Science and Planning Graduate Program

About the program

Work with us to create a liveable, inclusive, and sustainable Victoria with thriving natural environments.

As a graduate, you will be part of an award-winning program designed to provide you with varied and meaningful development experiences to kick-start your career. You’ll gain a mix of field and policy work, exposure to research, and be involved in community engagement activities.

During the 2-year program you’ll get:

  • varied rotations across Victoria to develop your skills and explore different areas of the business
  • a starting salary of more than $60,000
  • learning and development opportunities tailored to your career goals
  • flexible working arrangements
  • a promotion and pay rise to more than $72,000 at the program’s end
  • mentoring
  • an excellent social and networking base with other graduates.

Read the video transcript

2023 Science and Planning graduate positions

Through this program we recruit graduates of science, natural resource management, agriculture, ecology, conservation, planning, or related fields.

Applications for the 2023 program have closed.

Graduate roles are available all over Victoria with the department. Read the role descriptions and rotation locations for all of the 2023 positions 2023-Science-and-Planning-Graduate-Program-Position-Summary-Publ.06July2022.docx (DOCX 1819.59 KB)DOCX icon.

When applying for the program, you can tell us your role preference.

Previous graduates have worked in a range of areas. Find out about a day in the life of our graduates on the GradAustralia website.


To be eligible for the 2023 Science and Planning graduate program, you must:

  • have completed your undergraduate degree between January 2018 and January 2023
  • be an Australian/New Zealand citizen or an Australian permanent resident
  • not have taken voluntary redundancy from the Victorian public sector in the three years up to the program start date of January 2022.

The department is committed to being a diverse and inclusive workplace that reflects the community we serve and strongly encourages Aboriginal candidates and candidates with disability to apply. Find out more about the department's commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Application process

At the application stage candidates are required to complete an online form providing information about themselves and respond to motivational and behavioural based questions.

Candidates need to attach an up-to-date resume. There is no requirement to include a cover letter.

Capabilities assessed: Motivation to work in the Science and Planning Graduate Program, flexibility and adaptability, integrity and written communication.

If you are shortlisted you will proceed to Stage 2, where you'll be asked to complete an online 20-minute timed assessment on verbal numeric and abstract reasoning (also known as a 'psychometric test'). Candidates who complete the test competitively will be invited to attend an assessment centre.

If you would like some help with preparation for psychometric testing, reach out to your university careers staff.

Capabilities assessed: Critical thinking and problem solving.

If you get a satisfactory result in the psychometric tests, you will be eligible to attend the assessment centre, which is held online. You will work in groups to solve specific scenarios, complete a written report, an individual presentation, and an interview.

We make the environment as comfortable as possible so you can adequately demonstrate your skills.

  • Capabilities assessed at interview: Motivation to work in the Science Graduate Program, integrity, interpersonal skills and teamwork, flexibility and adaptability, verbal communication
  • Capabilities assessed at group activity: Critical thinking and problem solving, innovation and continuous improvement, interpersonal skills, and teamwork
  • Capabilities assessed at written activity: Critical thinking and problem solving, innovation and continuous improvement, written communication


  • Be yourself – we're looking for a range of different skills to fit into our teams. There is no single 'ideal' type!
  • Be honest

The final part of the selection process is the interview. By this stage, there are usually three to four candidates for each graduate position.

At the interview, you'll be able to elaborate on your skills and achievements and tell us about any challenges you've faced and problems you've solved.


  • Take the opportunity to find out who is on the interview panel and what their roles are in the organisation
  • Ask questions and seek any clarification on the job

We will let you know if you’re successful and you’ll receive a formal offer to join the program.

Frequently asked questions

We recruit in different areas each year depending on the organisational need of the department and government policy at that time. Past graduates have held the following roles:

  • Project Officer Climate Risk
  • Natural Resource Management Research and Development Project Officer
  • Animal Health Officer
  • Biosecurity Officer
  • Environmental Scientist

Past graduates have worked the following projects:

  • community capacity building
  • salinity, biodiversity, and land use planning
  • business, innovations, and communications
  • pest plants and animals’ policy
  • regional compliance work
  • pest management and research
  • natural resource planning

At your formal induction in February, you will meet and get to know other graduates and to start working with supervisors to plan your individual work plan and program outcomes.

Each graduate has a coordinating supervisor and a location supervisor, who support and oversee your ongoing development throughout the program. Graduates also receive a 'buddy' to help them – usually a second-year graduate who is working in a similar field.

In addition to project and field work, graduates are encouraged to take courses in public speaking, policy development, project evaluation, group leadership and facilitation, and community engagement.

Science and Planning Graduates also receive a substantial learning and development budget for their use.

As a graduate you may have several moves to different departmental locations over your two-year program. These locations will generally be regionally based within Victoria and may include one metropolitan role, although this depends on your position.

We choose locations that will provide the best opportunities for you to learn, but wherever you go you'll be learning from experts in your field.

No, positions offered by the Graduate Program require a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in the field specified in the position description.

You must have completed your undergraduate degree prior to the commencement date of the Graduate Program.

If your degree is from an international university, it should be certified to meet the Australian equivalent prior to submitting your application.

Overseas qualifications from countries other than Australia or New Zealand need to be assessed for equivalence by DET (Australian Government's Department of Education and Training). The certificate of equivalence (or evidence of undertaking the process) must be provided with your application. For more information visit  International Education - Qualifications Recognition.

You must be an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or a citizen of New Zealand. The graduate program will not sponsor applicants for immigration to Australia.

Applications will be considered provided you have a completed undergraduate degree within the last 5 years, and your tertiary qualification (degree or masters) must be related to a science or planning field.

Science and Planning Graduates will have an ongoing role with the department upon signing their letter of offer.

Graduates are highly sought for their skills, networks, and ability to meet challenges. Toward the end of your two-year program your coordinator and the graduate program management team will meet with you to discuss opportunities after the program.

You are encouraged to apply for advertised positions with us and may be eligible for positions of greater responsibility and challenge.

The department affirms that the collection and handling of applications and personal information will be consistent with the requirements of the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014.

Contact us

For further information about the program please email

Page last updated: 3 January 2023