2019-20 Australian Science Policy Fellowships: Jonathan
Jonathan, Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development
What were you researching before you started as a Science Policy Fellow?
My research focussed on identifying the key regulatory pathways controlling skeletal muscle size and strength. This work was aimed at understanding the causes of muscle wasting disease in the context of cancer cachexia and ageing to develop treatments for these conditions.
What policy area are you working on through the Science Policy Fellowship Program?
I have been working in the Office of Future Transport Technology with its whole-of-government mandate to provide Commonwealth strategic leadership supporting the safe and legal deployment of future transport technologies. Specifically, the work focusses on preparing for connected and automated vehicles, which have the potential to enhance road safety, productivity, environmental and accessibility outcomes for society.
How has your research background helped you contribute to policy development?
I have drawn on many of the skills I developed as a researcher in my position as a Science Policy Fellow. Policy development in my role has required skills in communication, various writing formats, research, and being able to manage uncertainty.
How has the program changed your career aspirations?
This program has provided the opportunity to gain experience in a bona-fide policy role in an exciting and fast-paced subject area. Participating in the Fellowship has solidified my interest in policy into a desire to create a career in government, providing me with the avenue to gain the experience and form the networks for a successful transition into this area.
What is your favourite part about working in a policy role in the Australian Public Service?
Working with a collaborative and supportive team to deliver policies that will help to usher in transformative transport technologies.