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Chief Scientist and Director

Apply now Job no: 503443
Work type: Full-time
Location: Sydney, NSW
Categories: Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor

  • One of Australia’s leading research & teaching universities
  • Vibrant campus life with a strong sense of community & inclusion
  • Enjoy a career that makes a difference by collaborating & learning from the best
  • Working with one of Australia’s largest private Land Conservation Agencies.

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

The School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES) has 160 academics, researchers and professional staff, and over 130 higher degree research students. BEES has research strengths in Ecology and evolutionary biology, Geography, Climate Science, Environmental change, sustainability and resources, and Paleo-environments and Earth History.

The Chief Scientist & Director (Level C-D) is expected to make independent or original contributions to leadership in science at Bush Heritage Australia and as the Director of Fowlers Gap Research Station.

The position is expected to play a major role in within conservation science and ecosystem management and restoration. This position will be established as a joint position with these dual functions, a partnership between UNSW Sydney and Bush Heritage Australia.

Bush Heritage Australia is a national non-profit organisation that buys land of outstanding conservation values and manages it to protect our irreplaceable landscapes and our magnificent native species, by reconnecting fragmented landscapes, and building partnerships with other landowners, particularly Traditional Owners. Bush Heritage works across many landscapes (11.3 million ha).


About the role

  • Level C ($135K - $155K) Level D ($162K - $178K) plus 17% Superannuation and annual leave loading
  • Fixed Term – 5 years CTT (with possibility of extension based on performance and funding)
  • Full time (35 hours)

The Chief Scientist & Director to the Head of the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, and Bush Heritage Australia’s Executive Manager, Science and Conservation and sits within the Centre for Ecosystem Science.

Specific responsibilities for this role include:

LEVEL C

  • Oversee the scientific and conservation activities at Bush Heritage and Fowlers Gap Research Station to provide opportunities for trialling new methods in landscape restoration, conservation innovation and tracking ecosystem change;
  • Establish research networks with Bush Heritage Ecologists in sustaining and implementing the Bush Heritage Knowledge Strategy, including fostering opportunities for collaboration, guiding project development, implementation, analysis and publication of relevant research;
  • Oversee the Strategic Adaptive Management Plan for Fowlers Gap, including supporting academic and operational staff in research and management;
  • Support research (some logistical support) and teaching (some lecturing) at Fowlers Gap Research Station;
  • Develop research programs and supervise research students with research partners across Bush Heritage Australia lands and at Fowlers Gap to generate and share knowledge on best practice conservation strategies and tracking ecosystem change;
  • Work in partnership with Aboriginal people to plan and achieve conservation and cultural goals on Bush Heritage and IPA lands
  • Communicate and contribute to the development of policy for effective conservation management, including working with media and communications teams to increase community awareness of Bush Heritage’s and UNSW activities and impact;
  • Work closely with the Bush Heritage Executive Manager, Science and Conservation and Director and Aboriginal Engagement Team and Director of the Centre for Ecosystem Science (UNSW) to embed research in providing evidence of impact on Bush Heritage conservation areas;
  • Obtain research income from nationally competitive research grants (and/or research fellowships) and research end-users as a member or leader In conservation management;
  • Mentor and guide students, groups, and colleagues; supervise HDRs to timely completion as primary supervisor; and contribute to HDR review panels;
  • Align with and actively demonstrate the UNSW Values in Action: Our Behaviours and the UNSW Code of Conduct. and Bush Heritage Australia’s values, policies and practices.
  • Ensure that Work, Health and Safety and Environment policies are understood and adhered to across all science and operational activities;
  • Ensure hazards and risks are identified and controlled for tasks, projects and activities that pose a health and safety risk within your area of responsibility.

