First listed on: 09 November 2022

Research Director - CSIRO Agriculture and Food Systems Program


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
  • Lead strategic science & delivery to address national challenges & build capacity to innovate for science discovery 
  • Flexible work arrangements! Mix of home and office

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.  These industries underpin >$40B of food and fibre production, $97B of domestic food and beverage processing, and >$30B of agricultural exports per annum in Australia while providing stewardship for at least 60 per cent of the Australian landscape. 

The System Program aims to improve the productivity and resilience of agricultural production systems. This is achieved through a focus on:

  • Integrated farming systems management spanning crops and livestock
  • Farmer-facing digital technologies to improve farm productivity, resilience and natural resource management
  • Advances in on-farm decisions and management practices for gains in production and quality of food and fibre
  • Innovations in pest and weed management
  • Diversification of farming systems and integration of sustainable practices for production resilience and sustainability 

As the Research Director, you will lead and set the vision and strategy for the Systems Research Program and are responsible for leading a portfolio of multi-disciplinary, collaborative research projects that deliver on the goals of the Agriculture and Food Business Unit. You will be an entrepreneurial and collaborative science leader who has demonstrated commitment to progressing inclusion and promoting diversity.

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.
  • 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: Canberra ACT or Brisbane QLD preferred. Other locations may be considered where the team has a presence.
Salary: An attractive remuneration package will be offered including up to 15.4% superannuation
Tenure: Specified term of 3 years
Reference: 90362

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, drawing from knowledge in:
    • Advances at the interface of genetics, environmental and farm management practices to improve agricultural productivity, sustainability and resilience.
    • Digital approaches to agricultural challenges on farm, landscape and supply chain scales
    • New approaches to weed, pest and pathogen management that deliver efficiency and sustainability gains to agricultural production.
    • Emerging technological approaches to farm-scale resource management for water, soil and nutrition
  • 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.
  • Demonstrated ability to establish productive teams, manage performance, undertake strategic planning and financial management. 

For full details about this role please review the Position Description


Applications for this position are open to Australian/New Zealand Citizens, Australian Permanent Residents or you must already hold a valid working visa for the duration of the specified term. 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

30 November 2022, 11:00pm AEST/AEDT

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