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CSIRO

4.4
  • #1 in R&D and manufacturing
  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

CSIRO Graduate Programs & Internships

  • R&D and Manufacturing

What it does: Scientific and Engineering research
Staff stats: Over 5500 staff plus large numbers of students
The good bits: Making revolutionary scientific breakthroughs
The not so good bits: Periodic funding cuts, public service bureaucracy, but is not subject to all bureaucracy of typical government agencies
Hiring grads with degrees in: Health & Medical Sciences; Sciences; Engineering, Maths, IT & Computer Sciences; Finance, Accounting, Economics & Business Administration

The CSIRO story

Since 1926 the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has had a profound impact on the day to day lives of Australians including controlling rabbit and prickly pear plagues, improving the clothes on their backs, the food they eat and helping us to stay well. It helped us see man on the moon, improved the phones in their hands and the money in their pockets. CSIRO holds more patents for scientific and engineering research than any other organisation in Australia.

Today CSIRO does research from the depths of the ocean to deep space. It is charged with improving the lives of Australian’s through its divisions of energy, environment and resources, agriculture and food, digital technology and future industries. The CSIRO has over 55 sites in Australia and three overseas local and international networks.  The CEO, a member of Board, instigates the Corporate Plan set by the Board. The Board is overseen by the Minister for Industry and Science.

The culture

The CSIRO attracts world-renowned scientists and engineers and they provide opportunities for students to enhance their scientific and engineering learning through involvement in research. Over 150 summer vacation scholarships are offered each year and industrial experience students are encouraged to apply. The best students are offered postgraduate scholarships. Postdoctoral Fellows are actively recruited. CSIRO is the largest single provider of Postdoctoral Fellowships for scientists and engineers in Australia.

The culture is altruistic and inclusive. It fosters co-operative team-based research within its diverse, multi-cultural workforce. It encourages women to take up science, engineering and mathematics roles and is committed to encouraging more Indigenous people to work at CSIRO. CSIRO Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cadetships are offered each year to applicants enrolled full-time in an undergraduate degree. These cadetships include a study allowance during semester, 12 weeks of work experience with a stipend during the summer vacation period and payment of HECS fees upon successful completion of study.

Social contribution

The CSIRO’s purpose is, “They solve the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology.” Among many other innovations, the world can thank the CSIRO for the invention of: Aerogard; polymer banknotes; Wi-Fi; the ‘Total Wellbeing’ (high protein, low carb) diet, vaccines and atomic absorption spectroscopy, which plays a significant role in pharmacology, biophysics and toxicology research.

The vibe of the place

CSIRO offers a challenging, and invigorating environment where you will get to work with amazing people who are achieving amazing things. You will contribute to and be part of an organisation that seeks to continually review and improve how it supports and rewards its staff, to create a workplace where staff can achieve their best.

From the Employer:

At CSIRO, we solve the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology.

About CSIRO

CSIRO is Australia's national science research agency.

Many of our iconic innovations were once considered impossible. Fast WiFi, Aerogard insect repellent and the plastic Australian banknote, to name a few.

Until someone, just like you, joined us and took on the challenge. We’re recruiting the next generation of inventors, innovators and change makers, from researchers to professionals.

With over 5500 people around the country working as a multidisciplinary team they can focus their research and development on solving complex problems that make a real difference to our future.

They manage state-of-the-art national research facilities and collections that allow us to explore the furthest reaches of the Universe and the unimaginable depths of the oceans.

The research informs policy, develops new industries and evolves existing sectors in collaboration with industry, government, academia and the community.

The graduate program

CSIRO Scholarships are our way of recognising and rewarding the academic excellence of students from high school (for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples) and undergraduates through to doctoral studies.

Postdoctoral Fellowships offer PhD graduates the opportunity to launch their scientific careers.

Undergraduate vacation scholarships

Undergraduate Vacation Scholarships offer students the opportunity of collaborating with their scientists.

Postgraduate scholarships

Postgraduate students who partner with CSIRO to complete their PhD studies will gain access to world-class facilities and have a unique opportunity to work alongside Australia’s leading research scientists.

