You are here


Applications for the 2023 NAVIGATE Program are now closed.

Defence has committed to the NAVIGATE Program to improve our access to high calibre mid-career researchers, bolstering female representation at the mid-to-senior levels of the organisation and increasing diversity to allow greater innovation to solve the future challenges for Defence. The NAVIGATE Program offers a unique opportunity for high performing STEM professionals from a range of disciplines and backgrounds.


What is the NAVIGATE Program?

A key aim of NAVIGATE is to increase female representation, particularly at more senior levels. The NAVIGATE pilot (2022) was launched with pre-determined gender targets of 40 per cent female, 40 per cent male and 20 per cent any gender. 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 pilot program in 2022.

The continuation of the NAVIGATE Program with a new determined participation target of 50 per cent women was announced in June 2023. NAVIGATE 2.0 (2024) received a staggering 913 applications with over 300 candidates invited for further assessment. Up to 39 (53% female) NAVIGATE 2.0 Participants will commence on the program on 1 May 2024.

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 duration of the 12-month program, participants undertake two six-month placements in different science and technology areas within the Defence STEM ecosystem and are provided with the opportunity to contribute to high priority areas for Defence. Participants are provided with training and leadership development opportunities, mentoring and coaching to support their career development. At the conclusion of the 12-month program, NAVIGATE Participants are offered an ongoing role within DSTG or wider Defence aligned to their skillset, interests and Defence priorities.

The NAVIGATE program ensures we are enabling the best talent from across our community to realise their full potential in the service of our nation.


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.


NAVIGATE Rotations

Throughout rotations, participants will be provided with opportunities to contribute to high priority areas for Defence through two 6-month rotations. Participants will gain exposure to different areas where they can develop an appreciation of the organisation as a whole which will benefit them as their career progresses.

The two 6-month rotations aim to:

  • Provide all participants with exposure to the breadth of STEM careers in DSTG and Defence.
  • Provide practical workplace experience to be applied in the wider STEM ecosystem.
  • Provide participants with the opportunity to contribute their knowledge and expertise to a high priority body of work.
  • Provide participants with an engaging and supported opportunity to contribute to Defence.

The NAVIGATE Program allocates participants to rotations based on organisational priorities, available opportunities, educational background, experience, career aspirations, location and developmental needs.

The first rotation will see participants that are new to Defence placed in a position within Defence Science and Technology Group. This will provide them with the opportunity to get to know and contribute to Defence’s dedicated science and technology group.

Current Defence employees will be provided with an opportunity to broaden their knowledge of Defence’s Science and Technology work through a placement in the broader STEM ecosystem that can benefit from their STEM knowledge and expertise.

The second rotation seeks to align the participant’s career aspirations and development goals with Defence’s organisational priorities. NAVIGATE will work with participants to support their placement in a suitably aligned area with consideration to Defence’s organisational priorities.

At the conclusion of the program, the participants will be offered positions within DSTG and the wider Defence where their knowledge and experience can be best utilised.

Participants will undertake their first external rotation from Monday 6 May to Friday 8 November 2024.


Further Information

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