Australian Science Policy Fellowship Program

The Science Policy Fellows with Dr Foley

The Australian Science Policy Fellowship Program is an initiative of the Office of the Chief Scientist that aims to grow the diversity of expertise in the Australian Public Service (APS) workforce. It provides a pathway for early- to mid-career scientists to become skilled policy practitioners so they can be conduits for bringing scientific expertise into the policy process.

Fellows are employed as policy officers by participating Commonwealth Government host departments for 12 months. The Fellows bring a highly valued skillset, including data and analytical skills, and fresh perspectives on policy work.

They receive on-the-job training in, and exposure to, policymaking. Fellows are also supported by the Office of the Chief Scientist, have access to mentors, and are provided with a range of unique opportunities, including networking. As a pathway program into the APS, participation in the program means Fellows become equipped to seek permanent employment in the public service, if that is their wish.

The 2021-22 cohort will be the first cohort of the permanent program, following a successful three‑year pilot. Launched in July 2018, the program has placed 31 Science Policy Fellows across 10 Commonwealth Government departments. The vast majority of Fellows have subsequently moved into positions within the APS since completing the Fellowship program.

Participants in the third year of the program began in their host departments in October 2020. Fellows are working in diverse policy fields, such as the Modern Manufacturing Strategy in the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources; policies and programs related to Native Title in the Attorney General’s Department; and research policy in the Department of Education, Skills and Employment.

There is more information and resources below, including profiles of the Science Policy Fellows who have been part of the pilot program.

Applications for the 2021-22 cohort of the Fellowship program have closed.

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Meet our Fellows