Postdoctoral fellowships

They were committed to the development of the next generation of scientists and engineers. Their postdoctoral fellowships provide PhD graduates with experience working alongside leaders in science and engineering, as well as generous personal development and learning opportunities.

For more details on when and how to apply for these scholarships and career opportunities, please visit our website.

Recruitment Process

Over 150 undergraduates each year are given ‘Vacation Studentships’ over the summer break and receive a stipend. Some of those students “have been offered paid part-time employment; others have had the opportunity to undertake their Masters or PhD research jointly with us”. Vacation scholars come from a wide range of disciplines, need to be in either their third or fourth year with a credit average and ideally be considering postgraduate study.

While the CSIRO doesn’t have a conventional grad program, there are a few options for grads looking to get a foot in the door. You are encouraged to apply to do an ‘Industrial Traineeship’ if required as part of your degree. To be considered identify a CSIRO scientist working in an area relevant to your degree and contact them.  Provide said scientist with your CV, academic transcript, proof you need to undertake a work placement and a brief statement about the type of project/research you’re interested in. He or she then decides whether to invite you into their research area. Traineeships typically last 3-6 months. They do not usually lead to a paid position but may be useful if you apply for an entry-level job at the CSIRO.

If you’re undertaking a PhD in science or engineering, you can apply for one of the CSIRO’s Postgraduate Scholarships. Those who win a scholarship “gain access to world-class facilities and have a unique opportunity to work alongside Australia’s leading research scientists”. Winning a scholarship doesn't guarantee a position but, once again, having done one will stand you in good stead if you apply for a CSIRO job down the track.

The good news is that once you’ve knocked off that PhD you can apply for one of the 50 or more CSIRO postdoctoral fellowships advertised each year. Like a grad program, these “are designed to equip new graduates to embark on careers as independent researchers” and include significant training and the opportunity to attend national and international conferences. However, you’re only offered employment for the three years the fellowship lasts with the option to complete an additional 3 years.  

Remuneration & Career Growth

You’re not going to earn as much as you would in private industry but the CSIRO offers “competitive salaries, including yearly increments as detailed in the CSIRO Enterprise Agreement” plus up to 15% superannuation. On the plus side, you do get all kinds of leave, including flex, study, parental and maternity leave, four days ‘miscellaneous leave’ and the opportunity to take leave without pay if you get an exciting offer from a start-up.

Career prospects

The CSIRO is a government-owned corporation, 60% funded by the Australian Government. Funding cuts or shifts in policy direction can have a significant impact on staff. Even with these foibles, it has a history of employing scientists and engineers for long periods of time. Its staff turnover is well below the average for Australian organisations. If you can cope with its uncertainty, you may find it provides all the support and resources required to make the revolutionary scientific breakthrough you’ve long fantasised about.  

Graduate Reviews

Overall Score
4.4
Overall score based on 43 reviews
They Score Best in…
9.0
Culture
8.8
Recruitment
8.9
Sustainability
8.9
Work Hours
9.0
Culture
8.8
Recruitment
8.9
Sustainability
8.9
Work Hours
What Graduates Say About Them
  • Catching up with other graduates; support from program leadership; flexibility; opportunities
  • Great community, fantastic culture. It is really awesome that I am invited to various meetings even as a summer student, even just to sit in. I also think the work we do is very cool and very different to what I have experienced at other workplaces.
  • The environment is everything I hoped for in my future career. Every day the work is filled with practical, hands-on tasks, alongside mentally stimulating problem-solving, writing and researching. The people around me are diverse and yet everyone brings something special and respect to the table. I'm entrusted with my work despite my low and new role and it brings me great pride to do well for my company.
  • From my experience as a work experience student, following through until now as a graduate student, there has been a strong consistency in workplace culture. I have been treated the same as those 'higher up' than me, and that has been the same throughout each team and group I have worked within. For me, the line managers and people in higher positions have treated their coworkers with dignity and respect, and this respect is reflected within the teams.
  • The research projects we work on are quite flexible. You are allowed to choose which sub-areas you research to achieve the goal of the project, and how you publish results. CSIRO works to accomplish meaningful goals such as addressing Climate Change, improving medical outcomes and advancing AI. It's a unique environment more focused on positive impact than making a profit.
  • We can occasionally be left to work things out for ourselves when more guidance would probably be preferable. However, this does help us develop our problem-solving skills.
  • Getting started in the first couple of weeks doing all of the repetitive safety training and inductions
  • Unfortunately, there are no other students working at my office at the same time as myself, however, all staff members are so supportive and plan on connecting me with the student cohort in a few weeks when some new starters like myself commence at CSIRO.
  • Sometimes I would like to spend more time in the lab.
  • Requires effort to get feedback on work - need the initiative to have the best experience.