LEVEL D (in addition to the above)

  • Lead Bush Heritage Ecologists in sustaining and implementing the Bush Heritage Knowledge Strategy, using a Right-Way Science approach and including fostering opportunities for collaboration, guiding project development, implementation, analysis, and publication of relevant research.
  • Lead the implementation of the Strategic Adaptive Management Plan for Fowlers Gap, including supporting academic and operational staff in research and Station management.
  • Participate in major research collaborations and support teaching at Fowlers Gap Research Station.
  • Develop, plan, and deliver Research, Strategic and Operational Plans for Fowlers Gap Research Station in consultation with staff, and the Steering Committee.
  • Lead original research programs and supervise research students with research partners across Australia and at Fowlers Gap to generate and share knowledge on best practice conservation strategies and tracking ecosystem change.
  • Generate, communicate, and apply relevant science to influence and inform the development of policy for effective conservation management, including working with media and communications teams to increase community awareness of Bush Heritage’s and UNSW activities and impact
  • Play a significant role in the leadership of research projects, including leading significant research proposals submitted to competitive and/or other funding bodies, consistent with that of a national leader in conservation management.
  • Manage the operational, financial, lease, and animal care aspects of the Station.
  • Engage with academic, professional, and international organisations relevant to the objectives of the two organisations.

About the successful applicant
(Selection Criteria)

LEVEL C

To be successful in this role you will have:

  • A PhD in a related discipline, and/or relevant work experience.
  • Proven commitment to proactively keeping up to date with discipline knowledge and developments.
  • Demonstrated track record in research with outcomes of high quality and high impact with clear evidence of the desire and ability to continually achieve research excellence as well as the capacity for research leadership.
  • Commitment and passion for nature conservation and the objectives and values of Bush Heritage.
  • Demonstrated understanding of and experience in working with Indigenous peoples in nature conservation and land management
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a team, collaborate across disciplines and build effective relationships.
  • Evidence of highly developed interpersonal and organisational skills in working effectively with a diverse range of people (staff, volunteers and supporters, neighbours and regional bodies, representatives of other organisations and at various levels of private, corporate and government sectors) and bringing the best out of them.
  • Understanding of budgets with regard to goals for conservation projects and land management.
  • Demonstrated experience in business management, facilities management and/or entrepreneurial activities.
  • An understanding of and commitment to UNSW’s and Bush Heritage’s aims, objectives and values in action, together with relevant policies and guidelines.
  • Knowledge of health and safety responsibilities and commitment to attending relevant health and safety training. Knowledge of animal/research ethics, OHWH&S and risk assessment procedures and requirements.
  • Driving licence

LEVEL D (in addition to the above)

  • Significant track record in ecological research leadership with outcomes of high quality and high international impact with clear evidence of the desire and ability to continually achieve research excellence and deliver research leadership.
  • Demonstrated experience in building and maintaining complex research programs.
  • Highly advanced emotional competence with excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrated success in working effectively with a diverse range of people (staff, volunteers and supporters, neighbours and regional bodies, representatives of other organisations and at various levels of private, corporate and government sectors) and bringing the best out of them.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate to a superior level in both a written and oral form.
  • High level of computer literacy and proficiency with personal computers including word processing, data management, analysis and visualisation software, spatial analysis, and remote sensing technology.
  • Experience in managing and reporting on budgets regarding goals for conservation projects and land management.
  • Prior experience in the not-for-profit sector.

You should systematically address the selection criteria listed within the position description in your application.

For informal queries, please see the below contact details. 

Otherwise, please apply online - applications will not be accepted if sent directly to the contact listed.

UNSW Contact:
Professor Richard Kingsford, Director of the Centre for Ecosystem Science, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences
E: richard.kingsford@unsw.edu.au

Bush Heritage Australia Contact:
Dr Rebecca Spindler, Executive Manager, Science and Conservation
E: rebecca.spindler@bushheritage.org.au

Applications close: January 31st , 2022


Find out more about working at UNSW at www.unsw.edu.au

UNSW aspires to be the exemplar Australian university and employer of choice for people from diverse backgrounds. UNSW aims to ensure equality in recruitment, development, retention and promotion of staff and that no-one is disadvantaged on the basis of their gender, cultural background, disability, sexual orientation or identity or Indigenous heritage. We encourage everyone who meets the selection criteria to apply.

UNSW partners with Australia’s leading diversity organisations, networks, and campaigns. Please refer to UNSW’s diversity offerings for further information on our flexible work and leave options, and support for carers (childcare, parent rooms, parental leave).

Position Description

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

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