The AAP needs highly-skilled and passionate people to support Australia’s activities on the icy continent, where we undertake world-class scientific research to deliver national priorities and answer key questions of global significance.

General information

The Australian Antarctic Program (AAP) is led by the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD), based in Kingston, Tasmania, which is part of the Australian Government’s Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW).

Australia has 3 research stations in Antarctica – Casey, Davis and Mawson – and one on sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island. Each station is similar to a small town with a diverse and dedicated workforce of station leaders, tradespeople, scientists, doctors, chefs and communications experts. Expeditioners are supported by AAD staff based in Hobart, experienced in Antarctic policy, law, operations, medicine and science.

Success as an Antarctic expeditioner relies on being content with your decision to leave your home and family to live and work in Antarctica. Separation can be challenging for you and for those who remain at home, and you should carefully consider what effect separation from your family and friends might have. The AAD Separation Guide PDF is designed to better understand and manage the demands of an extended period of separation from family and friends.

The selection process

Applications for the expeditioner roles for the 2024/25 AAP commences 21 November 2023.

The selection process can take up to 8 months to complete. Due to the unique nature of deployment, the process is comprehensive and will include a written application, medical checklist, technical interview, personal qualities assessment, and medical and psychological assessments.

A personal qualities assessment may be a 24 hour in-person assessment centre, an 8 hour virtual assessment centre or a behavioural interview.

Planned recruitment timeline for AAP 2024/25*

* Note: Recruitment for the Antarctic Medical Practitioner role is for the 2025/26 season.

Written Application: November 2023 – 1 Jan 2024. Please note that some roles have different closing dates, which may be in November or December

Shortlisting: November 2023 to February 2024

Medical Checklist: December 2023 to May 2024

Technical Interviews: February to end of June 2024

Assessment Centre (including virtual): End of March to early July 2024

Medical & Adaptability (Psychological) Screening: End of March to middle of August 2024

Reference Checks: April to July 2024

Police Checks: End of April to middle of August 2024

Offers Commence: Early June 2024

Important notes:

We will be in touch throughout the process via email. Please ensure to check your spam folder in case any of our communications have been flagged by your email provider.

You can generally expect emails to come from our outsourced recruitment provider Hays at antarctica@hays.com.au.

Selection criteria

It is important you read the position description to understand the requirements and duties of the role.

Within the position’s technical requirements, you must have the essential skills and licences specified to be selected for the role. It is important to clearly state within your online application how you meet the essential skills and attach copies of all licenses and qualifications.

Some jobs also list ‘highly desirable’ and/or ‘desirable’ requirements, and having some or all of these requirements may make you more competitive for a job. If you don’t have them (or only have a few), but you meet the essential requirements, we still encourage you to apply.

Personal Qualities criteria and other criteria such as security clearances are assessed at a later stage in the recruitment process.

Frequently asked questions

How long will it take me to complete my online application?

Generally, between 45 and 90 minutes.

Do I have to be an Australian citizen?

In accordance with the PS Act 1999, APS employees are required to be Australian citizens. Persons who are not Australian citizens will generally only be considered where there are no suitable Australian applicants, with next considerations being Australian residents with work rights and New Zealand citizens.

Please note: Senior communications technical officer, Communications technical officer and Information technology officer roles require a security clearance which is only available to Australian citizens.

I am an Australian citizen located overseas – am I eligible to apply?

Yes, your application is most welcome. You will need to be available to participate in the necessary screening steps outlined above during those timeframes.

Any costs incurred in travelling to Australia to participate in any of these steps will be at your own expense.

What is involved in a Psychological Assessment?

All prospective participants in the Australian Antarctic Program (AAP) who deploy for a period of 3 months or longer, or who will be in a deep field environment for any duration, are required to complete a Psychological (Adaptability) Assessment. The intent of the Psychological (Adaptability) Assessment is to assess the individual’s ability to effectively adapt and respond to the unique demands of living and working on an Antarctic or sub-Antarctic research station, on voyage, or in an Antarctic field camp for an extended period of time.

There are two components to the assessment - the completion of an online personality questionnaire and an individual interview with a registered psychologist. The assessment will be organised by the AAD’s organisational psychology team. Enquiries about the assessment should be directed to psychologyHR@aad.gov.au.

Am I too old?

There is no age restriction for expeditioner roles but applicants must pass a comprehensive medical assessment.

How long will I be employed for?

This depends on whether you are a summer or winter expeditioner, but generally between 4 and 15 months. The length of your employment will include a period of pre-departure training in Hobart, which is mandatory and can take between 2 and 10 weeks to complete.

Summer expeditioners usually start work in September or October and are employed for between 4 and 6 months, and will return to Australia in March or April the following year.

Winter expeditioners can start as early as July, or as late as January the next year depending on which station you are going to. If you are employed at Casey or Davis you can expect to depart Hobart in October or November, returning approximately 12 months later. If you are employed at Mawson or Macquarie Island, you will generally depart Hobart in March or April and return around the same time the following year. Start dates for expeditioners employed at either of these two stations may be as early as November. Expeditioners employed in winter jobs will complete both a winter and summer season in Antarctica.

When completing your application, you will be asked to indicate your preferences in order of most preferred to least.

Are there roles available as a nurse or other medical professional?

Each station has a qualified and registered medical practitioner who provides complete medical, surgical, and dental care, including aviation and maritime medicine. We do not employ nurses, paramedics, psychologists or other health professions.

I am a returning expeditioner, do I need to follow the same process?

Please head to the Returning Expeditioners tile on the Jobs Antarctica page for more details.

I applied in the last 3 years – am I required to attend an assessment centre again?

If you have completed a personal qualities assessment in the 2023/24 recruitment campaign, you will not be required to attend assessment centre this year.

Any applications prior to 2023/24 season will need to attend an assessment centre if you are successful through the initial recruitment steps.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements

All persons participating in the AAP will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to deployment.

How can I find out more?

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