Jobs & Opportunities

Locations With Jobs & Opportunities
  • Over 50 sites, including regional.
Hiring candidates with qualifications in
B
Business & Management
C
Creative Arts
E
Engineering & Mathematics
H
Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences
I
IT & Computer Science
L
Law, Legal Studies & Justice
M
Medical & Health Sciences
P
Property & Built Environment
S
Sciences
T
Teaching & Education
Current Jobs & Opportunities

Graduate Job

Multiple locations in Australia
A rare graduate opportunity for the non-scientists that make our science happen! Join our 18-month Enterprise Services Graduate Program
Applications Close
21 Apr 2024
Start Date
1 Feb 2025 - 28 Feb 2025
Salary
AUD 78,609 / Year

+ up to 15.4% superannuation

Graduate Job

Multiple locations in Australia
A rare graduate opportunity for the non-scientists that make our science happen! Join our 18-month Enterprise Services Graduate Program.
Applications Close
21 Apr 2024
Start Date
1 Feb 2025 - 28 Feb 2025
Salary
AUD 78,609 / Year

+ up to 15.4% superannuation


Graduate Success Stories


  • Graduate stories
I have loved the diversity of working at CSIRO. There are so many opportunities for collaboration across science, both within CSIRO and externally, with universities, government, and industry.

Dr Katie Hillyer

  • Graduate stories
I have loved the diversity of working at CSIRO. There are so many opportunities for collaboration across science, both within CSIRO and externally, with universities, government, and industry.

Dr Katie Hillyer

  • Graduate stories
I have loved the diversity of working at CSIRO. There are so many opportunities for collaboration across science, both within CSIRO and externally, with universities, government, and industry.

Dr Katie Hillyer

  • Graduate stories
I have loved the diversity of working at CSIRO. There are so many opportunities for collaboration across science, both within CSIRO and externally, with universities, government, and industry.

Dr Katie Hillyer

A Day In The Life Of


  • Day in the life

Matthew McNally

Matthew McNally studied ​a Bachelor of Computer Science (Honours) ​at RMIT University and is now a Graduate Software Engineer at CSIRO.
  • Day in the life

Matthew McNally

Matthew McNally studied ​a Bachelor of Computer Science (Honours) ​at RMIT University and is now a Graduate Software Engineer at CSIRO.
  • Day in the life

Matthew McNally

Matthew McNally studied ​a Bachelor of Computer Science (Honours) ​at RMIT University and is now a Graduate Software Engineer at CSIRO.
  • Day in the life

Matthew McNally

Matthew McNally studied ​a Bachelor of Computer Science (Honours) ​at RMIT University and is now a Graduate Software Engineer at CSIRO.

Videos


Impossible without you

Join Team CSIRO and help make the impossible possible

Join the team shaping our future

It takes creativity to ask the interesting questions and it takes innovation, science and technology to answer them. CSIRO is where creativity meets innovation, developing solutions to make a difference to you, our economy and the planet. Join the team shaping our future and change the world.

Impossible without you

Join Team CSIRO and help make the impossible possible

Join the team shaping our future

It takes creativity to ask the interesting questions and it takes innovation, science and technology to answer them. CSIRO is where creativity meets innovation, developing solutions to make a difference to you, our economy and the planet. Join the team shaping our future and change the world.