Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Australian Government

Science Policy Fellowship

2021/22 Science Policy Fellowship applications have now closed. Applications for the 2022/23 Science Policy Fellowship are expected to open in approximately November 2021.


The Science Policy Fellowship 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.

Fellows are employed as policy officers by participating Commonwealth Government host departments for 12 months.

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 unique opportunities.

Key elements

The key elements of the Stepping Into Program are:

  • The fellowship provides the opportunity for scientists to work for 12 months as policy officers within a participating Commonwealth Government host department.
  • Fellows receive on-the-job training in, and exposure to, government process and policymaking.
  • Ongoing support from the Office of the Chief Scientist and our ELP Team.
  • Networking events.


To be eligible for the Stepping Into Program, you must:

  • Be an Australian citizen aged 18 years or over
  • Hold a PhD in one of the following disciplines:
    • medical and health sciences
    • biological, physical or earth sciences
    • behavioural sciences
    • computational sciences and mathematics
    • engineering disciplines (applicants with a Masters in engineering and three years of professional engineering experience also qualify)
  • Be no more than 15 years post PhD completion (adjusted for career breaks) and
  • Be prepared to relocate to Canberra if you currently live interstate.

Application Details

To be confirmed.

Key Dates

Applications open November 2021
Applications close January 2022
Shortlisting February 2022
Interview March/April 2022
Process finalised - offers made May 2022
Program commencement July 2022

If you have any queries, you can email our Entry Level Programs Team.

Find out more