Data Fellowship Program

This program gives talented Australian Public Service staff an opportunity to develop advanced data skills.

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How the program works

A data fellowship is a 3-month full-time placement. We select high-performing data specialists in the Australian Public Service for up to 10 fellowships.

Data fellows develop solutions for data-related problems or opportunities. They work with the CSIRO’s data-innovation group Data61 or another partner organisation during their placements. 

Projects may include activities such as data analysis, forecasting or developing application programming interfaces (APIs).

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Who can apply

Only Australian Public Service employees within Commonwealth entities can apply for data fellowships at this stage.

They should be interested in building data skills within their agencies. They should also be happy to share their knowledge and expertise with colleagues.

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How to apply

You can apply online.

Applications for the next round of fellowships open 5 August and close 25 August 2019.

In your application, you’ll need to make sure you:

  • have approval from your agency’s Data Champion or a senior executive (SES Band 1 equivalent or above)
  • can start your project within 3 months of the application closing date

You’ll also need to include:

  • the name of your data champion or senior executive
  • the name of your current supervisor
  • your preferred placement start date and location
  • details of your data-related project proposal and technical skillset
  • your up-to-date resume
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How we select participants

We’ll set up a selection committee made up of people from the DTA and Data61 as well as the chair of the Data Champions Network.

The committee will assess the applications using the following selection criteria:

  • scope and quality of the applicant’s data-related problem or opportunity
  • feasibility of finding a solution to the applicant’s problem or opportunity within the 3-month placement
  • skills and experience needed to solve the problem within the 3-month placement
  • how easy it would be to apply the solution on a larger scale
  • how the placement could improve the applicant’s data capabilities and personal development
  • how the applicant could share the skills and capabilities they learn with their home agency
  • benefit to other Australian government agencies
  • benefit to state, territory or local governments

The committee will put together a shortlist of candidates for each round of applications. They’ll then ask those candidates take part in a short interview by webcam or phone.

The purpose of the interview is to assess the candidate’s suitability for the placement and the feasibility of their project.  

Candidates selected for the program will get an email telling them they’ve been successful.  

The DTA and Data61 will talk with successful candidates’ agencies to decide a start date for each placement. The placement will run for about 3 months.

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How much the fellowships cost

There’s no cost to data fellows. Their agencies continue to pay their salaries, superannuation and entitlements.

They also have their travel and accommodation costs reimbursed.

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Where the fellowships take place

Data61 has offices in most big cities in Australia as well as some regional locations. Data fellows are usually placed in the Data61 office closest to where they live and work.

They may also be placed with one of Data61’s partner organisations. We negotiate this after we’ve chosen the data fellows, and Data61 arranges the placements.

We can’t guarantee data fellows will be placed with a partner organisation.

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Get in touch

If you have any questions you can send an email to