Embassy of Australia
United States of America
Embassy address: 1601 Massachusetts Ave, NW Washington DC 20036 - Telephone: (202) 797 3000 - Fax: (202) 797 3168

Vacancy Notice
Senior Research Officer (Science and Technology)

Position Details

Location: Embassy of Australia, Washington DC

Broadband: BB3

Position Number: 10120

Status: Full-time

Agency/Branch/Work Unit: DIISRTE/Science and Technology

Starting Salary: $56,702 USD per annum

Contract: This is a 2-year contract, the extension of which will be assessed by the Embassy on the basis of need and performance.

Contact Information

Contact Officer: Specific questions related to the position can be directed to Michael Schwager at michael.schwager@innovation.gov.au

Recruitment Officer: Information about Locally-Engaged positions and Embassy recruitment procedures can be located on our website:

Email additional questions to Recruitment.Washington@dfat.gov.au  

Closing Date

The closing date for receipt of applications for this position is close of business on Tuesday, 11 December 2012 (EST). Applications received after the closing date will not be considered. If you have not been requested to attend an interview within four weeks of the closing date please assume that your application has not been successful on this occasion.

How to Apply

For details on how to apply, please see our website: www.usa.embassy.gov.au/whwh/HowToApply.html  

For more information about the duties of the position, please email michael.schwager@innovation.gov.au 

Applications should include:

• the LES Application Form

• a statement addressing the Selection Criteria (max. three pages)

• a brief current resume setting out employment and education history

Any applications that do not address the selection criteria will not be considered.

Job Description

This position is located in the Education, Science and Technology Branch of the Embassy of Australia. It supports the Minister-Counsellor (Education, Science and Technology) to meet the following objectives:

• Elevate Australia’s bilateral science, research and innovation relationships with the US and Canada, including at the government-to-government level.

• Provide strategic support for specific Australian science, research and innovation priorities.

• Provide advice and analysis on US and Canadian policy developments in areas of portfolio interest, including international research collaboration, enabling technologies, civil space policy and public sector innovation.

• Support effective visits by Australian Ministers and senior officials.

Education Science and Technology Branch is a small team that works collaboratively with other branches in the Embassy – particularly Australian Trade Commission, Trade Branch and Congressional Liaison. Effective management of relationships both within the embassy and with external stakeholders is critical to meeting the Branch’s objectives.

The Senior Research Officer (Science and Technology) will be responsible for monitoring US and Canadian policy developments in areas of interest, and preparing reports and policy papers for departmental officials, and for a wider Australian audience. Administrative duties are shared within the Branch and the role of the Senior Research Officer (Science and Technology) will include managing financial accountability processes and providing logistical support for Ministerial and senior executive visits from Australia.

The position will suit a skilled policy analyst with the flexibility, initiative and organisational skills to contribute to the success of a small team. Strong written and oral communication skills are vital. A background in industry or science and technology policy is desirable but not essential.

The position reports to the Minister-Counsellor (Education, Science and Technology). Some after hours work will be required.

Duty Statement

In accordance with Workplace Diversity, Occupational Health and Safety and Industrial Democracy principles and practices:

1. Monitor, research, evaluate and report on US and Canadian innovation, industry, science and research policy developments and opportunities as they affect Australian interests. (40%)

2. Manage the production of regular reports and papers for the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science , Research and Tertiary Education and for a wider Australian audience. (15%)

3. Develop and maintain a network of innovation related contacts in government, peak bodies, universities, research institutions and companies; and represent the Branch, as appropriate, at meetings, conferences and seminars. (10%)

4. Provide policy and logistical support for the delivery of complex visit programs for Ministers, senior officials and other VIPs. (10%)

5. Manage the financial accountability processes for the Branch and undertake other administrative tasks, as required. (15%)

6. Undertake other projects at the direction of the Minister-Counsellor and respond to tasking and requests from Australia, as required. (10%)

Selection Criteria

All applicants must address in writing the following criteria


1. Proven research and analytical skills, with capacity to identify key issues across a range of complex policy areas.

2. Demonstrated highly developed written communication skills, including experience in report writing.

3. Well developed oral communication, representational and interpersonal skills, including demonstrated ability to establish and maintain good relationships with a network of contacts and to effectively represent the Branch at public events.

4. Sound judgment and very well developed planning and organisational skills, including an ability to work with extremely limited supervision to meet multiple objectives and competing deadlines.

5. Demonstrated ability to contribute effectively as a member of a small team, including proven initiative, cooperation, flexibility and reliability.

6. Proficiency in office software applications, including Microsoft Word and Excel.


7. Experience in policy areas relevant to the innovation, industry, science and research.