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Director Science Policy and Projects

The Australian Academy of Science was founded by Royal Charter in 1954 and currently comprises more than 460 of Australia’s leading scientists. The Academy is an independent non-profit organisation that recognises outstanding contributions to science and research, provides expert advice to government, contributes to the development of science policy, promotes science education and public understanding of science, and fosters international scientific relations. This position is a pivotal role within a Secretariat of about 55 people who work as a team to support activities undertaken by the Academy.


The Academy’s Strategic Plan defines three key objectives:

  • Promote excellence in scientific research nationally and internationally
  • Develop and sustain a national scientific culture
  • Provide valued independent scientific advice to assist policy development and program delivery

The Science Policy and Projects Section draws upon the expertise of the Fellowship to enable the Academy to conduct high quality research, analysis and evaluation, and contribute to national policy settings through the production of expert reports and submissions to government reviews and inquiries.

In managing the work of the Section, the Director Science Policy and Projects is also responsible for liaising with government and departmental representatives on a diverse range of science and technology issues. She/He is a primary source of such advice to the Academy’s Council, and in particular the President and the Secretary Science Policy (D).

Position information


The salary to be offered depending on qualifications will start at Academy classification:

Academy ClassificationBase SalarySuperannuationat 17%Package

In addition to the 9.5% Superannuation Guarantee, the Academy makes a further 7.5% contribution to superannuation (for a total of 17% superannuation). Alternatively, employees may choose to have the additional 7.5% paid as base salary. Other conditions include a fulltime 70 hours working fortnight, 17.5% leave loading, paid stand down over Xmas, flexible working hours (when agreed), an employee assistance program, options to salary sacrifice and free city parking.


Ian Potter House and the Shine Dome, 9 Gordon Street, Acton

Applications for the position must address the selection criteria and include a curriculum vitae with contact details for three referees. Applications should be forwarded, preferably by email, to: or
Human Resources
Australian Academy of Science
GPO Box 783
Canberra ACT 2601

The closing date is close of business on Monday 22 September

Further information on the position is available from
(Dr) Sue Meek – Chief Executive
Phone: (02) 62019400

Position description

Position title: Director Science Policy and Projects
Section: Science Policy and Projects
Responsible to: Chief Executive
Direct reports: Senior Policy Officer, Project Officer, EMCR Policy Officer, Other project staff as required.
Hours: Full time
Tenure: Permanent
Classification: SM2 or SM3
Date reviewed: 27 August 2014

Duties and responsibilities

Working closely with the Secretary Science Policy (D), in consultation with Fellows of the Academy with relevant expertise as required:

  1. Effectively manage the personnel and budget of the Science Policy and Projects Section.
  2. Interact with relevant external stakeholders including Ministers, government departments and agencies, industry, universities, research institutions, and non-government organisations to promote awareness and engagement on Academy priorities.
  3. Manage and contribute to the preparation of high quality briefings, reports, submissions and presentations in consultation with relevant experts, and the organisation of events for early- and mid-career researchers.
  4. In consultation with the Director Communications and Outreach promote awareness of the Academy’s objectives and achievements, and develop strategies for the effective dissemination and utilisation of the Academy’s expert advice in policy development and program delivery.
  5. Identify emerging issues in science and science policy and proactively develop timely response options.
  6. Lead or independently undertake research and provide analysis on a wide range of science, technology and higher education issues.
  7. Identify suitable topics for science-based projects, workshops, think tanks and related activities, secure funding for these activities and manage their successful delivery.
  8. Liaise with the Director International Programs to manage science projects and integrate the contribution of the Academy’s National Committees for Science.
  9. Perform other duties as required, including sharing duties with other staff from time to time.

Qualifications and experience

  1. Researching and writing on a wide range of science and/or technology topics and a track record of providing flexible and responsive policy advice
  2. Experience in advocating for evidence based policy outcomes in departmental and parliamentary contexts.
  3. Proven experience in effective project management and delivery.
  4. A degree in science is strongly preferred, and a higher-level qualification is desirable.

Selection criteria

  1. Comprehensive knowledge of Australia’s science, technology and innovation system and national and international science policy setting mechanisms.
  2. Excellent representational and interpersonal skills, including the ability to communicate effectively with and influence people at all levels and across sectors, and to liaise and negotiate with stakeholders.
  3. Demonstrated understanding of the role of evidence in policy and program development and decision making, and a wide range of experience in identifying policy options in a science and/or technology environment.
  4. Effective project management, including identifying and securing funding sources; developing project plans; allocating and managing human and financial resources; and reviewing progress to ensure delivery of agreed outcomes.
  5. Demonstrated capacity to lead and inspire small teams to work effectively and productively.
  6. Outstanding written and oral communication skills, including the production of high quality research and analysis, draft reports and submissions to specific deadlines, the ability to structure arguments persuasively and to provide and receive feedback.
  7. Experience in managing workshops, symposia and conferences that successfully bring together relevant experts and/or key stakeholders.
  8. Excellent organisational and time management skills and a demonstrated capacity for initiative and self-motivation and to work well under pressure.
  9. A commitment to workplace diversity, workplace participation, OH&S and equity principles.