Current Vacancies

Science Policy Fellowship Program

Apply now Job no: 497991
Employment type: Non-Ongoing - Specified Term
Location: Canberra
Categories: APS Level 6, Executive Level 1

About the program

The Australian Science Policy Fellowship Pilot Program gives scientists the opportunity to work in a Commonwealth Government department for one year. It strengthens the diversity of expertise in the Australian Public Service workforce by providing a pathway for scientists to become skilled policy practitioners.

The program is targeted at early- and mid-career researchers with up to 15 years post-PhD.

The program offers a range of benefits to participants:

  • Policy officers receive on-the-job training in and exposure to policymaking. They will not be appointed as subject matter specialists, but rather will be expected to participate in the activities of existing teams in their host department.
  • Successful candidates will have access to professional development and mentoring provided by their host department, and possibly external training opportunities in public policy.
  • The program will establish an alumni network to be jointly managed by the Office of the Chief Scientist and partner organisations.
  • Some candidates may decide to seek further opportunities in the Australian Public Service, and will be well placed to compete for other policy and program roles.

Through the program, policy officers will be employed by a host department, commencing July 2018. Host departments include: the Department of Health, Department of Education and Training, Department of Employment, Department of the Environment and Energy, Attorney-General's Department, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, and the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. Information on the opportunities in each host department can be found in the attached role descriptions Download File Host Department role descriptions.pdf.

Please note that the host department role descriptions may be updated over the course of the application period.

Our ideal candidate

Our ideal candidate will have significant scientific expertise and an interest in gaining policy development experience. The program is targeted at early- and mid-career researchers who are no more than 15 years post-PhD. We are looking for people who are adaptable, able to generate new ideas and solve problems.

Successful candidates will have strong conceptual, analytical and research skills, clear oral and written communication skills, strong team work skills, and the ability to achieve results within a demanding environment.

What you will do

Over the course of the program policy officers will be embedded within a department and given exposure to the policymaking processes in a team. Policy officers will not be subject-matter specialists, rather the program aims to provide exposure to the culture and practice of policy development. Host departments are also expected to support policy officers in their professional development, including through formal training opportunities and mentoring.

Information on the opportunities in each host department can be found in the opportunity descriptions (located in attachments).


A detailed list of eligibility criteria can be found in the attached program summary Download File sci_pol program summary.pdf and fact sheet Download File Science Policy Fellowship Program factsheet.pdf.

Security Clearance

These positions require a minimum Baseline security clearance. The successful applicants will be required to obtain and maintain a clearance at this level. This is not necessary at time of application.

How to apply

To apply you must:

  • complete the online application form
  • address all eligibility criteria
  • Submit your application by the advertised closing date.

Provide your current CV, details of two referees and two letters of recommendation with your application (attached documents must be in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format).

You should also read the attached role descriptions, program summary, fact sheet and FAQs Download File Sci-pol_Frequently Asked Questions.pdf before you apply.

Contact information

For more information regarding this opportunity, please contact Dr Kate Boston at

Learn more about the Australian Public Service

The Australian Public Service is committed to a workplace culture that builds respect, fosters inclusiveness, promotes diversity, embraces the unique skills and qualities of all our employees and is committed to attracting, recruiting and retaining people with disability.

Documents attached

Advertised: AUS Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close: AUS Eastern Daylight Time

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