Research Associate, Foreign Policy and Defence Program

The University of Sydney

Job Description

  • Full-time fixed-term position until June 2022 (opportunity for extension subject to funding)
  • Salary range of $60 - 80K p.a. plus 9.5% superannuation (negotiable, commensurate with experience)

About the opportunity 

The United States Studies Centre is recruiting a Research Associate to contribute to the work of the Foreign Policy and Defence Program. The Research Associate will assist the Program Director with all aspects of the program, providing research, policy outreach and administrative support. 

About you

As an integral member of our expanding Foreign Policy and Defence team, you will be immersed in the research, policy outreach activities and major events of one of Australia’s leading think tanks. You will work across the following priority areas: US and Australian strategic policy; Indo-Pacific strategy; allies and partnerships; defence policy and force posture; military, security, diplomatic, geoeconomic and geopolitical issues; and deterrence and counter-coercion.  

Primary responsibilities include:

  • Research in support of program publications, including empirical and data work
  • Tracking policy and current affairs developments in priority areas
  • Contributing to the delivery of Track 1.5 meetings and other program activities
  • Supporting program engagement with US, Australian and regional stakeholders
  • Assistance with editing, event management, reporting and other administrative tasks.

This position offers a unique opportunity for an early career researcher and/or international affairs professional to develop their applied research, project management and outreach skills as part of a dynamic team; and to deepen subject matter expertise in foreign policy and defence. It offers room for professional advancement in the think tank industry, and highly transferrable skills for careers in public service, project management, academia, policy research and strategic communications.

Applicants should have a background and/or demonstrated interest in foreign policy and defence issues, including the role of the United States in the Indo-Pacific region. They should also possess a relevant degree and related work experience. We welcome applicants with Honours and/or Masters degrees. Preference will be given to applicants who can independently manage administrative and research tasks; have strong research, writing and communication skills; and have one or more years of experience in research, think tanks, government or other related roles.


  • Expression of interest (max. 1-page)
  • CV or resumé (max. 3-pages)
  • Contact details for two referees
  • Writing sample (max. 10-pages)

All applications must be submitted via the University of Sydney careers website. 

Applications close: Sunday 16 August 2020

The Centre is committed to diversity and social inclusion. Applications from people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; equity target groups including women, people with disabilities, people who identify as LGBTIQ; and people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, are encouraged.

Intending applicants are welcome to seek further information about the position from


For recruitment-related enquiries, or if you require reasonable adjustment or support filling out this application, please contact Recruitment Officer, Tooba Fida on 02 8627 6*** or  **********

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