and SOMS majors/programs only.

    • Item

      Program fee


      • Liaison with host organisations and work placement arrangement
      • 8 weeks accommodation
      • Pre-departure support
      • Orientation program 
      • Networking, cultural & farewell events
      • 24-hour emergency support
      • Day Trip to Melaka

      Program fee: $3,680

      Scholarship recipients: UNSW Science uses $3000 scholarship  to pay the majority of the program fee. Student is responsible for covering the additional $680. 


      Non-scholarship recipients: student is responsible for covering the full program fee of $3, 680.

      Return airfares Sydney - KL

      Approx: $700 - $ 1,000

      Students must purchase own airfares.

      Living expenses during the work placement

      (transport, food, spending money)

      Approx: $ 1, 500

      For the full 8-week work placement. 

      This is a very rough estimate; it can vary greatly person-to-person.

      SCIF 2199 (6UoC) tuition

      Standard international or domestic CSP rates.

      As per any normal course, can be deferred via HECS or paid up-front.

    • Domestic students may be offered an Australian Government New Colombo Plan (NCP) scholarship if they are successful in securing a work placement. Eight $3000 scholarships are available for summer session 2020/21. 

      Commonwealth-supported students also have the option of applying for an OS-Help loan to cover additional expenses related to the program. 

      International students are welcome to apply and participate in the program, however they are not eligible for the NCP Scholarship or OS-HELP. 

    • There are 3 stages to the application process. 

      Stage 1: Written application 

      UNSW Science will select applicants to proceed to stage 2.  

      In order to apply, students must: 

      • have a minimum credit WAM 
      • have room in their program to enrol in SCIF2199 as a science or free elective (student can request a progress check with The Nucleus Student Hub if they are unsure)
      • be studying a BABS, BEES, Chemistry or SOMS major/program 
      • provide all requested supporting documents (academic statement, CV, cover letter, copy of passport).   

      To proceed to Stage 2, students must also exhibit the four attributes expected of successful applicants: 

      • Responsible, with the ability to behave with a high level of maturity and professionalism. 
      • Culturally adept, with the ability to act in a respectful and culturally sensitive way. 
      • Motivated, with a strong drive to learn new skills and undertake challenging work.    
      • Resilient, with the ability to deal with new and difficult situations. 

      NCP scholarships will be awarded to the top 8 domestic applicants, based on WAM and cover letter responses. Additional, non-scholarship funded places may be awarded to both domestic and international students. 

      Supporting documents  

      Students must submit four supporting documents with their application. 

      1. Academic Statement (can be accessed via the Student Tab on myUNSW). 
      2. Copy of the photo page of your passport. 
      3. Current CV. 
      4. Cover Letter. Please address the cover letter to UNSW Science. The cover letter should be 1 to 2 pages in length, and should: 
      • explain why the applicant is interested in the summer placement opportunity 
      • highlight the applicant's current skills and experience in their major of study (whether that is through coursework, co-curricular activities, or other work experience) 
      • address the four attributes expected of successful applicants. 

      Help with application writing

      The Student Academic & Career Success Team provide many services to assist students with job application techniques. To have a competitive application, it is highly recommended that you use their online Resume checker and other tips on writing cover letters.  

      Students are encouraged to contact UNSW Science ( if they have any questions about the application process. 

      Stage 2: Interviews 

      Students selected for Stage 2 will be introduced to our partners at 'The Global Student' in Kuala Lumpur, who will help students to secure a work placement.  

      The Global Student will hold an initial Skype interview with each student, before arranging online interviews with preferred host organisation/s. The Global Student will do their best to place students with their preferred host organisation, but cannot guarantee that students will be placed with a particular organisation. However, they will ensure that a student is placed with an organisation that will provide an experience directly related to the student's major of study.

      Stage 3: Work Placement Agreement 

      When a host organisation has agreed to host a student, both the student and the host organisation must clarify the specific work tasks that the student will undertake during the work placement.   

      The nature of the work conducted by the student will depend on the organisation, and the skills and interest of the student. It is expected that the host organisation will provide work that is related to the student's major of study and commensurate with the level and experience of the student.  

      Activities that a student may undertake could include a combination of the following: 

      • shadow members of staff in science-related roles 
      • contributing in an assisting capacity to a range of activities 
      • being a team member on a project for the duration of the work placement – an ongoing project, or one that is completed during the placement 
      • assigned to an individual project that can be completed within the placement timeframe 
      • office-based tasks including data entry, literature searches, or preparation of figures for presentation/marketing materials 
      • hands on laboratory or field-based activities. 

      Upon agreement, both the student and the host organisation must complete a SCIF2199 Work Placement Agreement form.

      This form is a written agreement/contract between the host organisation, the student and UNSW Science, and will outline the work tasks that the student is expected to perform.  

      The student is responsible for returning this form to UNSW Science, for final approval. UNSW Science will check if the work is related to the student's major of study and it will be reviewed by the Head of Teaching of the student's major of study.  

      Students will not be permitted to participate in the work placement program unless a Work Placement Agreement is submitted and approved.     

    • Applications close 11:30pm Wednesday, 15th of April.