Undergraduate Science Experience


Our Undergraduate Science Experience program allows undergraduate students to experience life in the sciences with HIE.

Christian Aguirre

Learning new skills/techniques from researchers who are experts in their fields, gaining experience on working in a real laboratory and out in the field/greenhouse were the most valuable outcomes for me...

Christian Aguirre - Bachelor of Science (Biological Sciences) 

Rhiannon Rowe

The most valuable outcomes for me in this program were gaining laboratory experience as well as meeting people who are currently working on projects at the HIE. I learnt a lot from the PhD candidates and laboratory assistants...

Rhiannon Rowe - Bachelor of Science (Environmental Science)

Josh Vogelzang

To watch and learn from an experienced researcher, understand the fundamentals of designing an experiment and learning how to use chemicals and scientific machines. Participating in the scholarship has been valuable experience for my future career...

Josh Vogelzang - Bachelor of Science (Zoology)

Rhiannon Wright

The most valuable outcome I gained from being part of the HIE Undergraduate Science Experience program is most definitely the practical skill experience. I was given excellent instruction and demonstration in a variety of skills, and the confidence to utilise those skills autonomously...

Rhiannon Wright - Bachelor of Science (Advanced Science)

Hawkesbury Institute Undergraduate Science Experiences - Real World Experience In The Sciences

You can help us with our innovative, highly topical research programs while you build the connections and skills you need to get a feel for life in environmental sciences.

Researchers at HIE have a large number of active projects in which we need help and hands-on assistance. That's why these Undergraduate Science Experiences are a great opportunity to get that early scientific experience and build those essential connections with key people while you study. 

How Many Places Are Available?

Across the Institute, we will provide up to fifteen placements per round. There are usually two rounds per year, on in Autumn Semester (March) and one in Spring Semester (September).

What Kind Of Students Are We Looking For?

What we are most interested in is that you are open to new ideas, interested in science and flexible with the kind of tasks you might work on.

Ideally, you would have a solid university track record as well as being willing to learn, try new ideas and learn new techniques.

This most likely means you will be in late first year through to your final year of undergraduate study at Western U.

Please note this offer applies to currently enrolled undergraduate students at Western Sydney University only.

How Much Time Is Involved?

Our Undergraduate Science Experiences are designed to be flexible in how much and how often you work so that they fit into your work and study.

Successful participants will be paid $1500, with the first payment of $750 when you commence and the second payment of $750 when you complete the program after 50 hours and return the feedback form.

This means that it should fit flexibly into your study program - and we'll help you so that it does work for both parties.

What Could I Be Working On?

We have opportunities across many areas of scientific research.

Forest Ecology

Forest Ecology

Forest Ecology examines the way that Australia's large areas of native forest are responding to change as atmospheric CO2 rises. In this area of research, we are using some of the world's most advanced scientific technologies and infrastructure to understand the future of our native woodlands, and to help industries prepare for a warmer and drier future.

Vertebrate Ecology

Vertebrate Ecology

Vertebrate Ecology examines the behaviour, ecology and interactions of mammals, birds, reptiles and other vertebrate organisms.

If you find working with animals interesting, this might be a great topic for you to explore further.

Insect Ecology

Insect Ecology

Insect Ecology looks at the functioning and behaviour of insects and the ways they are changing under environmental stress and climatic change.

Our research has a wide range of applications in agriculture, ecology, environmental sciences and more. Major insect types that we study include fruit flies, psyllids, ants, butterflies and many others.

Soil Sciences

Soil Sciences

Soil Sciences is a hot topic right now, with huge advances being made in the molecular and genetic factors that make our soils productive.

This means that now is a great time to gain expertise in soil sciences, using our world-class soil genomics and instrumentation for analysis of soils.

Plant Sciences

Plant Sciences

Plant Sciences today involves detailed understanding and manipulation of the cellular and physiological processes in plants that influence food production, yield and quality.

We have a large selection of projects and expertise in the plant sciences, ranging from the molecular level to the whole plant level.

Microbial Ecology

Microbial Ecology

Microbiology is an important area of research with applications in crop production, remediation of contaminated soils, ecosystems and agriculture.

Microbiology skills are important across a wide range of scientific disciplines.

Molecular Biology

Molecular Biology

Molecular Biology involves understanding the molecular basis behind plant and animal functions, and understanding how DNA, RNA and proteins work together to make an organism function properly.

Ecosystems and Landscapes

Ecosystems and Landscapes

Ecosystems & Landscapes explores the functioning and dynamics of whole ecosystems. It has important applications in bushfire management, forestry, water catchment hydrology and agriculture.

Our research in this area will expose you to innovative technologies, world-class facilities and excellent opportunities.

Data and Computer Modelling

Data and Computer Modelling

Data & Computer Modelling is a rapidly growing field in the sciences, encompassing high-performance computing, environmental and ecosystem modelling, statistical analysis and genomics technologies that use data to describe natural sciences.

If computing, data or modelling is your interest, we might have something for you.

What Are The Benefits?

The major benefit of this Experience is to explore future career options in science and research with support of a payment. This experience lets you explore real-world science without too much commitment of time, to help you see for yourself if science and further scientific study might be the right choice for you.

If it turns out you like sciences and environmental research, then you will have earned yourself a great set of skills and experiences that you can take with you.

How Do I Apply?

We are looking for students that can demonstrate that they are building a future in the natural and environmental sciences. We would like you to describe the reasons why you would like to participate in the Undergraduate Science Experience at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment and in particular, what areas of research you want to pursue.

With this information, we will be shortlisting applicants and matching you with an academic that is working in or close to the kind of areas that you are interested in.

That way, it helps us complete our research projects and it helps you develop skills in your areas of interest.

Autumn 2017 Undergraduate Science Experience placements are by invitation only and will be issued from early April 2017.

Download the application form.

Applications must be returned by Friday April 15 2017.

Download (DOCX, 632.02 KB)

Your second instalment of $750 will be paid after you complete the feedback form. You can download a copy here:

Feedback Form (DOCX, 32.63 KB)

For more information please contact David Thompson, HIE Communications Manager on d.thompson@westernsydney.edu.au.