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Summer Research Scholars Program

Blueprint Institute, a new Australian think tank, is looking for current university students, recent graduates or professionals to join our Summer Research Scholars Program, which will run from late November 2020 to February 2021. 

Successful applicants will work in one of Blueprint Institute’s research streams: Energy & Environment; Australia & the World; Society, Democracy & Politics; or Economics. 

You can find more information on Blueprint Institute by browsing our website: blueprintinstitute.org.au.  

The Research Scholars Program

Blueprint is a fast-paced, dynamic and welcoming environment. Summer Research Scholars will contribute to original, cutting-edge policy research that advances public debate. The small and agile nature of our team means that interns will work directly alongside senior leadership at the Institute, including our CEO and Chief Economist.

Successful applicants will have: 

  • An interest and grounding in Australian public policy and one of our research streams;
  • Strong research experience, as demonstrated by university research projects and/or extracurricular involvement; 
  • Completed at least one year of university education (particularly in the social sciences, law, statistics, economics/finance, or data science); and
  • A strong sense of initiative and creativity.

We encourage all applicants to apply—as a new think tank, we value curiosity, integrity, and diligence over formal qualifications or ‘signalled’ experience. If you are excited about improving public policy and Australian society but have an unconventional work experience or educational background, please do get in touch. 

Applicants from across Australia, including regional areas, are strongly encouraged to apply. Due to COVID-19, it is likely that this internship will take place online but Blueprint Institute is based in Sydney and office-based work may be possible. 

Internships will take place over 8-10 weeks from late November to February, with two weeks off over Christmas and the New Year. Candidates who can work between three and five days a week are encouraged to apply. We are flexible on the exact dates of the internship and are happy to consider flexible working hours; these arrangements can be finalised with successful candidates. Successful candidates will be paid for the time that they work at Blueprint Institute.

Applications close at 11:59pm on October 28, 2020. Shortlisted applicants will be contacted for a virtual interview to take place in first two weeks of November.   

How to apply

Please send applications to admin@blueprintinstitute.org.au with the subject line ‘Summer Research Scholar Program: YOUR NAME’. 

Applications should include the following (in PDF format).

  • A two page CV. 
  • An unofficial academic transcript. 
  • A one page cover letter that answers the following:
    • Why are you applying for Blueprint’s Summer Research Scholars Program?
    • What would you bring to Blueprint Institute?
    • What would you hope to get out of this experience?
  • A writing task (details below).
  • Contact details of two recent referees.

Writing task

Please choose one of the six questions below and complete a writing sample of 700-900 words. This should be written in prose suitable for a newspaper opinion piece in The Australian Financial Review or The Australian. Please include references (hyperlinks are fine). You can refer to our recent Blueprint reports for guidance on appropriate writing style.

It is not important which question you choose to write about. We want to see how you think and test your capacity to write persuasively. We encourage applicants to take time to present a compelling case—please feel free to use the questions as ‘guidance’ rather than prescriptive models. Successful applicants will not necessarily undertake work in the area that they choose to write about; you should choose the topic that best demonstrates your writing ability.

Questions:

  1. What were the key differences in the way governments managed COVID-19 and the 2019 Bushfire season? What lessons should be taken to improve governance in future crises?
  2. What policies would encourage economic dynamism and aspiration following COVID-19? What international examples should Australia learn from in boosting productivity and innovation?
  3. With many nations investing heavily in clean technologies (e.g. green hydrogen) as part of COVID-19 stimulus packages, what are the risks and opportunities for Australia in making similar investments?
  4. Australia boasts many of the minerals required to construct clean technologies—such as lithium, cobalt and nickel. What should be done to maximise these opportunities? How might growing tension between the US and China influence the competitiveness of Australian minerals?
  5. What opportunities exist to devolve powers to local governments to improve social cohesion in regional communities? 
  6. What three policies would be most effective in reducing inequity and supporting vulnerable Australians during the current recession? Why?
  7. What opportunities exist for Australia to defend and promote liberal democratic values? How should we work with our allies to advance these values and build a global system of mutual respect and shared prosperity?

Blueprint Institute is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants of any gender identification and applicants of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

We encourage applicants to browse Blueprint Institute’s website for further information about our values and to see recent work. Research Scholars do not have to agree with everything we stand for. Critical, independent thinkers are welcome at Blueprint Institute.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Daniel D’Hotman, Senior Researcher at Blueprint Institute. Daniel’s email is: daniel@blueprintinstitute.org.au.

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