First listed on: 31 October 2023

Research Director - Livestock & Aquaculture


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

  • Engage with collaboration partners, industry, government and across the business to advance world-class science delivery
  • Deliver world-class research that provides innovative solutions for industry, government and the community
  • Join CSIRO and translate science to industry impact that addresses national challenges as part of a global research business

CSIRO is Australia’s National Science Agency and is one of the world’s largest and most successful publicly funded research and development organisations. We have improved the lives of many around the world through our research and developments including BARLEYmax, WiFi, the Hendra virus vaccine, advances in atmospheric dynamics and predictability, simulations of marine ecosystems dynamics, and the Total Wellbeing Diet. 

CSIRO Agriculture and Food is Australia’s most significant science investment for its key primary production activities including cropping, meat and livestock, aquaculture, horticulture, food safety and processing, and value-adding. We apply world class multidisciplinary science across the value chain to create healthier, trusted, safer and more sustainable food and fibre for the future. Our research from gene to plate increases productivity and efficiencies at the farm level, improves the quality and yield of Australian crops, develops innovative food processing technologies, creates new value-added foods, and is growing the nation’s livestock, aquaculture and fishery industries. Find out more in the Position Description.

The Livestock and Aquaculture Program consists of around 120 staff and delivers strategic and applied research and development to the salmon, prawn, oyster, abalone and other species in the aquaculture sector; and to the red meat and wool industries in the livestock sector, with a focus on genomics and applied breeding, animal nutrition, animal behaviour, digital technologies, modelling, feed base agronomy, animal health, and animal reproduction. External customers include large prawn producers in Asia, feed manufacturers, Australian aquaculture producers, the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, Meat and Livestock Australia, Australian Wool Innovation, livestock breed associations, corporate pastoral companies, and digital livestock companies. 

As the Research Director, you will lead and set the vision and strategy for the Livestock & Aquaculture (L&A) Research Program and be responsible for leading a portfolio of multi-disciplinary, collaborative research projects that deliver on the goals of the Agriculture and Food (A&F) Business Unit. You will form part of the A&F Leadership Team and be accountable for the delivery of specific elements of the Business Unit’s overall impact, science and financial objectives as well as the ongoing development of its strategy. You will be an entrepreneurial and collaborative science leader who has demonstrated commitment to progressing inclusion and promoting diversity. Experience in building cohesive, dynamic and creative research teams that integrate across disciplinary and organisational boundaries is essential.  

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; and lead by example.
  • 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 A&F’s strategy; develop and maintain national and international research collaborations, scientific publications, and professional networks; and identify opportunities for future collaboration.

Location:  Brisbane, Hobart or Armidale preferred. Other locations may be considered
Salary:  Attractive salary package plus up to 15.4% superannuation
Tenure:  Specified term of 3 years
Reference:  94326

To be considered you will need:

  • A doctorate and/or equivalent research and/or industry experience in agricultural sciences, biotechnology, digital sciences applied to agriculture, or a closely related field. 
  • Evidence of an ability to strategically develop programs and opportunities that respond to national and global research challenges relevant to the Australian livestock and aquaculture industries. 
  • Proven ability to develop research priorities within the context of industry.   
  • 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.
  • Proven 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. 
  • An exceptional record of science innovation and creativity plus the ability to apply well developed research skills to scientific investigations of significant consequence is desirable, as is a track record of professional engagement with diverse media channels around potentially controversial or sensitive topics of public interest. 

For full details about this role please view the Position Description


Applications for this position are open to all candidates. Visa sponsorship and relocation assistance may be provided to the successful candidate if required. 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. 

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

CSIRO is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people involved in our activities and programs, whether we are undertaking research, engaging with the public or nurturing future scientists in person or online. Source – CSIRO Child Safe policy 2023

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

3rd December 2023, 11:00pm AEST/AEDT

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