Australia nationals: Researcher & Senior Researcher (Science, Technology, Environment and Resources (STER))

Australia Department of Parliamentary Services
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

Who we are looking for?

The Department of Parliamentary Services (DPS) is recruiting for Researcher & Senior Researcher vacancies within the Science, Technology, Environment and Resources (STER) section, Research branch, Parliamentary Librarian Division.

The Research Branch is responsible for providing specialist research services to the Parliament. Within the Branch, the STER Section concentrates on the many science-related and environmental issues. The work in the section is diverse and interesting, and involves responding directly to requests for information or briefings from Senators, Members and their staff, as well as writing a range of published products.

Both roles require a professional who must be able to work independently, find information, learn quickly about new and often unfamiliar technical topics, and produce accurate and clearly written briefs for parliamentarians, often within tight deadlines.

Therefore, the ideal person should be:

(1) a dedicated and numerate researcher and analyst, with a scientific background, who can track down relevant information and data with minimal supervision, and analyse the findings to draw reasonable conclusions;

(2) a good writer, who can prepare clear, well-organised and grammatically correct text;

(3) a fast learner with broad scientific knowledge, who can quickly grasp a wide range of new topics; and

(4) a skilled communicator, who can clearly and accurately explain these topics, and the context around them, so that they are understandable to non-specialists.

We operate to the highest standards of customer service, so in addition you should have excellent client service skills and sound judgement. A broad interest in politics and current affairs, and an understanding of the parliamentary environment (or an ability to quickly learn about it) are also very useful. You will need to have good interpersonal skills, and an ability to manage your time and work on several jobs simultaneously.

We have two positions available: one is a Researcher (Parliamentary Services Level 6) and the other a Senior Researcher (Parliamentary Executive Level 1).The essential qualities required for both are the same, but the latter position will work more autonomously, and requires greater judgement, insight, experience and knowledge of political context.

We are particularly looking for someone with knowledge or experience in the science and policy of Australia’s environmental issues, primarily in water, forestry and marine matters; or, secondarily, energy and emissions.

Please note: The positions advertised are at the PSL6 and PEL1 classification levels, and are not broad banded positions. Candidates will be assessed on their skills and experience and successful candidates will be offered a position at the classification level commensurate with their qualifications and experience.

Eligibility and/or Job Specific Requirements

Tertiary and/or postgraduate qualifications in a scientific discipline are essential. Experience in writing, or working with policy or legislation, are desirable.

The successful applicant will be required to obtain and maintain a Baseline Vetting (Protected/Restricted) security clearance.

DPS welcomes applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, mature age people, people from diverse backgrounds and people with disability.

How to apply

We are recruiting for a PSL6 and a PEL1 vacancy. Please indicate what level/s you are applying for in your application.

Please upload a one to two page response describing how your skills, knowledge and experience make you the best person for this job, based on the duties, qualities, and selection criteria outlined below.

Your application is a chance to tell us why you are the right person for the job. We want to know why you want to work at DPS, why you are interested in the role, what you can offer us, and how your skills, knowledge, experience and qualifications are applicable to the role.

If proof of qualifications, licences or certificates are required as part of the application process, please incoporate these documents into your resume or within your applicant response before you submit your application.

Closing Date

Applications must be submitted by 11:30pm AEST, 12 August 2020.


Currently, the salary ranges for this position are:

PSL6 - $84,910 to $95,433

PEL1 - $103,329 to $ 117,977

Duty Statement

Classification:                  Various
Employment Type:          Ongoing  
Local Title:                       Researcher & Senior Researcher

Branch:                       Research
Section:                      Science, Technology, Environment and Resources (STER)
Immediate supervisor:  Various
Security assessment:  Baseline Vetting (Protected/Restricted)

The Parliamentary Librarian is required by the Parliamentary Service Act 1999 to:

“… provide high quality information, analysis and advice to Senators and Members of the House of Representatives in support of their parliamentary and representational roles.”

The Act requires the Parliamentary Librarian to perform this function:

• in a timely, impartial and confidential manner; and

• maintaining the highest standards of scholarship and integrity; and

• on the basis of equality of access for all Senators, Members of the House of Representatives, parliamentary committees and staff acting on behalf of Senators, Members or parliamentary committees; and

• having regard to the independence of Parliament from the Executive Government of the Commonwealth.

Against this background, Researchers and Senior Researchers, under limited direction, undertake duties in accordance with the agreed standards for a Parliamentary Service Level 6 and Parliamentary Executive Level 1. They provide high quality information, research and advisory services to achieve results in line with the organisation’s goals. Duties include, but are not limited to, some or all of the following:

1. Providing high quality professional, specialist and technical research on complex issues (including the identification, retrieval, analysis and synthesis of information from diverse sources) for the benefit of parliamentary clients and internal stakeholders.

