Research Director - Diagnostics, Surveillance and Response

Date Posted: 7 Jun 2024
Views: 21 | | Applications:

Location: Geelong, VIC, AU

Company: CSIRO

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The opportunity

  • Inspire, develop and lead a team of 140+ and build a high-performance culture of science excellence
  • Join CSIRO’s Australian Animal Health Laboratory, contribute to vital scientific research into exotic and emerging infectious diseases
  • Play a significant role in Australia’s response to emerging global threats in infectious diseases


The Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness (ACDP), is one of the world’s largest microbiologically secure facilities. Owned and operated by CSIRO on behalf of the nation, ACDP helps to protect Australia’s livestock and aquatic industries, as well as its people. Providing access to ACDP’s world-class research infrastructure and high-quality capability contributes to solutions which address many national and global challenges.

The Australian Animal Health Laboratory Business Unit (AAHL), operating from ACDP, is seeking to appoint a Research Director to lead the Diagnostics, Surveillance and Response (DSR) Program. The program consists of approximately 140 staff with the core function to deliver to Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF).  The program also has a portfolio of projects focused on animal health and biosecurity, and fee-for-service testing to enable import/export of animals and biological products. The DSR Research Director also supports the AAHL Directorate to maintain AAHL’s international designations as WOAH, FAO and WHO reference laboratories and collaborating centres and will provide animal health and biosecurity advice to DAFF, Animal Health Australia (AHA), and other national, State and Territory authorities.

To be considered for this exciting leadership role, you will be an engaging leader who demonstrates strong interpersonal, influencing and communication skills with a proven ability to form and maintain credible, respectful and collaborative relationships with both internal and external stakeholders. You will be a market leader who engages to understand customer needs and create opportunities, as well as an organisational leader who directs the AAHL team’s delivery and execution to ensure impact is realised. 

You bring strong people leadership capabilities with the ability to empower and facilitate positive and collaborative team relationships, and be accountable for driving operations within the DSR Program with a strong focus on HSE (Health, Safety and Environment) culture and performance, work-force planning including staff development and succession, project delivery and financial performance.  


Your duties will include:

  • Impact Science Leadership: Contribute to oversight and management of the CSIRO agreement with DAFF for the maintenance of required capability and delivery of agreed outputs of the ACDP National Facility including milestone reports for DAFF funding agreement and testing as per national expectations and Quality Assurance requirements; representation on national committees; ensure capability is available to deliver DSR's international engagements and commitments and work with International Program Manager to develop new projects; undertake long term science impact planning for the Program and build a pipeline of contracts (3-5 year focus) including identification of CSIRO-wide opportunities; Sustain and enhance the R&D culture of science excellence, creativity, innovation and flexibility.
  • Capability Leadership: Strive for “Zero Harm” (physical and psychological) and actively promote a healthy, safe and environmentally sustainable workplace; build the long‐term science capability to support the delivery of the Program’s research and impact, including forecasting demand, monitoring science trends and stakeholder needs, and building a high-performance culture; attract, develop and retain world class talent; build effective teams, manage career development for staff and succession planning for the Program; and effectively lead change initiatives across the Research Program and the National Facility/Collections.
  • Engagement & Partnership: Build strategic relationships within the organisation to execute CSIRO’s and AAHL’s strategies, including fostering mobility and cross‐Business Unit deployment of staff, and developing productive relationships; engage and collaborate with customers/clients/research partners/international networks; deliver trusted advice to clients and identify opportunities for future collaboration.
  • Resource Leadership: Lead and manage the Program’s financial resources, people, infrastructure and other assets to ensure their effective, sustainable and efficient use; ensure best practice governance, risk management, compliance and management of commercial activities and intellectual property in the Program.


Location:  Geelong, Victoria

Salary:  Attractive salary package including up to 15.4% superannuation

Tenure:  Specified term of 3 years

Reference:  97130


To be considered you will need:


  1. A degree (or equivalent experience), in conjunction with demonstrated achievement in senior leadership and directorial roles in animal or public health, biological sciences or related area, ideally with postgraduate qualifications.
  2. Established credibility in a relevant science domain with evidence of effective world-class science leadership including the management of a group/program within a complex laboratory facility, including the inter-related issues of biorisk management, compliance with regulatory requirements and meeting national expectations for disease preparedness and response.
  3. Demonstrated ability to attract, retain, empower and develop world class talent, promote wellbeing and foster creativity in multidisciplinary teams of approximately 100 staff to provide solutions applicable to livestock industries, human health and the community.
  4. Evidence of strong engagement skills, influencing and strategic relationship management that grows new science opportunities and supports commercial outcomes whilst having sensitivity to the diverse political and national pressures operating in the field of exotic disease control, trade and/or One Health.
  5. Demonstrated ability to manage financial performance and secure a pipeline of opportunities that delivers a sustainably financial future.
  6. Proven behavioural leadership, including an ability to promote productive internal and external collaboration to achieve outcomes.



  1. A veterinary degree registrable with the Veterinary Board of the State of Victoria in Australia, and/or a PhD in a relevant scientific discipline (eg. Biological, microbiological, animal or veterinary science) is desirable, as is experience working in BSL3/BSL4 environments with an understanding of biosecurity and biocontainment requirements.


For full details about this role please view the Position Description



Applications for this position are open to Australian/New Zealand Citizens and Australian Permanent Residents. Appointment to this role is subject to the ability to obtain a national security clearance at Negative Vetting 1 level and is subject to other security/medical/character requirements specific to the ACDP/AAHL facility.


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. 

CSIRO is committed to values-based leadership to inspire performance and unlock the potential of our people.

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

7th July 2024, 11:00pm AEST/AEDT

11:00 PM

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