Research and innovation pathway

Graduates can bring their unique skills and experiences to make their mark in a world of opportunity at Defence. The Research and Innovation Pathway roles experience excellence in science and technology.

If a soldier wears it, uses it, eats it or thinks it, then someone in Defence came up with the science behind it.

Applicants for the Research and Innovation Pathway must have obtained a Bachelor's degree with Honours within the last 2 years before starting the program.


The Research and Innovation Pathway is for Honours graduates with a research focus in:

  • cyber
  • computer sciences
  • data science
  • engineering
  • information and communication technologies
  • mathematics
  • nuclear science
  • science
  • technology.


All successful candidates start the Graduate Program on a salary of $73,343 plus 15.4% superannuation (increasing to $76,277 upon the Fair Work Commission approval of the Defence Enterprise Collective Agreement – 2024).

Graduates advance to a higher salary after successfully completing the Program. The amount depends on which training pathway completed.

Defence is committed to enabling an enjoyable work-life balance through:

  • generous remuneration package
  • conditions of service
  • flexible work arrangements
  • leave benefits.


Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.


12 months – 1 x 8-month rotation and 1 x 4-month rotation.


Applicants to the Research and innovation pathway need to nominate one of these areas of interest:

  • aerospace / aeronautical engineering, naval architecture
  • chemical, radiological, biological, physical food sciences
  • computer sciences, cyber security, IT, software engineering, telecommunications
  • electronic / electrical engineering
  • materials science
  • mathematics and physics
  • mechanical and mechatronic engineering, including robotics
  • nuclear science
  • psychology and social sciences.