STEM Cadetship

A civilian STEM career in Defence offers you unparalleled exposure to technical and scientific expertise, diverse learning opportunities and unique development experiences. You will have access to cutting edge technology and you will experience an inclusive, stimulating and dynamic environment that fosters innovation, creativity and problem solving. Watch now to find out how you can work across a variety of internationally significant Defence projects and immerse yourself in new and exciting challenges! Discover your potential at Defence.

As a STEM Cadet, you will receive:

  • Ongoing (part-time) APS employment with the Department of Defence;
  • A minimum of 60 paid work placement days per Cadetship Year.  A Cadetship year is defined as the 12 month period following commencement on the Cadetship Program;
  • A minimum annual salary of $52,652 pro rata plus 15.4% superannuation.  Based on the completion of 60 work placement days, this equates to a minimum salary of $12,150 per annum;
  • Reimbursement of compulsory university fees (i.e. course fees) for your STEM degree, upon successful completion of the relevant STEM units each semester;
  • Reimbursement for the cost of books/resources required for your STEM degree up to a maximum of $1,000 (GST Inclusive) per year;
  • A $3,000 bursary payment per year; and
  • Progression to a full-time ongoing APS level 4 (or Science and Technology Level 3) on upon successful completion of the program


As a STEM Cadet, you will be employed as an Australian Public Service (APS) employee where you will be provided with real-world, practical and high-quality work in the Department of Defence.

During the STEM Cadetship, you will be able to apply your discipline, academic knowledge and skills to contribute to Defence’s current projects. Similarly, you will be able to apply the practical skills and knowledge that you learn from Defence back into your studies.

Explore the opportunities below to find out how your university discipline can lead to a rewarding, challenging and meaningful career in Defence. The STEM Cadetship will provide you with excellent learning and career development opportunities to propel you into your future career with confidence.


A science career in Defence offers you unparalleled exposure to innovative scientific expertise, diverse learning opportunities and unique development experiences. During the STEM cadetship you will have access to leading edge technology and you will experience a stimulating and dynamic environment that fosters innovation and creativity. As a STEM Cadet, you will work across a spectrum of Defence projects that will offer exposure to new and exciting challenges including:

  • Cadets with a nuclear science, high performance computational physics, computational modelling degrees with apply their skills in support of Australia’s new nuclear-powered submarines;
  • Supporting national intelligence priorities and Defence’s military operations regionally and beyond;
  • Biology, Chemistry, Radiological or related degrees will see you work in world-class laboratories, contribute to research that informs, safeguards and mitigates risks posed by chemical, biological, and radiological threats and weapons of mass destruction;
  • Cadets with a computer science background can apply their degree and contribute to research areas including cyber security, communications and networks research, machine learning and data mining, artificial intelligence, big data analysis, cryptology, advanced robotics, natural language processing, autonomous systems, electronic warfare and reconnaissance systems;
  • Human, Social and Health Sciences is all about people. Apply your psychology degree to enhance the selection and training of Australia’s warfighters; research human / machine interactions and Human Factors to improve capability functionality;
  • As a material scientist, you could test ballistic armour for the Australian Army’s armoured personnel carriers to ensure the safety of Australian Defence Force Soldiers;
  • Help develop technologies to support Australian ships to hunt submarines, resupply and fuel other ships, undertake off-shore patrol, launch aircraft such as helicopters, and conduct self defence against air and sea threats;
  • Develop, research and procure space and satellite communication systems;
  • Using your food science degree, you will conduct quality assurance of combat ration foods, develop novel techniques in stabilisation of probiotics and vitamins, and develop prototype food products to ensure that the ADF personnel’s nutritional health is looked after during training and deployment;
  • Conduct research and create knowledge in areas such as submarines, Joint Strike Fighter, hypersonics, land vehicles, space systems, radar systems, autonomous vehicles and integrated technology; and
  • Using your sociology degree, identify and analyse current and potential conflicts and emerging contingencies.

Eligible degree disciplines:

Biological / Chemical / Computer / Food / Material / Nuclear / Physics / Psychology / Radiological / Spatial Science / Data Science  


As a STEM Cadet you will have the opportunity to work with cutting-edge technologies on challenging projects that will shape future Defence capabilities. You will work with specialised systems created to support our national intelligence capability, protect Australian information systems, and provide imminent support to our military operations.

As a member of the Australian Public Service, you will be working as part of a team to research, design, and build advanced technologies. You will have the opportunity to work on:

  • Testing airborne cameras for monitoring systems;
  • Cyber security, satellite communications and digital forensics to ensure the situational awareness between Navy, Army and Air Force platforms are secure;
  • Software design and support to develop and research electronic warfare, reconnaissance, surveillance, electronic warfare, combat and life support systems;
  • Space and satellite communication systems;
  • Cyber incident response, network design and programming;
  • Network and system engineering;
  • Malware analysis and penetration testing;
  • Analysing and reporting on weapon systems and defence technologies that may pose threats to Australian forces;
  • Military test and evaluation activities, including vehicle and weapon trials; and
  • Use photo imagery and high speed video to capture and record the impact of armament and other military technologies on land vehicles and inform Defence’s technical teams on the performance of the vehicle’s survivability.

