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Defence Graduate Program: Research and Innovation Stream

DSTG is recruiting Australia's brightest STEM graduates!

What is the Research and Innovation Program?

The Defence Graduate Program: Research and Innovation (R&I) stream is the key pathway to kickstart your career as a recent graduate working with Defence Science and Technology Group. This 12-month program will give you a chance to see how we work, learn on the job skills, and be placed into an ongoing role with DSTG upon program completion.

The R&I program consists of two-rotations (8 & 4 months) across major science and technology capability areas within DSTG or more broadly across the Defence ecosystem. The program provides the opportunity to apply the knowledge you've learnt through your University studies to real-life, cutting-edge Defence research programs. 


Applications are now closed.

During the first 8-month rotation, you'll hit the ground running and start work on a STEM project that improves Australia’s capability in one of DSTG’s research divisions. Past projects have been as diverse as the development of drone capabilities, workforce planning, and corrosion. These rotations are assigned based on where your unique skills will be most relevant. 

Rotation two occurs across 4 months and provides the chance to broaden your skills and engage with wider Defence. This will set you up for future mobility and collaborations as your career grows. Following this rotation, you'll be expected to return to your first rotation group where you'll take up an ongoing role.  

Relevant Academic Disciplines

DSTG has graduate opportunities available in the following discipline areas:

  • Hypersonics
  • Missile Defence
  • Autonomous Systems
  • Information Warfare
  • Aerospace/Aeronautical Engineering
  • Air Combat
  • High Performance Computing
  • Cyber (Defence & Offence)
  • Quantum
  • Automated Intelligence
  • Mathematics and Physics


To be eligible to join DSTG in the Defence Graduate Program: Research and Innovation Pathway, applicants must have obtained a minimum of a Bachelor with Honours Degree within the last two years before program commencement. For those applying in 2024, to start in February 2025, the qualification must have been completed in 2023 or by the end of 2024. 

In addition, all participants in the Defence Graduate Program with DSTG are required to obtain and maintain a Negative Vetting Level 1 Security Clearance. More details about this process can be found at the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency. This will be arranged after formal offers have been made. This also means that applications are only open to current Australian Citizens.


During the Graduate Program, successful candidates are paid a Graduate APS4 salary of $73,343 per year plus 15.4% superannuation (increasing to $76,277 upon the Fair Work Commission approval of the Defence Enterprise Collective Agreement – 2024). Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will advance to a higher salary determined by the location of their ongoing role.  

To apply

Applications are now closed.


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Key information

Defence Graduate Program applications are now closed

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