First listed on: 10 December 2022

Program Director - National Research Collections Australia


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

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

The Opportunity

  • Unique leadership role
  • Create and set strategy to support science with impact and innovation
  • Canberra based

The National Research Collections Australia (NRCA) are a vital resource for conservation and science. The collections underpin research in agriculture, biosecurity, biodiversity and climate change and are used by researchers all over the world. Historically, biological collections have been used mainly to classify species and establish their evolutionary relationships. Today, the impact of the National Research Collections Australia stretches far beyond this, touching many areas of science and everyday life.

Our insect collection supports reliable identification of pests at Australia’s borders. Voucher specimens held by our fish collection underpin standardised names for commercial fishes, improving user trust for Australian seafood. Birds in the wildlife collection reveal how some species and their distributions are changing due to climate change. The herbarium has provided data from its holdings about plants of the Kokoda Track to help the PNG Government manage tourism and conservation in the area. Our microalgae collection led to the development of crops containing omega-3 oils. The tree seed centre has provided germplasm that underpins the conservation and breeding populations of many of the world’s most import eucalypt and acacia species.

For further information about the National Research Collections Australia, visit our website at National Research Collections Australia - CSIRO

Your duties will include:

Facility Leadership & Operations

  • Lead delivery of the National Research Collections, including prioritisation, direction setting, efficient and effective utilisation of facility resources, capability development, recruitment and retention of staff.
  • Manage legislative and regulatory compliance risks required for the Collections.
  • Work with the scientific community to ensure the best scientific outcomes by developing a research environment that enables science excellence, creativity, innovation and flexibility.
  • Develop and maintain a comprehensive strategic overview of the risk profile and opportunities of the national collections, managing identified risks and opportunities.

Capability Leadership

  • Strive for "Zero Harm" (physical and psychological) through a commitment to a healthy, safe and environmentally sustainable workplace.
  • Attract, develop and retain world class talent which will meet current and future needs.
  • Model appropriate and professional behaviour in the workplace and manage people matters proactively.
  • Effectively lead change initiatives across the NRCA and CSIRO.

Engagement and Partnerships

  • Manage stakeholder and community engagement with NRCA, including processes for utilisation of the facility by non-CSIRO organisations and parties and undertaking high level national and international representation of the national collections to expand its impact and opportunities for new business.
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive communications strategy and a stakeholder relationship plan for the research collections.
  • Build strategic alliances within the organisation to collaboratively execute CSIRO strategy across lines of business.

Location: Canberra
Salary: AU$177,947.95 to AU$223,418.33 pa + up to 15.4% superannuation
Tenure: Specified term of 3 years
Reference: 90855

To be considered you will need:

  • A PhD (or equivalent) ideally with managerial experience or qualifications or managerial qualifications combined with significant experience and depth of understanding of science from either a research or industry background.
  • In depth knowledge of biological collections and related science disciplines.
  • Demonstrated planning, financial, project management, change management skills and experience at the level of a national program of comparable size and scale to the National Research Collections Australia.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively build strong relationships with staff, external stakeholders and clients at all levels and across boundaries together with superior interpersonal, negotiation and influencing skills.
  • Demonstrated experience and understanding of risk management, incident response, organisational requirements, policies and procedures, and external regulations relevant to National Research Collections Australia.
  • The ability to work effectively in a team environment, collaborate widely both internally and externally, and provide guidance to managers and staff.
  • A record of strong leadership that has contributed to or defined policy direction and strategy.
  • A proven ability to foster effective relationships, using complex influencing strategies to ensure alignment between client or stakeholder needs and organisational objectives.
  • A history of anticipating and successfully resolving complex technical, management and administrative issues, which have potential for impact at a strategic level.
  • A history of professional and respectful behaviours and attitudes in a collaborative environment.

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 either hold, or be able to obtain, a valid working visa for the duration of the specified term. Appointment to this role is subject to provision of background 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

24 February 2023, 11:00pm AEST/AEDT

Recent Jobs