Eligible degree disciplines:

Computer Systems / Computing and Cyber Security / Imaging / Information technology / Photography.


As a STEM Cadet, you will support Australian Defence Force operations, advise the Government on Defence acquisitions, apply technologies to sustain current capabilities, and undertake cutting edge research to safeguard Australia against future Defence and national security challenges.

From fighter aircraft, Navy ships and soldier systems, to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance technologies, you will undoubtedly find a career in Defence that gives you exposure to innovative technical expertise, diverse learning opportunities and unique development experiences.

You will have the opportunity to work across a wide spectrum of projects around Australia, such as:

  • Supporting unprecedented multi-billion dollar projects in the Maritime sphere within Defence and have the unique opportunity to be a part of this significant contribution to Australian Navy capability;
  • Supporting major acquisition projects worth billions of dollars, such as the Joint Strike Fighter, soldier combat vehicles and protection systems, electronic warfare, communications and surveillance systems and guided weapons;
  • Work on Air Force capability including aircraft design, testing and combat systems on projects such as F-35A Joint Strike Fighter, P-8 Poseidon, EA-18G Growler electronic warfare technologies and MQ-4 Triton reconnaissance and surveillance systems;
  • Developing, building and maintaining a spectrum of technologies from simple electronics to supercomputers, and from small scripts to complex systems;
  • Performing and managing systems engineering focused activities, including planning, facilitating and assuring confidence in the delivery of engineering outcomes for Defence;
  • Supporting Australian Defence Force personnel deployed on operations around the world, by identifying vulnerabilities and potential countermeasures to mitigate risks;
  • Translating Defence’s needs into operational capability in partnership with industry;
  • Testing and evaluating weapon, communication, navigation, surveillance, life support and combat systems and platforms.
  • As a Civil or Structural Cadet, you will be involved in the development of wide range of facilities from standard commercial type facilities such office buildings and sleeping accommodation through to complex Defence specific facilities such as wind tunnels, live fire ranges and underwater escape trainers.
  • Working with specialised Defence industry partners to deliver and maintain capability outcomes to our Defence domains. This includes definition, development and control of requirements, overview and assurance of design, manufacturing, maintenance and modification of a product; and
  • Think ships, submarines, Joint Strike Fighter, hypersonics, land vehicles, space systems, radar systems, autonomous vehicles and all the integrated technology and you will only begin to imagine the endless research engineering opportunities in Defence. As a research engineer, you will use your degree to conduct research and create knowledge, continuously pushing the boundaries to ensure that Australia’s Defence Capabilities are at the forefront.

Eligible degree disciplines:

Aeronautical Engineering / Aerospace / Avionics Engineering / Chemical Engineering (including majors in Armament) / Civil / Communications / Construction / Electrical / Electronic Engineering / Marine Engineering / Maritime Engineering / Mechanical Engineering / Mechatronic Engineering (including Robotics) / Naval Architecture / Nuclear / Radiological / Software Engineering / Space Engineering / Space Systems / Structural Engineering / Systems Engineering / Telecommunications Engineering.


Are you seeking a career that offers unparalleled exposure to innovative mathematical expertise, diverse learning opportunities and unique development experiences? As a STEM Cadet, you will have the opportunity to work across a spectrum of career opportunities around Australia that will offer constant exposure to new and exciting challenges. You will have the opportunity to work on:

  • Supporting national intelligence priorities of Government and Defence’s military operations regionally and beyond;
  • Exploring traditional cyber security roles spanning from cryptography, coding, software production, computer science and big data analysis;
  • Analysing threat and weapons systems;
  • Developing, testing and researching sonar technologies and acoustic signatures research for current future Navy ships and submarines;
  • Analysing data, models and solutions to enhance the Australian Defence Force’s decision making;
  • Analysing communications systems, solving cryptological problems, and connecting intelligence from multiple sources including reconnaissance and surveillance platforms; and
  • Conducting complex modelling and simulation activities, including signature predictions.

Eligible degree disciplines:

Mathematics / Numerical Modelling / Data Science


The STEM Cadetship offers positions in the following locations:

Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth (Rockingham) and Sydney.


The STEM Cadetship Program is open to Australian undergraduate university students who have:

  1. Have Australian citizenship;

  2. At the time of application, have completed 12 months of full time relevant STEM tertiary study;

  3. Have a credit average (GPA ≥ 5 on a seven point scale);

  4. Will complete their tertiary studies (including Honours / Masters) between the end of Semester Two 2022 and the end of Semester Two 2024;

  5. Are currently enrolled in a relevant STEM undergraduate (with Honours / Masters Postgraduate) degree, or are eligible and agree to undertake an Honours / Masters degree as part of the STEM Cadetship if required; and

  6. Have 12 months full-time tertiary study (equivalent to 8 units per year) remaining at the time of the Cadetship Program commencement.

For further inquiries, please contact