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CSIRO will offer a virtual work experience program in 2023. This will support students to undertake work experience remotely, providing opportunities for those who may face geographic or other barriers to participating in traditional work experience.

VWEP allows you the opportunity to experience contemporary ways of working, from homes, and with people across geographic boundaries, just how CSIRO scientists work every day.

Students undertake collaborative, group science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) projects, including projects linked to real-world CSIRO research and industry challenges. Instead of attending a CSIRO site, experienced CSIRO staff or STEM industry professionals will supervise groups of students remotely using a secure online platform. The groups comprise up to ten year 10 and 11 students who may be remote from each other and who will work together to complete work and tasks that can be used as part of portfolios and help inform their study and/or career plans.

Why does CSIRO offer work experience virtually?

Each year CSIRO receives significantly more applications for work experience than there are places available. In addition to this, many students are unable to participate in their specific area of interest or undertake meaningful work experience due to accessibility issues, or the cost and distance of travel.

Virtual work experience allows students to:

  • experience increased choice of work experience by removing travel and geographic constraints, or cost barriers
  • develop STEM skills as well as General Capabilities skills such as teamwork, communication, negotiation and resilience[1]
  • be exposed to a broader range of real-world work situations, including introducing contemporary working arrangements such as working-from-home and telecommuting.

Who can participate?

Students from remote, rural, regional and metropolitan areas can participate in 2023. Students must be in either Year 10 or 11 and enrolled in a school in Australia.

Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate every student who expresses interest as places in the program depend upon the availability of suitable supervisors at certain dates or on certain STEM projects.

What will students do?

You will undertake collaborative, group STEM projects linked to real world CSIRO research and industry challenges. You will be invited to preference a group STEM project in an area of interest to you from the list of available projects.

Where will students undertake the program?

You will participate in work experience projects using an online communication and collaboration platform while in your school, home or a supported community venue, such as a library. You must be supported by a teacher, parent or an approved adult in their physical location.

When will the program take place?

Virtual work experience takes place over a working week during school terms or school holidays, between March and December 2023.

How are students kept safe?

The online communication and collaboration solution we use is especially designed to ensure only approved people can join online collaborative workspaces. You will have access to your supervisor and to support staff, who have had screening interviews, hold a valid Working with Children Check for their state or territory.

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. You may receive a certificate following successful completion of the virtual work experience.

How will students' personal data be protected?

All information provided by students, parents and guardians, and schools will be treated confidentially. Some personal data will be collected for the project, including students' names, school year, home address, date of birth, school and/or personal email addresses, school name and address, and phone numbers. This personal information will only be used to contact the students and to facilitate the student's participation in the program.

Personal data will be stored on secure CSIRO servers in Australia and in locked cabinets on secure premises (if in hard copy). Where third parties are provided with personal data (e.g. a third-party IT vendor), they will be required to provide a similarly safe environment.

Any personal data collected will be retained until the end of the program, upon which time the personal information will be treated in accordance with the Commonwealth Archives Act (1983).

CSIRO will treat all personal information collected as part of your application in accordance with CSIRO's general privacy statement ( Please contact if you:

  • would like access to any of your personal information we have collected in the application process
  • would like to withdraw your consent at any time to use the information as described above or
  • believe that any information is inaccurate, incomplete or out of date.

Can students opt out?

Participation in this program is completely voluntary and you may withdraw at any time by emailing


If you would like more information regarding virtual work experience, please contact

Download a copy of the Fine Print document:


  1. These are the types of skills developed under the Australian Curriculum's General Capabilities: Information and Communication Technology Capability, Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability, Ethical Understanding, and Intercultural Understanding.

Apply for Virtual Work Experience

Virtual work experience allows you to undertake collaborative, group science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) projects, including projects linked to real-world CSIRO research and industry challenges. Instead of attending a CSIRO site, experienced CSIRO staff will supervise groups of students remotely using a secure online platform.

Apply now

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