Deputy/Science Director, Space and Astronomy

Australia - Canberra, Sydney or Perth preferred
Attractive salary package to be negotiated up to 15.4% superannuation
June 24 2021
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type
Job Type

The Opportunity

  • Exceptional leadership opportunity with Space & Astronomy
  • High profile role with significant global scope & partnerships
  • Contribute to the management of Australia’s world class space & astronomy facilities


CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, has strong capabilities and partnerships in astronomy, technology and space, developed over the past 75 years. Our Space & Astronomy business unit has over 300 people working across Australia to understand our Universe, contribute to solving the greatest challenges, and build future industry.


We have worked with NASA since 1962, and in July 1969 played a key role in bringing images of the Apollo 11 Moon landing to more than 600 million people around the world. We currently manage the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex for NASA and operate the New Norcia deep space tracking station in Western Australia for the European Space Agency.


We operate and manage Australia’s leading radio astronomy observatories as a national research facility – the ATNF – used by astronomers from across Australia and around the world. The ATNF includes the Parkes Telescope, the Australia Telescope Compact Array, and Australia’s newest radio telescope, the wide-field Australian SKA Pathfinder. We have a rich heritage of instrument development for radio astronomy, including innovative wide-field and wide-band receivers now deployed on ATNF telescopes and at major overseas observatories. CSIRO is an operating partner to the international SKA Observatory. The SKA-Low telescope located at our Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in Western Australia will reveal the hidden Universe while creating jobs and opportunities for Australians.


We work with leading global companies and more than 30 small-to-medium businesses on a range of space-related activities, and we’re a key technology partner to the new Australian Space Agency supporting the Agency’s goal of tripling the size of the Australian space industry by 2030.


The Deputy/Science Director works closely with the Director to oversee programs and activities within the business unit and ensure the long-term success and growth of world-leading space & astronomy activity in Australia. The Deputy/Science Director provides scientific vision and cross-disciplinary leadership in areas relevant to their expertise, managing key relationships within and beyond CSIRO. They are a member of the CSIRO Science Council, deputising for the Director as required.

In this role, you will:

  • Develop and promote a world-leading science and innovation culture focused on delivering national and international impact
  • Develop new science capability and be accountable for its performance and translation into impact
  • Be an active member of CSIRO Science Council, providing direction and recommendations to the CSIRO Executive on internal and external competitive schemes and new initiatives
  • Contribute to strategy and operational planning for the business unit
  • Develop proposals and initiatives aligned with the business unit’s strategic direction, and lead the promotion and facilitation of their implementation
  • Shape science/engineering capability through internal and external collaboration to meet future science opportunities and program goals
  • Manage external relationships with partners to advance CSIRO’s strategic goals in science and innovation delivery and impact, in conjunction with the Director
  • Introduce new perspectives and directions to address new opportunities and long-standing challenges.
  • Provide high level representation for CSIRO’s Space & Astronomy business unit capability both nationally and internationally
  • Work collaboratively with the business unit leadership team to ensure that capability, resources, and strategic investments are effectively prioritised and deployed to meet current and future requirements


Location: Sydney, Canberra or Perth preferred

Salary: Attractive salary package to be negotiated up to 15.4% superannuation

Tenure: Negotiable; minimum of three years

Reference: 74366

To be considered you will need:

  • A PhD (or an equivalent combination of qualifications and research experience) in a science or technology field relevant to space and/or astronomy, combined with managerial qualifications or significant relevant scientific leadership experience.
  • Success in working at the interface of discovery science and impact delivery
  • Demonstrated ability to attract, retain, empower and develop world class people, and to promote wellbeing and foster cross-organisational collaboration
  • Broad science knowledge and deep understanding of a range of domains and disciplines
  • Relevant professional business, industry and research networks within Space & Astronomy
  • In depth knowledge and understanding of national and international innovation system (Universities, publicly funded research agencies, NGOs and CSIRO’s role in this system)
  • Strong knowledge of external Industries and R&D markets, trends, decision making and dynamics relevant to the Space & Astronomy business unit research portfolio
  • Demonstrated experience in the leadership of strategy, planning and prioritisation activities in a space, astronomy, or related science environment.


To be eligible to work in CSIRO you must either be an Australian Citizen, Permanent Resident or hold, or be able to obtain, a valid working visa.

The successful applicant will be required to obtain and provide a National Police Check or equivalent. Additional integrity checks may be required for specific roles which require security clearance for working with children, Australian Government cybersecurity requirements or other identified security roles.

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.

Potential applicants with questions about the position or the search can contact the Talent Acquisition Team at, quoting reference 74366.

Applications Close

30 July 2021, 11:00pm AEST/AEDT