Are you the parent of a Year 10 or 11 high school student? Your child can gain first-hand experience of CSIRO’s research in science or engineering by participating in our 2020 Virtual Work Experience Program.

Virtual work experience program

The virtual work experience program supports students to undertake work experience despite COVID-19 interruptions and provides access to work experience opportunities for students who may face geographic or other barriers to participating in traditional work experience. It also allows students the opportunity to experience contemporary ways of working, from homes, and with people across geographic boundaries, just as CSIRO scientists do every day.

Virtual work experience allows students to undertake collaborative, group science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) projects, including projects linked to real-world CSIRO research and industry challenges. Instead of students attending a CSIRO site, experienced CSIRO staff or STEM industry professionals will supervise groups of students remotely using a secure online platform. The groups will comprise up to five students who may be remote from each other and who will work together to compete work and tasks that can be used as part of portfolios and help inform their study and/or career plans.


To be eligible to do virtual work experience with CSIRO, students must be:

  • in year 10 or 11, and aged 15-17 years for the duration of the work experience
  • enrolled in a school in Australia
  • able to commit to the designated days between July and December 2020
  • be supported by a teacher, parent or other approved adult in their physical location throughout their work experience project.

2021 opportunities

This page will be updated in April regarding opportunities for virtual work experience in 2021.



Student and researcher working together virtually

Where will students undertake the program?

Students will participate in work experience projects using an online collaboration platform and video conference facility while in their schools, homes or a supported community venue, such as a library. Students must be supported by a teacher, parent or other approved adult in their physical location.

When will the program take place?

Virtual work experience takes place over a designated period (three, four or five days) during school terms or school holidays, between July and December 2020. A list of available projects and dates is available above. Work experience normally takes place between 9 AM and 3 PM in the supervisor’s time zone and can only be completed at the time designated in the projects list. Students are required to be fully engaged in the work experience activities during those times and days.

How are students kept safe?

The online collaboration platform and video conference facility we use is especially designed to ensure only approved people can join online workspaces. Students have access to their supervisor and to support staff, all of who have had screening interviews, hold a current Working with Children Check for their state or territory, and have a recent National Police Clearance.

Is there a cost to students?

Participation is free of charge to all students and there will be no payment made to students to participate. Students may receive a certificate following successful completion of the virtual work experience.

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