a blue and white research vessel with people standing near the bow looking out to sea

Careers at AIMS

A rewarding career at Australia's tropical marine science agency

Research Program Directors

Townsville, Qld
Posted 6 days 16 hours ago



Employment Type

Full-time, 5-year Fixed Term


$180,397 to $195,560 per annum

More Information

Closing Date


About AIMS & The Programs

The Australian Institute of Marine Science is Australia’s tropical marine research agency. We are a trusted advisor, a partner and employer of choice, and we value integrity, innovation, collaboration and respect. AIMS’ research of Australia’s tropical marine ecosystems guides their effective environmental management and contributes to our understanding of similar ecosystems around the world.

Our research seeks to deliver practical benefit to all Australians and supports the sustainable use of our tropical marine estate. Governments, reef managers, industry and the wider community look to our high-quality, long-term research for informed decisions about our iconic Great Barrier Reef, North-West Shelf, and Arafura and Timor Seas. AIMS expert teams at our locations in Townsville, Darwin and Perth have access to world-class infrastructure, unique datasets, cutting-edge laboratories, and a fleet of modern research vessels.

We are seeking two Research Program Directors to lead two newly formed research programs that deliver essential components of the science for solutions that are core to AIMS Strategy 2025.

Globally, marine ecosystems are rapidly changing due to increasing pressures from climate change and local disturbances. There is an increasing need for reliable information about the status, trends and future of tropical marine ecosystems such as coral reefs. The Reef Ecology and Monitoring Program applies various research approaches and technologies to provide information more rapidly and more efficiently to assess and inform of the consequences of such changes to coral reefs.

Corals that provide key ecosystem functions must acclimatise and adapt to persist in a warming future. The research delivered by the Reef Recovery, Adaptation and Restoration Program progresses the understanding of the scope, rates and molecular mechanisms underpinning acclimatisation and adaptation. Applying this fundamental knowledge, the Program is testing the feasibility, benefits and risks of novel reef restoration and adaptation interventions, including coral enhancements that improve temperature tolerance and advancing large-scale aquaculture production of selected coral stock.

About these Exciting Opportunities

As part of the AIMS Leadership Team and reporting to the CEO you will play a key role in the ongoing success and growth of this business by developing and implementing a significant marine research portfolio. You will achieve this by leading effective research planning and management, stakeholder engagement and strategic capability building for future growth and innovation within your Program.

Your leadership will bring multiple science disciplines together across your program and in collaboration with other AIMS Research Programs, will work to address critical and high-priority science questions and environmental management issues for Australia’s marine ecosystems and dependent industries. 

Your focus will be to lead a growing team of about 40 science and support staff, identify opportunities and ensure the delivery of relevant AIMS Strategy 2025 outcomes. And as a member of the AIMS Leadership Team, you will contribute to the strategy and direction of the whole of AIMS.

Leading by example you will further develop and foster a strong and positive organisational culture that will promote science excellence, and also work to promote the role of AIMS as a provider of world-class science knowledge and trusted advisor. An important requirement of your position will be to enhance existing partnerships and actively seek to develop new business relationships and funding opportunities which support the continued growth and expansion our research portfolios.

About you

An experienced leader, your professional tertiary qualifications in a Marine Science field will further support your extensive experience in leading and managing large science programs. This experience demonstrates your deep understanding of the commitment to delivering timely outputs and leading across multiple disciplinary boundaries. The successful applicant is expected to have:

  • Significant experience in science, government or business leadership and in developing productive partnerships between science, government and agencies
  • Collaborative leadership skills, able to create connection across multidisciplinary teams
  • Proven strategic and operational leadership, able to be decisive in selecting a course of action and leading in a way that drives the promotion of science capacity and outcomes
  • A proven track record of high-level leadership, coaching and mentoring of teams, and known as an approachable and effective leader
  • Excellent stakeholder engagement and relationship management skills, well known for your ability to influence
  • A growth mindset, together with an analytical and problem-solving ability


Apply now and join a world leading organisation with attractive working conditions.  In line with our Enterprise Agreement, the successful candidates for these exciting opportunities will be rewarded with:

  • Remuneration range $180,397 to $195,560 per annum, plus 15.4% superannuation
  • Motor vehicle
  • Full-time, 5-year Fixed Term opportunity
  • Located in Townsville (Qld). Relocation Assistance available
  • Generous leave provisions & Flexible Work Arrangements considered

Please note:

  1. Non-Australian Citizens must hold an appropriate Visa with working entitlements that allows paid employment with AIMS for the term of the appointment, depending on the relevant Department of Home Affairs current policies.
  2. AIMS strongly encourages all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Whilst it is not currently a mandatory requirement for this role, AIMS reserves the right to review its position and policy on mandatory vaccinations. It may therefore become a mandatory requirement for this role in the future.

Next Step:

Further information about these exciting and challenging leadership opportunities is outlined in the Candidate Information Pack which is available to download below. If, after reviewing the position description, which is included in the Candidate Information Pack, you believe that your qualifications, experience and professional capabilities will enable you to successfully the deliver the position responsibilities, we would be very interested in hearing from you.

Below you will also find a link to our Recruitment Application Guide which details the necessity to submit your statements addressing your suitability against the selection criteria within the scope of the position description, which are detailed in the Candidate Information Pack.

Submitting your Application:

Please ensure that you have your completed documents (selection criteria responses, resume and cover letter) ready to attach to your online application form via our e-recruitment system which can be accessed via the "apply now" button below.

Shortlisted applicants may be asked to complete a personal outlook analysis questionnaire using the Birkman Method.

Position enquiries are to be directed to Paul Hardisty, CEO at p.hardisty@aims.gov.au

Applications close: MONDAY, 29th AUGUST 2022 (9AM, AEST).

The Australian Institute of Marine Science acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land and sea on which we work. We recognise the unique relationships and enduring cultural and spiritual connection that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have to land and sea, and pay our respects to Elders past, present and future.