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Applications for the 2023 NAVIGATE Program have now closed.

What is the NAVIGATE Program?

In 2022, a bold action initiative launched a pilot program to a strong reception from applicants and the public and private sector STEM community called NAVIGATE. The primary aim of NAVIGATE was to bolster Defence’s mid-career workforce capability, broaden the diversity of our workforce, and support participants with the information, knowledge, and know-how to succeed as a STEM leader within Defence.

Over 800 applicants competed for the opportunity to contribute to the defence of Australia’s national interests, and the promotion of security and stability, through the application of science, technology, and research leadership. A successful cohort of 69 participants commenced on the program in two cohorts. The first cohort started in May and the other in August 2022.

The NAVIGATE Program gives participants the opportunity to work with our partners in industry and academia, both in Australia and around the world. Participants will contribute to the delivery of scientific advice and innovative technology solutions to provide our Defence force with a capability edge. Over the course of the program, participants are provided with a tailored training and development program, mentoring, and the opportunity to work with Australia’s brightest and most innovative scientists, engineers and IT specialists.

Over 12 months, participants will learn about, and contribute to, the complex but very rewarding field of Defence science and technology. Throughout the NAVIGATE Program, participants will undertake two six-month placements in different technology areas within the Defence STEM ecosystem.

At the end of the program, Defence will work with participants to identify the best opportunities to apply their skills and experience where they can contribute to Defence priorities, while aligning with capabilities present in each site across Australia. (DSTG Divisions)


The NAVIGATE Program aims to:

  • Improve Defence’s access to high calibre mid-career researchers and technologists by providing a new pathway into Defence.
  • Bolster female representation at the mid-to-senior levels of the organisation with a pre-determined gender target of 50% female.
  • Provide opportunities for high-performing Defence STEM specialists with a supported opportunity to broaden their leadership exposure and contribution.
  • Enable STEM professionals from the broader S&T ecosystem to transition into the complex area of Defence Innovation, Science and Technology.
  • Enable career mobility for STEM Professionals within Defence.
  • Increase diversity to allow greater innovation to solve the future challenges for Defence.
  • Create a cohort with a deeper understanding of both Defence and external partner context.


Further Information

If you have any questions about the program or would like further information, please contact