The Research Scientist Classification recognises the importance of scientific research in the public service by providing a career structure for public service employees who mainly conduct and publish original research. The classification is used to develop and maintain the quality of scientific research and the resulting advice that is made available to the public service. For the purpose of the classification, scientific research is interpreted broadly. It extends from traditional disciplinary areas – including the natural and physical sciences, statistics and economics – to emerging scientific areas. Methodologically, scientific research ranges from conventional laboratory or field-based experimentation to computer-assisted modelling of entire natural or managed environmental systems.
Any systematic research that is likely to lead to innovative changes and improvements to Government policy, programs and public services falls within the scope of the classification. This includes research that improves scientific understanding, the use and management of natural resources, education and extension, technology transfers and commercialisation. It is recognised that disciplinary fields for scientific investigation are always changing. Entry to, and continuation and progression in the classification are therefore not limited to those engaged in traditional, established fields of science.