First listed on: 15 November 2021

Research Director - Biosecurity


The Opportunity

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

  • Lead CSIRO’s newly formed Biosecurity Research Program
  • Utilise your sector knowledge and expertise to collaborate across the biosecurity ecosystem to create growth opportunities and lasting impact
  • Truly flexible and collaborative workplace. Find the right balance for you!

CSIRO’s Health and Biosecurity Business Unit’s goal is to collaboratively deliver impact that drives the transformation of Australia’s health and biosecurity sectors, improving prevention, detection and responses to health and biosecurity threats. The team focusses R&D around building Australia’s resilience to health and biosecurity megashocks; supporting the technological and digital transformation of healthcare and biosecurity systems; and improving health and wellbeing of all Australians. It is comprised of three Research Programs that span the biosecurity, health systems and human health sectors, with approximately 295FTE located across Australia and Europe and an annual budget of approximately $62M.

As the Research Director of the newly formed Biosecurity Research Program, you will lead a portfolio of multidisciplinary, collaborative research that seeks to create national and global impact. The program comprises approximately 100 staff across multiple sites. The program’s critical focus areas are: growing R&D for digital and emerging technologies to transform the biosecurity sector; grow national compliance systems and national programs that support agricultural trade and market; implement and inform policy, and with Australian Animal Health Laboratory maintain RD&I leadership of national biosecurity management programs.

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, develop and retain world-class talent; promote a safe and sustainable workplace; inspire and build a high-performance culture.
  • 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 Health & Biosecurity’s strategy; develop and maintain national and international research collaborations, scientific publications, and professional networks; and identify opportunities for future collaboration.

Location:  Canberra (ACT), Brisbane (Queensland) or Geelong (Victoria) preferred
Salary:  Attractive salary package including up to 15.4% superannuation offered
Tenure:  Specified term of 3 years
Reference:  CHBBS21

To be considered you will need:

  1. A doctorate and/or equivalent research experience relevant to biosecurity, combined with significant impact driven research leadership experience.
  2. Evidence of strong industry and government engagement with the agriculture or environment sectors, and strategic relationship management that grows new impact opportunities and supports positive and sustainable commercial outcomes.
  3. Proven leadership and excellence in a relevant field of science or engineering, as demonstrated by high quality peer reviewed, published research including an established international research reputation and credibility.
  4. Evidence of successful leadership of a strategic project portfolio, from emerging science opportunities to translation and commercialisation, in alignment with national and global research challenges.
  5. Evidence of high impact engagement within a leadership team, and demonstrated experience leading a multi-disciplinary research team with high levels of co-operation and collaboration. This is strengthened by demonstrated experience developing and implementing inter- or intra- organisational strategic collaborations that address national and international challenges in biosecurity domains.
  6. Demonstrated ability to establish and engage productive teams, manage performance, undertake strategic planning, drive, and implement change to operationalise the strategic vision for staff.
  7. Demonstrated track record in leading a complex, multi-site business including managing financial and physical resources and creating a safe and healthy workplace.
  8. Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of agriculture and environment biosecurity trends e.g., growth areas, market accessibility, in the global market.

For full details about this role please view the Position Description.


To be eligible to work in CSIRO you must be an Australian Citizen, Permanent Resident or either hold, or be able to obtain, a valid working visa.

The successful applicant will be required to obtain and provide a National Police Check or equivalent. Additional integrity and/or medical checks may be required for specific roles which require security clearance or certain vaccinations. 

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!


For further information about this role contact:

Terri Ward at or call +61 447 667 439.

How to Apply

As part of their application, candidates are requested to provide the following in Microsoft Word format:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Cover Letter – outlining the motivation and relevant capabilities and experience you could bring to this role.  This document should not be longer than two pages.
  • Contact details for three Referees – Referees will only be contacted after prior consultation with the candidate. It is the candidate's responsibility to ensure that their referees are willing to provide reports when contacted by CSIRO.
  • Date of commencement – An indication of the earliest date on which the candidate could commence in the position.



Applications Close

13 Dec 2021, 11:00pm AEST/AEDT

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