Current Vacancies

2020 Australian Science Policy Fellowship Program, APS Level 6

Apply now Job no: 504949
Employment type: Non-Ongoing - Specified Term, Ongoing
Location: Canberra
Categories: Policy, APS Level 6

Australian Science Policy Fellowship Program

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 seeks to grow the diversity of expertise in the Australian Public Service workforce by providing a pathway for early- and mid-career scientists and engineers to become skilled policy practitioners.

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

The program offers a range of benefits to participants:

  • Fellows 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.
  • Fellows will have access to professional development and mentoring provided by their host department.
  • Fellows will become part of an alumni network managed by the Office of the Chief Scientist.
  • At the end of the program, fellows will be well placed to compete for policy and program roles should they choose to stay in the Australian Public Service.

In the second year of the program, fellows are working in diverse policy fields, such as innovation policy in the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science; protecting human rights in the Attorney General’s Department; and future transport technologies at the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities.

Fellows in the third year of the program will be employed by a host department as an APS 6 officer, commencing July 2020. Host departments include:

Information on the opportunities in each host department can be found in the attached role descriptions.

Please note that the host department role descriptions may be updated over the course of the application period. Final offers of fellowship placements and roles are at the discretion of the host department.

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 scientists and engineers who are no more than 15 years post-PhD (adjusted for career breaks). 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, fellows will be embedded within a department and given exposure to the policymaking processes in a team. Fellows 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 fellows 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 and fact sheet.

To be eligible for employment in the APS and the department, applicants must be Australian Citizens.

Security Clearance

These positions require a minimum baseline security clearance. Some positions will require higher clearance levels. The successful applicants will be required to obtain and maintain a clearance at the required level. This is not necessary at time of application.

How to apply

Please ensure that you read the following instructions and address all eligibility criteria. In this section do not duplicate information in your CV, instead explain how your experiences and qualifications are relevant to this program. You should also read the role descriptions, program summary, fact sheet and FAQs before you apply

Your application must not contain any classified or sensitive information. This includes in your application responses, resume and any other documents. Applications containing classified information may not be considered by the selection panel.

Provide a short biography (300 word limit): tell us about yourself, including areas of policy interest.

Provide a candidate statement (500 word limit) outlining why you are interested in a career in policy and what makes you a good fit for the role:

  • Areas of interest: Outline the policy areas or issues that you are particularly interested in addressing during the fellowship.
  • Role as a policy officer: Describe how you imagine you might apply your skill set and expertise to policy issues and how it can be applied in government decision-making.
  • Career goals: State your goals following the fellowship and into the future, and how you envision the fellowship will help you achieve those goals.

To apply you must:

  • complete the online application form
  • fulfil 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 before you apply.

Contact information

For more information regarding this opportunity, please contact Lisa Kerr at  OCS‑

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. For more information about working in the Australian Public Service please see


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

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