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We actively promote ongoing training and other development opportunities to our people. Through these initiatives, we aim to enhance job satisfaction and performance, and assist in the preparation for new roles or changes in career direction.

Continuous learning

Our aspiration to be Australia's innovation catalyst drives a need to learn from everything we do and to incorporate new learning into every endeavour. Our approach to employee development follows the 70:20:10 model, whereby learning occurs every day and not solely at formal training events. We offer a broad range of learning and development opportunities across CSIRO including face-to-face and blended programs, self-directed learning resources, and on-the-job development. Supplementing formal development opportunities are initiatives such as coaching and mentoring, and the potential to attend or present at conferences.

Working with purpose

We support each team member to gain clarity and feel empowered to do the extraordinary every day. Our team members are energised and engaged through ongoing conversations with their manager around alignment and contribution to strategy, performance and satisfaction. These conversations promote open communication and honest feedback, setting and assessing objectives, and supporting the development of knowledge and skills needed to achieve each staff member’s desired outcomes.

To assist staff in achieving their full potential, all employees complete an Annual Performance Agreement (APA) with their manager.

We provide all members of staff the opportunity to participate in at least five development days each year. This learning can be accessed through work experience, networking, coaching, mentoring, or through participation in formal programs.

Leadership and learning

Our success depends on the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours of our people. Continual learning at the individual, team and organisational level is strongly encouraged and actively supported by our leaders, and is a critical factor in maintaining our scientific and technical excellence.

Managers work closely with their team members to identify opportunities which will enhance their skills and help maintain an awareness of current developments and issues in their respective fields. This is achieved through on-the-job training, course participation and representation of CSIRO at national and international conferences.

Career development

Our career development programs provide opportunities for structured feedback in relation to role, performance and career. We understand that our ability to innovate and create value rests on the talent within our organisation. So we’ll give you the tools, support and know-how to develop in the direction that most interests you. Our managers are acknowledged for supporting people to develop their skills and abilities.

Career management portfolio (CMP)

The development of a personal CMP provides staff with the means to actively plan and manage the progression of their own career. The CMP offers information and practical assistance via the use of on-line tools, personal development strategies and discussion planners to assist in the development of a successful career plan.

It is supported by the broad range of learning and development opportunities offered across CSIRO.


Our research community recognises the value of mentoring as an effective way to learn, network and share information. Our organisation encourages both formal and informal mentoring schemes in an effort to satisfy our key collaboration goals.

National orientation program

Our new starters are required to participate in a national orientation program which introduces them to the world of CSIRO from a broad perspective. Participants gain valuable insights through meeting and interacting with key managers and staff from various research and support functions across CSIRO.

Study assistance

Many team members undertake additional study while they are with us. Financial assistance with studies may be granted to team members who undertake an educational commitment, as well as the opportunity to access other benefits like study leave. We also offer generous study leave allowances to support you during your study.

Secondment opportunities

Our people also pursue professional development opportunities through internal team secondments and backfill opportunities, as well as with external organisations through our Switch program. Find out more about Switch now.

CSIRO Awards

Established in 1985, the CSIRO Awards recognises the professional achievements of both individuals and teams that are exemplary of our scientific impact, purpose, beliefs, values and strategic direction. Depending on the award, winners receive funding to pursue further career development opportunities both locally and abroad.

Take a look at the past CSIRO Awards winners to find out more.


ON is our national Accelerator program for those researchers who have big ideas to shape Australia's future. ON teaches research teams the skills and know how to get ideas out of the lab and into the world through hands on, challenging and rewarding educational and mentoring sessions. This program is open to any team with at least one researcher and the ideas are only limited by your imagination. Established in 2015, ON is another way that we're prioritising the professional development and empowerment of all Australian researchers.

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