2020-21 Science Policy Fellows complete their program
Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Cathy Foley has congratulated the most recent cohort of Australian Science Policy Fellows, saying that their contributions are playing a major part in her work to place science at the heart of policymaking for the Australian government.
Addressing the Fellows at their graduation last month, Dr Foley also thanked them for their commitment to the program and to the Australian Public Service (APS).
“It is reaffirming to hear that you would recommend the Program to others,” said Dr Foley, and invited the Fellows to share their experiences about the challenges, lessons and opportunities over the past 12 months.
Janna said, “The APS is a network that you keep growing. It’s about talking to people and then opportunities will present themselves. It’s important to remember to take advantage of those opportunities.” She has also been able to use her technical expertise and knowledge of manufacturing from her engineering background in her role.
“It was a really valuable learning experience,” said Mostafa. “As a researcher we are linked to funding of our work, but by being involved in program development, I can see a complete cycle from where the funding goes, and how it is allocated.”
Verity said that stepping away from research to gain policy knowledge and experience through the Science Policy Fellowship Program was the right choice even though she has now returned to a science role. She said, “My new managers at Geoscience Australia have told me they regard my policy experience as a valuable addition to my skill set.”
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.
Applications for the 2022 program will open in March 2022.