First listed on: 24 January 2020

Research Director - Sustainability Pathways

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.

Your duties will include:
  • Impact Science Leadership: lead strategic science to address national challenges, identify and engage in new research opportunities internationally, pipeline growth and development, and catalyse innovation.
  • Capability Leadership: communicate the Program’s vision and impact; attract, develop and retain world-class talent, promote a safe and sustainable workplace; and build a high-performance culture.
  • Resource Leadership: lead and manage financial resources, people infrastructure and other assets; ensure best practice governance and management of commercial activities and intellectual property.
  • Engagement and Partnerships: develop a roadmap for a deeper and more effective national partnership across industry environment issues; build strategic relationships within the organisation to execute CSIRO’s strategy and Land & Water’s strategy; develop and maintain national and/or international research collaborations and professional networks; communicate Land & Water strategy and Program goals to stakeholders; and identify opportunities for future collaboration.

Location: Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth preferred (other locations considered)
Salary: An attractive remuneration package will be offered including up to 15.4%
Tenure: Specified term of 3 years
Reference: 64966 

To be considered you will need: 
  • A doctorate and/or equivalent research experience in a discipline relevant to the Program, such as social, economic or environmental science with preferred experience in supporting decisions through integrated approaches between environmental and social systems.
  • Evidence of an 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.

For full details about this role please review the Position Description


The successful applicant will be required to obtain and provide a National Police Check or equivalent.

Flexible Working Arrangements

We work flexibly at CSIRO, offering a range of options for how, when and where you work. Talk to us about how this role could be flexible for you. Balance

Diversity and Inclusion

We are working hard to recruit diverse people and ensure that all our people feel supported to do their best work and feel empowered to let their ideas flourish.

Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

We are committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people.


At CSIRO, Australia's national science agency, we solve the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology.

Join us and start creating tomorrow today!

How to Apply

For a confidential conversation about this role and to apply please contact Terri Ward at or on +61 447 667 439. Please direct all applications to Terri.

Applications Close

25 February 2020, 11:00pm AEST/AEDT

Please do not apply via this website.  Applications should be directed to Terri Ward

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