Expanding Horizons

Expanding Horizons

Expanding Horizons

Professional Development

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Queen's Doctoral Internship in University Administration

The Queen's Doctoral Internship in University Administration (QDIUA)  is a new, first-of-its-kind in Canada, experiential learning opportunity that enables PhD candidates to be immersed in an administrative on-campus work environment where they can develop new skills and strengthen existing ones. 

Program Overview

The QDIUA program provides a unique opportunity for PhD candidates to learn more about the university administrative environment through an internship with an administrative unit at Queen’s University. During the program, doctoral students will strengthen and expand their professional skills by working alongside experienced administrators outside of their academic programs. Through a combination of mentoring and participation in meaningful projects and tasks, interns will contribute to the day-to-day operations of the university while expanding their professional network and exploring careers in academic administration. 

The Internship experience will consist of the following:

  1. Supervision and Mentorship: Interns will be introduced to post-secondary administrative work environment by working alongside an administrative professional in a host unit at Queen’s (for example, the Faculty of Arts and Science office or Office of the Vice-Provost International). An identified administrative staff member assigns and supervises the intern’s work, inviting them to relevant meetings to maximize exposure to the university’s administrative structure, and include them in teambuilding activities. Mentorship and supervision will consist of both formal and informal conversations about skill development, professional workplaces, university systems and structures, and career development.
  2. Project Component with Skills Development Coaching: Interns will work on a meaningful project or administrative task identified by the host unit. Mentors will guide and supervise the intern’s work, explaining office procedures and process, introducing them to relevant team members within and outside of their unit, inviting them to meetings and providing feedback on the project or task as it evolves. 
  3. Guided Reflection on Experience: To support interns in their career development conversations with their supervisors, and to help get the most out this experiential learning opportunity, the Experiential Learning Hub and the School of Graduate Studies will co-facilitate a series of workshops to prepare students for their internships and guide their reflective practice during the experience. Upon completion of the internship, students will be referred to additional professional development resources available through the School of Graduate Studies and their Faculties.

Time Commitment and Compensation

Internships will commence January 2022 to align with the academic calendar, and (predicted) campus-wide return to work. Each internship will last 13 weeks (one academic term). Interns are expected to commit (flexibly) 10 hours per week to program components. Internships are paid. Details on rate of pay will be included in job postings.

Program Outcomes

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Interns gain and/or develop professional competencies that complement their degree training
  • Interns develop a more comprehensive understanding of how the administrative side of the university functions
  • Interns collaborate with administrative professionals within the university, expanding their professional network
  • Interns are exposed to career paths within the post-secondary sector

Host Unit Outcomes

  • Host units gain a deeper appreciation of the range of skills Queen’s PhD students have and better utilize these talents in the context of their own offices
  • Host units benefit from the diversity of perspectives and experiences interns bring to the project and team environment
  • Host units explore alternate pipelines and applicant pools for staff recruitment and retention
  • Host units receive supports from Career Services and the Experiential Learning Hub related to effective supervision structures, onboarding, guiding reflection and supporting student career development


  • Students from all PhD programs are eligible to apply, including international students. 
  • Students should have completed compulsory coursework and comprehensive/qualifying exams or equivalent in order apply.  
  • Students should discuss their workload with their academic supervisor to determine if the 10 hour/week commitment to the internship is feasible in relation to university guidelines (eg an average of 10hours/week of paid employment unrelated to the student’s research) and successful degree progression. 


October 27, 11:00-11:30am: Information Session. If you missed the information session, you can access the slides here: QUIDA Information Session (PDF 432 KB)

October/November: Workshops facilitated by Career Services on cover letters, resumes, and interviews. To register for a workshop, login to MyCareer and go to the 'Events/Workshops' page.

Resume and Cover Letter Workshops - Learn strategies for creating targeted application documents! Learn how to highlight the unique knowledge and experience you’ve gained through your academic work and co-curricular experiences by crafting resume accomplishment statements and learn how to customize your cover letter for the administrative internship roles you will be applying to. Upcoming workshops:

  • October 21, 12:30-2:00 pm
  • October 28, 3:00-4:30 pm
  • November 2, 3:00-4:30 pm
  • November 11, 3:00-4:30 pm
  • November 19, 1:00-2:30 pm

Interview Workshops - Attend your interview for a QDIUA feeling confident and prepared. In this session, learn how to handle challenging questions and communicate your skills and experience in a focused and targeted manner. Come prepared to practice and leave feeling ready for a successful interview with a QDIUA host unit. Upcoming workshops:

  • November 9, 1:00-2:00 pm
  • November 17, 11:00 am-12:00 pm
  • December 2, 2:00-3:00 pm

Monday, November 8, 8:30 am: Available internships posted to the QDIUA job board in MyCareer. Applications must include a cover letter and resume. 

Opportunities include positions within:

Sunday, November 21, 11:59 pm: Applications due.

December 6-10: Interviews.

December 20-23: Offers extended to successful candidates.

January 2022: Internships commence.

If you have questions or would like to discuss how an internship in university administration fits into your career development goals, please contact el.hub@queensu.ca to book a 1-1 advising appointment with our Graduate Internship Coordinator.