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Head of School - School of Science

Apply now Job no: 502899
Work type: Full-time
Location: Canberra, ACT
Categories: Head of School / Director

UNSW Canberra is a campus of the University of New South Wales located at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra. UNSW Canberra endeavours to offer staff a rewarding experience and offers many opportunities and attractive benefits, including:

  • One of Australia’s leading research and teaching universities
  • Strong commitment to staff development and learning
  • Strong commitment to work life and family balance
  • Generous superannuation opportunities

At UNSW, we pride ourselves on being a workplace where the best people come to do their best work.

  • Join a School that is recognised for academic excellence in both research and teaching
  • Opportunity to develop and execute the strategic vision for the School
  • Canberra location
  • Professor level position
  • Fixed term, five-year appointment

The Organisation

At UNSW, we pride ourselves on being a workplace in which the best people come to do their best work.  We aspire to be Australia’s global university, improving and transforming lives through excellence in research, outstanding education, and a commitment to advancing a just society. 

UNSW Canberra at ADFA has been fostering a university culture within a defence environment for more than fifty years. The UNSW Canberra experience is unlike any other. Our faculty is set among bushland in the nation’s capital, close to the city centre. Here you can experience all the benefits of a globally connected Australian university—but in a close-knit community. We aim to be an international exemplar in equity, diversity and inclusion. We want to build on the diversity and cultural richness of our communities, ensuring our students and staff achieve their full potential.

UNSW Canberra School of Science is committed to advancing scientific knowledge to help solve some of the world’s greatest problems. Whether we're addressing the impacts of climate change, examining the influences on human decision-making, or exploring the never-ending depths of space, our approach to research draws knowledge from both traditional and emerging fields. Our research strengths lie in developing new experimental, analytical and computational methods. These unique capabilities combined with our multidisciplinary approach allows us to view and address complex challenges from different angles. Plus, our relationship with the Australian Defence Force and defence industries means the School has access to research not done at other Australian universities.

The Opportunity

Reporting to the UNSW Canberra Rector, you will lead an innovative and established School. You will develop a strategic vision for the School that is aligned with Faculty and University goals. 

Accountabilities will include:

  • Strategy and planning: with focus to collegial work, development of strategy and direction.
  • Student education experience and teaching performance: with focus on fostering a culture of innovation, strategic student engagement and management of enrolment planning processes.
  • Research performance: with focus on enhancing the research profile of the School, establishing a research performance culture, improving the School's research leadership, supporting knowledge exchange and attracting quality research students.
  • Relationship building: with a focus on building excellent relationships and establishing and maintaining effective communication processes. 
  • Operational management: with a focus on development, implementation and evaluation and business acumen. 
  • Financial performance: with a focus on achieving the financial performance goals and appropriate allocation of financial resources.
  • Staff management: with a focus on attracting and retaining high quality staff, establishing a supportive early career academic culture, using contemporary HR practices, oversight of staff workloads, staff reviews, implementation and development of EEO policies and staff health and safety. 

About the Successful Applicant

You will be an exceptional leader, with the proven ability to inspire, motivate and engage with a range of stakeholders. This includes academics, University senior management and external partners to deliver both outstanding research and education outcomes. You will have the capability to develop and implement a strategic vision and lead the change process to deliver that vision. You will have an enquiring mind and be motivated by social engagement including partnerships, collaborations in research and teaching, and continual knowledge exchange, to further debates and contribute to national and global change. 

You will be a respected scholar, at Professor level, who has experience in an appropriate discipline and a track record of publishing in top tier scientific journals. You will have a demonstrable understanding of the values and role a major research university, operating in an international context, plays within society. You will have a proven track record of successfully developing early and mid-career researchers to reach their potential in both a research and education context.

The position is located in Canberra, ACT. The successful candidate will be required to work from the UNSW Canberra campus. To be successful you will hold Australian Working Rights or Australian Citizenship. Visa sponsorship is not available for this appointment.

The successful candidate will be required to undertake pre-employment checks prior to commencement in this role. The checks that will be undertaken are listed in the Position Description. You will not be required to provide any further documentation or information regarding the checks until directly requested by UNSW.

Contact: Andrew Norton, Managing Partner, Fisher Leadership
P: +61 1300 347 437

To Apply: Please visit and select ‘Apply Online’ from the menu.  Submit your cover letter and resume to Andrew Norton quoting reference UNShss0921.


Applications close:  11 pm on 28 October 2021.

Find out more about working at UNSW Canberra

At UNSW Canberra, we celebrate diversity and understand the benefits that inclusion brings to the university. We aim to ensure that our culture, policies, and processes are truly inclusive. We are committed to developing and maintaining a workplace where everyone is valued and respected for who they are and supported in achieving their professional goals. We welcome applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, women at all levels, culturally and linguistically diverse people, people with disability, LGBTIQ+ people, people with family and caring responsibilities and people at all stages of their careers. We encourage everyone who meets the selection criteria and shares our commitment to inclusion to apply.

Any questions about the application process - please email

Position Description

Advertised: AUS Eastern Standard Time
Applications close: AUS Eastern Daylight Time

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