Research Director - Sustainability Pathways

Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

Canberra, Australia

Job posting number: #7099336 (Ref:cj_83062)

Posted: May 4, 2022

Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

Acknowledgement of Country

CSIRO acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land, sea and waters, of the area that we live and work on across Australia. We acknowledge their continuing connection to their culture and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. View our vision towards reconciliation

The Opportunity

  • Architect and design the program strategy and lead the Sustainability Pathways team to deliver impactful world-class research
  • Communicate, engage and partner with industry stakeholders nationally and internationally
  • Join CSIRO and shape critical research that impacts the nation


CSIRO Land and Water is delivering the knowledge and innovation needed to underpin the sustainable management of our land, water, ecosystems, biodiversity and cities. As the leader of the Sustainability Pathways Program, you will set the vision and strategy for the Program and lead a portfolio of multi-disciplinary, collaborative research projects that deliver on the goals of the Land and Water Business Unit. You will do this through the provision of world-class research and innovative solutions for industry, government and the community.


The Sustainability Pathways Program explores pathways toward a sustainable relationship between people and nature in a world with accelerated and disruptive change creating new risks and uncertainties. We work at the leading edge of the science and practice of systems integration –bringing together cross-sectoral systems analyses of the natural world with social, economic and institutional processes to design the most effective interventions and guide a long-term sustainability journey.  This Sustainability Pathways Program undertakes research applying social, economic and environmental approaches in the following key areas: decisions and strategic planning; urban and industrial transformations; and adaptive communities and industries.


As the Research Director, you will be a collaborative and entrepreneurial leader who can leverage and align resource capability with CSIRO science directions, initiate reform and structural changes across the diverse project portfolio as required to ensure optimal competitive positioning of the Sustainability Pathways program and to achieve world class scientific impact.

Your duties will include:

  • Impact Science Leadership: lead strategic science to address national challenges, identify and engage in new research opportunities, pipeline growth and development, support strategy and scientific performance, and catalyse innovation.
  • Capability Leadership: attract, nurture and retain world-class talent; promote a safe and sustainable workplace; inspire and build a high-performance culture; lead change, leverage and align resource capability.
  • Resource Leadership: lead and manage financials, resources, people infrastructure and other assets; ensure best practice governance and management of commercial activities and intellectual property; and ensure Program delivers against milestones and quality standards.
  • Engagement and Partnerships: develop deeper and more effective national/international partnerships; build strategic relationships within the organisation to execute CSIRO’s strategy and L&W’s strategy; develop and maintain national and international research collaborations, scientific publications, and professional networks; and identify opportunities for future collaboration.


Location:  Canberra, Brisbane or Melbourne preferred. Other locations may be considered

Salary:  Attractive salary package offered

Tenure:  Specified term of 3 years

Reference:  83062

To be considered you will need:

  • A doctorate and/or equivalent research experience in a discipline area relevant to the Program with preferred experience in supporting decisions through integrated approaches between environmental and social systems.
  • Proven ability to strategically develop programs and opportunities that respond to national and global research challenges, drawing from knowledge in: social or economic sciences with expertise in decision support around urban systems, rural systems, natural capital accounting and/or indigenous enterprises; systems science and integration science; and adaptive planning, evaluation and learning.
  • Evidence of successful development and leadership of a pipeline and portfolio of science, research and innovation on a national and international scale.
  • Evidence of strong industry and/or government engagement and strategic relationship management that grows new impact opportunities and supports positive and sustainable commercial outcomes.
  • The ability to work effectively as an integral member and leader of a multi-disciplinary, regionally dispersed research team, and foster an environment in which there is a high level of co-operation within and between teams.
  • Demonstrated ability to establish productive teams, manage performance, undertake strategic planning and financial management, operationalise the strategic vision for staff, and gain commitment to the direction chosen.



For full details about this role please view the Position Description


Applications for this position are open to Australian Citizens, New Zealand Citizens and Australian Permanent Residents only.

Appointment to this role is subject to provision of a national police check and may be subject to other security/medical/character requirements.

Flexible Working Arrangements

We work flexibly at CSIRO, offering a range of options for how, when and where you work. 

Diversity and Inclusion

We are working hard to recruit people representing the diversity across our society, and ensure that all our people feel supported to do their best work and feel empowered to let their ideas flourish. 


At CSIRO Australia's national science agency, we solve the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology. We put the safety and wellbeing of our people above all else and earn trust everywhere because we only deal in facts. We collaborate widely and generously and deliver solutions with real impact. 

Join us and start creating tomorrow today!

How to Apply

Please apply on-line and provide a cover letter and CV that best demonstrate your motivation and ability to meet the requirements of this role.

Applications Close

6 May 2022, 11:00pm AEST/AEDT

We’re working hard to build a safe and welcoming culture where people can bring their whole selves to work. Valuing and enabling difference empowers our people, unlocking their potential to innovate and shape the future for our customers, all Australians and the world. We do the extraordinary every day. We innovate for tomorrow and help improve today. We're the people that stay awake solving the world’s big questions. This is true of our science and of our people. Our mission is to create benefit for Australia through impactful science and innovation but we know that that's not possible without an inclusive and diverse culture. We're working hard to recruit diverse people and ensure all our people feel supported to do their best work and empowered to let their ideas flourish.

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More Info

Job posting number:#7099336 (Ref:cj_83062)
Application Deadline:Open Until Filled
Employer Location:CSIRO
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