Director - Science Policy

The Director, Science Policy is responsible for drawing on the expertise of the Academy’s Fellowship to develop and deliver timely, independent and influential policy advice on a range of scientific and public policy matters.

About the Academy of Science

The Australian Academy of Science was founded by Royal Charter in 1954 and has an elected Fellowship of 550 leading Australian scientists.  The Academy is a non-profit organisation that provides independent, authoritative and influential scientific advice, promotes international scientific engagement, builds public awareness and understanding of science, and champions, celebrates and supports excellence in Australian science.  This position is part of a Secretariat of around 80 staff who work as a team to support activities of the Academy.

Position Information

Appointment will be full time for a period of three (3) years, with possibility of extension.

The salary to be offered is at the following Academy classification:

Academy Classification Base Salary Superannuation at 17% Package
SM4 $153,912 $26,166 $180,078

In addition to the 9.5% Superannuation Guarantee, the Academy pays an additional 7.5% contribution to superannuation (for a total of 17%).  Alternatively, employees may choose to take the additional 7.5% as base salary.  Conditions include flexible working hours, an employee assistance program, options to salary sacrifice, annual leave loading, paid Christmas holiday stand down and free city parking.


Ian Potter House, 9 Gordon Street, Acton, Canberra.

Applications for the position must include a Cover Letter outlining qualifications and experience against the Selection Criteria, along with a resume and contact details for referees. Applications should be emailed to:  

The closing date for applications is Monday, 8 July 2019.

Further information on the position is available from:
Anna-Maria Arabia – Chief Executive
Phone: (02) 6201 9450

Position Details

Position title: Director, Science Policy

Responsible to: Chief Executive

Responsible for: Policy Manager, Policy Administration and Engagement Officer, Director, Future Earth Australia, Director, Taxonomy Australia

Hours: Full time.  Work outside normal office hours can occur, and travel to workshops, conferences and symposia will be required at times.

Tenure: Three years with possibility of extension.

Classification: Classification SM4.

The Academy’s Director, Science Policy is responsible for realising the Academy’s strategic objectives relating to policy influence and advice, as well as overseeing policy related projects and programs, and engaging effectively with a diverse range of government, industry and other STEM sector stakeholders.

Duties and Responsibilities

Reporting to the Chief Executive and responsive to the Secretary, Science Policy:

  1. Assist in the development and implementation of the strategic objectives that relate to policy activities and develop initiatives that grow the policy influence of the Academy.
  2. Plan, manage and contribute to the preparation of high-quality policy briefings, reports, submissions and presentations, drawing on Fellows and other relevant experts.
  3. Ensure high-level and influential engagement with internal and external stakeholders, including:
    • Academy Council and Executive Committee
    • Fellowship of the Academy
    • Other Learned Academies
    • Ministers, Shadow Ministers and other parliamentarians
    • Government departments and agencies
    • Industry groups and peak bodies
    • Universities and other research institutes
    • Relevant non-government organisations
  4. Proactively identify emerging issues in science and science policy, and develop timely response options for consideration by the Chief Executive and Executive Committee.
  5. Lead, commission or oversee policy-related research and analysis on a wide range of science, technology and higher education issues.
  6. Proactively identify topics and opportunities for strategic science-based policy projects, workshops, and related activities, secure funding for these activities and manage their successful delivery.
  7. Work closely with the Chief Executive and other Academy staff to ensure alignment and consistency of policy activities with other programs and activities of the Academy.
  8. Effectively manage the personnel and budgets of the Science Policy section.
  9. Oversee the Academy’s Future Earth Australia, Taxonomy Australia and Australian Brain Initiative programs; ensuring consistency with and integration across relevant Academy activities.

Selection Criteria

The position requires a deep understanding of both science and policy processes with an ability to work effectively and strategically at the intersection of the two.  The successful candidate will also need to demonstrate their ability to draw on the expertise of the Academy’s Fellows, National Committee members and other stakeholders to shape and deliver timely, focused, impartial and practical advice across a broad range of issues.

Required Qualifications

The successful candidate will have tertiary or postgraduate qualifications in science, policy or related fields.

Selection Criteria

  1. Significant experience in and a deep understanding of Australia’s STEM sector.
  2. Proven ability to plan and act strategically and achieve strategic objectives.
  3. A track record of achieving significant policy outcomes from inside or outside government.
  4. Outstanding stakeholder engagement skills and a demonstrated ability to interact with confidence and finesse with politicians, advisors, senior public servants and researchers (existing networks of relevant stakeholders will be an advantage).
  5. Demonstrated ability to manage, motivate and grow a diverse and high-performing team of policy professionals.
  6. Highly developed written and verbal communication skills.
  7. A commitment to diversity and inclusion within the organisation and within the broader STEM sector.

© 2019 Australian Academy of Science