Deputy Director, Operations and Strategy - ARC Centre of Excellence for Plant Success in Nature & Agriculture

    Institution Info
    The University of Queensland Sir Fred Schonell Dr
    st lucia, QLD, Australia Phone:
    Web Site:

    Institution Profile

  • Share this :

Job ID:



St Lucia, QLD 


Agriculture and Food

Job Views:


Post Code:


Employment Type:

Full Time - Fixed Term

Job Description:

ARC Centre of Excellence for Plant Success in Nature and Agriculture

Organisational Environment

The Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Plant Success in Nature and Agriculture (the Centre) is a nationally funded research centre headquartered in the School of Biology, Faculty of Science, at UQ’s St Lucia Campus. The Centre is a consortium of five Australian universities, led by UQ, with nodes at UQ, Macquarie University, Monash University, Queensland University of Technology, and University of Tasmania, and includes a number of leading domestic and international partner institutions.

The $110M Centre is funded by a seven-year $35M grant from the ARC and an additional $75M combined cash and in-kind contributions from national and international partners. With a uniquely multidisciplinary team, the Centre will deliver new strategies to address the global challenge of food security in the face of climate change, establishing Australia as a global leader in these areas.

Due to the projected 25% increase in human population over the next 30 years, food crops will need to realize a doubling in genetic gain of yields combined with nutritional value in order to meet demand. Moreover, pressure on arable land and sustainability comes from the current reality that more than 60% of the world-wide calorie intake by humans comes from just three crops, maize, wheat and rice. Climate change is already impacting the productivity of these crops. At the same time, even despite adequate calorie intake in some communities, 10% of the world’s population is undernourished. Our team, together with our partners, has formed to act now and create sustainable solutions to these convergent challenges.

The Centre aims to discover adaptive strategies underpinning productivity and resilience in diverse plants and deepen knowledge of the genetic and physiological networks driving key traits that determine crop productivity for diverse environments. The Centre aims to supply crop breeders with an unparalleled predictive capacity through developing novel quantitative and computational approaches to link new and prior knowledge of interlocking gene and other mechanistic networks with traits across biological levels. The Centre will accelerate technologies to transfer successful networks into crops and build legal frameworks to secure effective deployment of this knowledge.

The three key research themes of the Centre are to:

  • Discover and integrate different mechanisms of plant success in different environments;
  • Develop models that connect mechanisms and genomes for predictions; and
  • Innovate the path to crops including gene technology, law and society.

The Centre has 17 Chief Investigators and 27 Associate Investigators who will collaborate with Partner Investigators from 11 different organisations. Overall, the team of investigators spans 13 Australian universities and research institutes and 14 national and international research partner organisations. Further information about the Centre may be found at

About the Opportunity

As the Deputy Director, Operations and Strategy, you will lead the Centre’s national operations and high-level strategic, operational and performance planning to enable the Centre to achieve impact across its research goals, objectives and translation programs.

You will support the development of new initiatives and manage ongoing relationships with key partners and stakeholders including large and small businesses, government agencies, funding bodies and community partners

You will manage a focused professional team (based largely at UQ and with fractional appointments at other nodes) with responsibility for the smooth administrative operations of the Centre and provide virtual leadership to local node administrators at UQ, Macquarie University, Monash University, Queensland University of Technology, and University of Tasmania. The Deputy Director will work closely with the Centre’s national executive team, and liaise with Centre node leaders, Chief Investigators, Associate Investigators, research fellows, postgraduate students, partners and other stakeholders.

This position is located at our picturesque St Lucia campus, renowned as one of Australia’s most attractive university campuses, and located just 7km from Brisbane’s city centre. Bounded by the Brisbane River on three sides, and with outstanding public transport connections, our 114-hectare site provides a perfect work environment – you can enjoy the best of both worlds: a vibrant campus with the tradition of an established university.

Our Ideal Candidate

Our ideal candidate will have significant senior experience in operations and resource management, finance and budget administration, IP management, and corporate governance, within a research centre or similar complex environment. Previous experience should include leading high performing teams; successfully engaging with, and working in partnership with, diverse and multiple stakeholder groups; and a demonstrated ability to develop and implement strategy, and to lead and coordinate complex programs of research.

As a highly visible representative of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Plant Success in Nature and Agriculture, candidates must possess exceptional communication and interpersonal skills, capable of fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion across all levels of an organisation.

You must have ongoing unrestricted work rights in Australia to apply for this opportunity.

We value diversity and inclusion, and actively encourage applications from those who bring diversity to the University. Our Diversity and Inclusion webpage contains further information if you require additional support. Accessibility requirements and/or adjustments can be directed to [email protected].

What We Can Offer

This is a full-time, fixed term position for five years at level HEW 10A.

We will negotiate a remuneration package with the successful applicant, inclusive of super of up to 17%.

You will be able to take advantage of UQ Sport Facilities, salary sacrificing options, on-campus childcare, discounted private health insurance, cheap parking, development programs and many other benefits.

For further information, please review The University of Queensland's Enterprise Bargaining Agreement 2018-2021.

Position Description

Download File 20201110 DD Position Description_COE Plant Success.pdf

The University of Queensland is committed to ensuring all candidates are provided with the opportunity to attend the panel interviews. However, for those candidates who are unable to attend in person, video interview options will be available.


To discuss this role please contact: Prof Christine Beveridge (CoE Director) at [email protected]

Want to Apply?

To submit an application for this role, use the APPLY NOW button below. All applicants must supply the following documents:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Responses to the Selection Criteria

To satisfy pre-requisite questions and ensure your application can be considered in full, all candidates must apply via the UQJobs portal by the job closing deadline. Applications received via other channels including direct email will not be accepted.



  • Share this :