Strengthening relationships between those who work in our government, university and industry sectors is critically important.

That’s why MindHive has developed a platform with our government and industry partners for delivering highly capable secondees from within the university sector into government environments and government secondees into public and private research centres and institutes. We currently facilitate secondments with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Queensland Government, locating appropriate researchers and resources on demand.

Over the past few years we have become experienced in building new capabilities and growth opportunities within government, and look forward to the potential of supporting future secondment placements with other federal and state government departments.

Bridging academic research and government decision-making offers opportunities to enhance the impact of research and the quality of public policy. One way to achieve this is through fostering closer links between researchers and public servants. Such links are likely to encourage better use of scholarly work in policymaking and promote a fuller understanding of the processes of government within the academic community.

With these matters in mind, Government Departments have developed engagement opportunities with MindHive. Through a range of mechanisms, Government and MindHive:

  • build organisational expertise;
  • develop an adaptable model for partnerships between government and think tanks; and
  • strengthen existing ties.


  • outbound secondment opportunities for its staff;
  • opportunities to draw on the expertise of early career researchers through inbound secondments;
  • a reliable and confidential means to draw on expert academic advice;
  • connections to experienced researchers in designated fields as needed; and
  • a model for integrating public policy and academic research translatable to other contexts in the public service.

Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

Two-way staff placements between federal and state government departments and the Eidos network are one of the most direct means to form an ongoing relationship.

Since the establishment of its MOU in 2012, the Eidos Institute and Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet partnership involves Eidos network participants spending up to three months on secondment in the Project Office. Potential secondees are selected by their home organisation, with nominations provided to PM&C for consideration and decision. Salaries would be borne by secondees’ university. Staff seconded to PM&C would be drawn from Eidos-affiliated institutions. Secondees would be postdoctoral fellows or early career academics in disciplines identified as relevant to the project work at Project Office. PM&C staff may also be seconded to either Eidos and MindHive Head Office in Brisbane or one of Eidos’s partners. On completion, secondees are obliged to deliver seminars to both organisations to disseminate methodology or project learning, or both. The secondee’s host organisation would have the right to vet the seminar.

As well as its established partnership with PM&C, Eidos Institute also facilitates secondment opportunities at state-government level for its university members.

Offers Secondees

  • Direct exposure to Australia’s most senior public service leaders
  • Experience working on some of Australia’s toughest, most pressing and complex problems
  • Build a strong understanding of how central government works, including stakeholder management skills
  • Make a real difference to good policy outcomes for Australians

Offers Eidos and MindHive Partners

  • The opportunity to fulfil social impact objects by supporting critical nation-shaping work
  • create opportunities for research staff to build new and different skills
  • potential retention benefits in being able to offer a unique experience

Offers Government

  • Flexible access to talented staff, skilled in the type of work that Government aims to deliver
  • Relationship building with top Australian universities


Dr Jerome Donovan, Swinburne University of Technology

Jerome worked as part of a cross functional team in the Strategy and Delivery Division at PM&C, contributing to the development of a scoping study on collaborative business models and regional value chains.

Jerome is currently the Co-Program Leader for Innovation and Internationalisation within the Centre for Enterprise Performance and a Lecturer in International Business. Prior to joining academia Jerome spent time working with the Australian Defence Force, as well as working and researching overseas in Japan and the United States of America. His research interests include firm internationalisation, innovation, impact assessments (business processes), and international development.

Jerome has published in a number of leading international journals, international conferences and a book across international business, international relations and foreign policy. Currently, he is working on a number of large external projects (with external funding of over AUD$1.5 million), including with six national governments across ASEAN (Myanmar, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines) on developing a best practice model for integrated impact assessments, increasing export performance in SMEs (Vietnam), and profiling innovation practices and performance in the Australia Manufacturing Sector (with the AMCRC).

In Jerome’s Words…

Overall, my secondment with the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) through the Eidos Institute was a rewarding and interesting experience. While much of my previous experience in working with national governments has been within Asia (and in particular, across six countries in ASEAN), this secondment allowed me a greater insight into the Australia perspective of policy development and formation. This was particularly valuable in allowing me a point of comparison of the processes for policy development, reflecting on the strengths of PM&C as the central department tasked with providing policy advice and support to the Federal government. I hope this worthy initiative led by the Eidos Institute continues to engage with academia and government in increasing the level of collaboration between both Federal and State level departments and academics. A collaborative approach to engaging with pressing social, environmental and economic problems facing Australia will ensure that the best and brightest minds can be brought together to pave a pathway to a sustainable future for our country.

Secondment overview

  • Scoping study on regional value chains and Australian business engagement within Asia
  • Study was conducted within the context of the Australia in the Asian Century Taskforce and the Australia in the Asian Century Whitepaper
  • Overall objective was to contribute towards the development of a public policy position on how the Australian government was going to enhance business engagement within the Asia region

My contribution

Contributed towards the development of the scoping study and cabinet memo which was to provide public policy position for enhancing business engagement in Asia

  • Project management
  • Data collection and analysis for both primary and secondary data
  • Semi-structured interviews, focus groups and panel data was utilised
  • Trained colleagues of qualitative data collection techniques and methods
  • Value of participating in the secondment program
  • Understanding how public policy is developed within the Australian context
  • Established networks across Australian federal government departments

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