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PhD INTERNS POWERING STEM WORKFORCE REPORT

A STEM-literate workforce is key to Australia’s economic productivity. To prepare the highly anticipated second edition of Australia’s STEM Workforce Report – an influential publication for industry, universities and government – Australia’s Office of the Chief Scientist partnered with APR.Intern to access specialist expertise.

Impressed with the calibre of PhD students presented during APR.Intern’s selection process, the Office of the Chief Scientist engaged two PhD psychology students from the Australian National University and the University of Wollongong – Annika Hellsing and Natasha Josifovski – to join its STEM Workforce Report team. Annika and Natasha applied their problem-solving mindsets and research skills to analyse and manage complex Census data; investigating the industries, occupations, earnings, demographics and gender ratio of Australian STEM graduates over time.

Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel AO, supported the PhD internships.

“Natasha and Annika brought important skills to the project, most notably expertise in using and processing data, and well-developed written expression. Their contribution included data analysis, data visualisation, chapter planning and drafting, reporting and liaison with stakeholders. The project was technically challenging and was an opportunity for them to further develop their skills,”

 

Dr Alan Finkel AO, Australia’s Chief Scientist 

“It has been insightful for us to participate in the APR.Intern program and we valued Natasha and Annika’s contribution, ” Dr Finkel added.

For Annika and Natasha, the industry experience provided insight into the real-world application of academic skillsets.

“The STEM Workforce Report was a complex project and I felt the skills I brought from academia were relevant, useful and valued. My time with the Office of the Chief Scientist was a rewarding experience that showed me other career pathways I hadn’t previously considered,” 

 

Annika Hellsing, former PhD Intern at the Office of the Chief Scientist

“The internship prepared me for a professional environment by allowing me to learn how to apply my skills in different contexts, expand my communication, engagement, and networking skills. I believe these skills will place me in a high regard for future employment opportunities,” 

 

Natasha Josifovski, former PhD Intern at the Office of the Chief Scientist

The 2020 Australia’s STEM Workforce Report is available to download here. The first edition is widely cited and used across the Australian Public Service, industry and education stakeholders who are involved in policy development and workforce planning.

These internships were supported by the Australian Government, through the ‘Supporting more women in STEM careers: Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) – National Research Internship Program’.