Senior Socio-Technical Futures Analyst

Canberra, Australia
$106,074 - $119,651 (plus Super)
16 May 2022
End of advertisement period
27 May 2022
Academic Discipline
Social Sciences, Sociology
Contract Type
Full Time
  • Executive Level 1 (S&T Level 5)
  • $106,074 - $119,651 (plus Super)
  • Fairbairn - ACT

The Role

We are offering an ongoing position as a Senior Socio-Technical Futures Analyst (S&T Level 5/Executive Level 1) working within a team focused on social cohesion through the lens of interactions between technology and society that, in collaboration with other subject matter experts across the Defence Science & Technology Group (DSTG), other Government agencies, academia and industry, supports the Government’s renewed focus on critical and emerging technologies.

The position holder will be a authoritative source of social-scientific advice within a new, lean and multidisciplinary team, reporting to the Social Cohesion Discipline Leader, and shall work to help define a balanced national interest approach to critical and emerging technologies, noting that advances in technology underpin Australia’s prosperity but also have the potential to harm our national and economic security interests and undermine our democratic values and principles. Alongside others engaged in technology foresight tasks, the team therefore has the role of advising on and weighing national security risks and social cohesion objectives through careful research, analysis, outreach and collaboration. In this context, the position holder will be trusted to, among other things: generate new and broad qualitative knowledge of the social impacts of cutting-edge technologies, platforms and systems of defence and security importance; adaptably and flexibly create new knowledge by aggregating socio-scientific research from a wide variety of sources and developing theoretical applications and opportunities from these sources; provide input to relevant relationships within government and beyond, highlighting how and where social, security and other relevant factors converge and diverge with relation to emerging technologies; contribute to the development of the team’s research objectives and implement appropriate strategies to achieve said objectives; and conceive research problems and undertake original and impactful analysis, solutions and written research outcomes of high quality that are relevant and timely for Defence.

This role is a genuine opportunity for an experienced social-scientific researcher or analyst to collaboratively shape and develop a program of work that will be of medium and long-term social, economic and security benefit to the nation. Our team will also work closely with our counterparts within the five-eyes network and this will provide opportunities to discuss, share and collaborate on an international level.

We also have another role on offer which may be of interest to you. Please click the job title for further information. 

DSTG/01946/22 – APS Level 4/5-6 (S&T Level 3-4) - Socio-Technical Futures Analyst

About our Team

The Social Cohesion team is a part of the Critical Technology Foresight (CTF) Group, within Strategy and Joint Force (SJF) Major Science and Technology Capability (MSTC), which is itself within the Joint and Operations Analysis Division of Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG). DST has set up a new Critical Technology Foresight Science and Technology Capability (STC) which has resulted from the establishment of the whole of government Critical Technology Policy Coordination Office (CTPCO), for which DST is leading the technology foresight function. This team works closely with the existing Defence Impacts of Emerging Technologies STC. Between them, the two teams will provide technology foresight support to Defence, National Security agencies and advice on potential critical technologies for whole of government.

Our Ideal Candidate

We are seeking an Australian citizen with a genuine passion for understanding security and emerging technologies from a socio-technical perspective, someone who is genuinely curious about understanding the social drivers and impacts of emerging technologies and their relevance to the security of the nation. In this sense, you will likely have a core grounding in the social rather technical sciences, be it a humanities, social-scientific or cognate discipline, coupled with a considerable knowledge of the social impacts of emerging military and/or security technologies.

As a recognised authority in the application of social science techniques, you will ideally have a PhD or a lesser degree and equivalent experience in a similar role focused on the social impacts of technology and will be looking to build or further your career. You will want to apply your robust qualitative skills and understanding of the social implications of technology to tangible questions and practical challenges posed by our internal Defence and government clients. You may be responsible for compiling and maintaining literature, gathering and interpreting social-scientific information from a variety of sources, manipulating and analysing qualitative data, limited socially-focused science and technology forecasting, and other activities that validate directions pursued according to Defence requirements and otherwise meets or enhances Defence capability and outcomes. Your strong communication skills will enable you to present your findings to stakeholders, including technically focused persons, policy makers and leaders through a variety of means, including original and impactful research papers, briefings and oral presentations, which you should be capable of preparing with limited guidance. The role requires individuals to work across a variety of different sectors and technologies and be able to adapt their knowledge to the wide variety of Defence-related issues we tackle, often managing multiple deliverables at any given time. Previous research or consulting experience demonstrated by academic publications and/or reports on the socio-technics of defence technology commensurate with said experience, or similar experience/outputs derived from other government agencies, is expected.

While no substantive research leadership role is envisaged at this level, the ideal candidate will be capable of providing occasional and limited assistance to the Social Cohesion Discipline Leader in science and technology management and leadership. S/he will appreciate Defence’s views and have an ability to manage staff by matching their skills and attributes so that they achieve task outcomes.

Please note that the while this position is categorised at S&T Level 5, which is considered broadly equivalent to Executive Level 1, there are two roles being concurrently advertised that are similar in focus but offered at different seniority levels, so applicants are encouraged to consult the relevant Work Level Standards, determine their suitability and tailor their responses accordingly.

Application Closing Date: Friday 27 May 2022

For further information please review the job information pack, reference DSTG/01944/22 on