2. Maintaining and enlarging knowledge in a variety of subject areas of use to the section, and preparing publications and information resources, as directed, on a range of matters to inform parliamentary clients and other stakeholders, and which maintain the Library’s high standards of scholarship and integrity.

3. Continue to develop competence and expertise, and engage professionally to maintain productive working relationships across the organisation and with clients and other stakeholders.

4. Actively developing effective, collaborative and strategic working relationships across the organisation, with other organisations, and with clients and other stakeholders so as to benefit our service to clients.

PSL6 additional duties:

1. Assisting senior researchers (PEL1) or the Director in the above tasks, when required.

PEL1 additional duties:

1. Provide assistance and support to other officers when required, and contribute to team and organisational activities as directed.

Selection Criteria

1. Ability to perform complex research and analysis

• Conducts high-quality research and analysis, and provides advice on complex issues

• Uses diverse information and database services

• Works quickly while maintaining accuracy
2.  Cultivates productive working relationships

• Develops internal and external relationships to support work objectives

• Facilitates cooperation and works collaboratively

• Values individual differences and diversity

• Works constructively to resolve conflict
 3.  Personal and professional qualities

• Works under limited supervision and manages competing priorities

• Possesses strong client service ethic

• Demonstrates probity and accountability, initiative, resilience and good judgement

• Prepared to develop new areas of expertise, and committed to professional development

4.  Communications skills

• High-level writing skills and the ability to write research and analysis products in various formats and styles

• Able to communicate clearly and appropriately, including listening, understanding and adapting to audience

• Negotiates persuasively

• Tailors responses according to client requirements

5.  Understanding of the parliamentary and political environment

• Knowledge of the context, role and operations of Parliament

• Understands in broad terms the role and function of key Parliamentary bodies and processes

• Deals sensitively, impartially and objectively with controversial issues

PEL1 additional criteria:

1.  Leadership and Accountability

• Take responsibility for the achievements of own and team outcomes, monitor progress and follow through to deliver quality outcomes.

• Assist the Director, when required, in the management of the section, including by acting as Director for short periods

• Consider and effectively manage competing priorities and strategic directions when achieving team planning and project outcomes in line with agency goals and objectives.

Employees of DPS are required to be able, and to be seen to be able, to provide professional advice and services to all Senators and Members without favour or prejudice.

Contact Person

Name:                  Roger
Phone Number:    (02) 6277 2420

Working at Department of Parliamentary Services

DPS recognises and values the contribution that our diverse workforce makes and in return offers great benefits.  These include a competitive salary, onsite free parking and gym facilities, a wide range of professional development opportunities so you can take your career further, and all of this in a friendly and supportive environment.  Conditions of service are in accordance with the DPS Enterprise Agreement (available here).

If you think this role sounds like you and you’d like to work in a friendly, high quality team then DPS welcomes your application.

Conditions of Employment

The Parliamentary Service Act 1999 provides for mobility between the Australian Public Service and the Parliamentary Service.  Employment opportunities in the Parliamentary Service may be subject to a range of conditions of engagement including:

a)  Australian citizenship
b)  criminal history check and security clearances
c)  possession of mandatory qualifications for certain jobs
d)  health clearance, and
e)  probation period of 6 months

Australian Citizenship
Section 22 of the Parliamentary Service Act 1999 requires that employees of the Parliamentary Service are generally required to be Australian citizens. If you are not an Australian citizen, you may still be considered for engagement on the condition that you are able to gain Australian Citizenship within a specified time. Failure to obtain citizenship within the timeframe could lead to termination of engagement.

If you have accepted a redundancy benefit, within the previous twelve months, from a Commonwealth employer (including the Parliamentary Service and the Australian Public Service), you cannot be employed by DPS until your exclusion period (the number of weeks for which you received a redundancy benefit) has expired. If you would like to discuss your eligibility, please contact HR Services on telephone (02) 6277 5200.

Advice to Applicants

Your application is a chance to tell us why you are the right person for the job. We want to know why you want to work at DPS, why you are interested in the role, what you can offer us, and how your skills, knowledge, experience and qualifications are applicable to the role. In a nutshell – why should we hire you?

Try not to duplicate information that can already be found in your resume, but do highlight any specific examples or achievements that will demonstrate your ability to perform the role.

If you are unfamiliar with applying for APS jobs, the Australian Public Service Commission’s fact sheet on applying for jobs may be useful: Applying for an APS Job: Cracking the Code

Some of DPS’s selection criteria are generic and are based on the Australian Public Service Commission’s Integrated Leadership System (ILS). Applicants will be expected to demonstrate how they would apply these skills to the requirements of the job as described. The Australian Public Service Commission’s ILS Leadership Pathway identifies and describes leadership capabilities at all classification levels.