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.

2020 virtual work experience program

In 2020, the virtual work experience program will support students undertake work experience despite COVID-19 interruptions and provide 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.

How to apply

If your child is interested in applying for virtual work experience, please read the Fine Print document and then proceed to the apply now button.

Opportunities and scheduling

The virtual work experience opportunities that are currently on offer are listed below. All opportunities are for 2020 and occur between 9am to 3pm in the designated time zone.

virtual work experience opportunities
Code Opportunity name Start date Duration (days) Time zone
MB01 Software development and workflows 27/07/2020 5 AEST
CG01 Mathematics, physics and computational science 10/08/2020 3 AEST
SI01 Geology and geochemistry of mineral deposits using python and ArcGIS 7/09/2020 5 AWST
HA01 Energy economics and data analysis 5/10/2020 5 AEDT

Please review this list of opportunities above and note the code of the opportunity in which your child would like to express interest. Work experience can only be completed on the time /date designated in the list above and will be completed in groups of up to five students.

The Work Experience team at CSIRO will use the details you provide to match students and supervisors according to STEM area interests and date and time zone availability. CSIRO cannot guarantee participation for all students wishing to be involved. Priority will be given to students from regional and remote locations and to students in the same time zone as the supervisor.

Apply now


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.

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.

Contact us

Your contact details

First name must be filled in

We'll need to know what you want to contact us about so we can give you an answer.