Tuesday 11 Dec 2018 | 15:41 | SYDNEY
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Careers and Internships


2019 Michael and Deborah Thawley Scholarship

The Michael and Deborah Thawley Scholarship offers an Australian official, officer, student, or recent graduate an exceptional opportunity to contribute to the work of two leading think tanks, the Lowy Institute and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The Scholarship

The scholarship provides direct exposure to the work of both organisations, at the intersection of research and policy in international affairs. The Thawley Scholar will initially work for a short period in the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute in Sydney, before spending 8–12 weeks in Washington DC at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Research to be carried out by the Thawley Scholar is flexible, but it is expected to place a strong emphasis on the regional and geopolitical dimensions of Australia’s strategic interests. Applicants should draw up a brief research agenda to be considered for publication. In Sydney, the scholar is expected to produce output for the Lowy Institute’s digital magazine, The Interpreter, under the supervision of the Director of the International Security Program.

The CSIS placement offers a rare chance to gain direct insight into US debates on global strategic challenges and policy responses, including opportunities to interact with the Washington foreign policy establishment and to meet with high-level policymakers and commentators, and then to apply that knowledge professionally upon return to Australia.

The successful applicant will receive an A$5000 award as well as a two-stage research placement, based first in Sydney and then in Washington DC. In addition to the award, flights, visa costs, and a small travel allowance are provided for the Washington placement. Domestic travel and partial living costs for the Sydney placement will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The timing and length of the placement is flexible within the 2019 calendar year and a start date would be negotiated with the successful candidate. 

Eligibility Requirements

There is no specific professional profile for the preferred applicant, but a competitive candidate will typically be either a promising junior to mid-career Australian Government official or Australian Defence Force officer, or an exceptional postgraduate student with wider experience and demonstrated interests in international security. A knowledge of and interest in Southeast Asia is desirable. Please note, this scholarship is only open to Australian citizens and holders of permanent residency.

A list of past Thawley scholars can be found here.

Application Procedure

Applications for the 2019 Michael and Deborah Thawley Scholarship in International Security are now open. Applications will be assessed on a rolling basis, and close at 5pm on Friday 19 April 2019.

Upon application, please provide:

  • A brief covering letter explaining motivation for application, detailing how the scholarship will help develop personal research interests and how it would contribute to future career development in an Australian context.
  • Concise CV, including at least two professional/academic references
  • An article or op-ed of no more than 800 words on a relevant topic. Candidates should familiarise themselves with Lowy Institute publications and The Interpreter, as a guide to the expected style and standard.   
  • Academic records, if the applicant is a current student or recent graduate (within the past two years).

Applications should be sent to Sam Roggeveen at sroggeveen@lowyinstitute.org. Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.


The Lowy Institute is looking for an intern to support research as part of its West Asia/Terrorism program.

About the candidate:

The intern will undertake a combination of secondary (and possibly primary) data collection, as well as other directed research on the general issues surrounding terrorism and/or Middle East security.  The successful candidate will ideally have an undergraduate degree with a Middle East/terrorism focus.  The selected candidate will have experience in conducting directed research and work well in a group environment.  Fluency in the Arabic language would be an advantage, but is not a prerequisite for the internship.

The internship will be part-time for an initial period of three months from late November 2018. A daily stipend will be provided to cover transport and lunch expenses. Please send a CV and cover letter outlining your skills, work experience, availability and suitability for the role to rshanahan@lowyinstitute.org by 19 November 2018 with the subject ‘Intern Application – NAME’.

General internships

Our internship program aims to connect talented international policy students and professionals with our research staff and programs. You should be interested in contributing to Australian international policy, have excellent time management and administrative skills, think critically, write clearly, and capably manage independent research tasks. Typically you will be enrolled in, or have completed, the final year of undergraduate studies, honours or postgraduate studies. The availability of intern positions depends on the needs of our staff.

The internship program attracts a large number of outstanding candidates and is highly competitive. Our intern alumni include Rhodes scholars, diplomats, soldiers, journalists, and academics. If your application is successful you will work at Level 3, 1 Bligh St on a voluntary basis.

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