Australian Science Policy Fellowship Program 2021-22 Holds Mid-year Meeting
The 2021-22 Australian Science Policy Fellowship mid-year meeting was held on Monday 21 February, bringing together current Fellows and their managers from various Australian Government departments, Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Cathy Foley, and staff from the Office of the Chief Scientist.
The mid-year meeting is an important feature of the Australian Science Policy Fellowship program, providing an annual opportunity for stakeholders to reflect on the Fellowship year so far, consider the next six months, and plan for next year’s program.
Current Fellow Duncan Fitzpatrick said it was a good to come together and reflect on the program.
“I think it’s been a very good program. It’s also been good to get clarity around why the program is set up the way it is and how it operates,” said Duncan.
The Australian Science Policy Fellowship Program is an initiative of the Office of the Chief Scientist, which aims to grow the diversity of expertise in the Australian Public Service 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 various government functions.
Successful Fellows are employed by participating Australian Government host departments for 12 months.
Current Fellow Reetu Singh said the Covid-19 pandemic had affected a few of the get-togethers but cohort members try to meet as often as they can.
“A couple of us will go for walks and picnics at least once every two months or so, but a few of the others I haven’t met before, so this was a good opportunity to meet them,” said Reetu.
The 2021-22 cohort is the first cohort of the permanent program, following a successful three‑year pilot. Launched in July 2018, the program has placed 46 Science Policy Fellows across 12 Australian Government departments.
Applications for the 2022-23 cohort of the Australian Science Policy Fellowship Program open next week on Tuesday 1 March.