Guidelines for the Balanced Scientist Program

The Education Program of the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre (IA CRC) has run the Balanced Scientist Program (BSP) for postgraduate students since 2005. When we started, there was little in the way of information from previous CRCs about how to develop and coordinate these sorts of programs, or even what should be in them. We hope to remove that impediment from future CRCs and to provide a template for other postgraduate training programs.

This guide has arisen from our experiences and from the feedback received from participating students. We do not aim to be prescriptive but to provide a starting point from which other organisations may create a similar beneficial experience for their students.

The BSP is a cross-institutional program, based around a single theme (invasive animals). Our students come from  Universities across Australia and the UK, however this program could easily be run by the academic community for students within or across Universities.


Although this program has a number of unusual features, the two that stand out for Australian academic communities are the workplace connections which are aimed at creating a lasting benefit to both the students involved and the industry partners and the thematic nature of the program (in this case invasive animals).

The BSP does require a substantial investment on the part of the institutions involved, with an active commitment in terms of time, money and people. CRCs are uniquely placed in this regard, however we believe that this commitment is worth it and will therefore be of interest to postgraduate programs outside the CRCs. We envisage a learning experience that prepares PhD graduates more fully for both academic involvement and the industry workforce which is becoming further available to them.

Secondary title PestSmart Guidelines
Author Dimond W and Sarre SD
Year 2011
Place published Canberra
Publisher Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre
Department Preparedness through Education Program
Pages 72
Documents Guidelines for the Balanced Scientist Program (1.7 Mb PDF)