Situations Vacant

Executive Director (Australian Council of Deans of Science)

June 2023

The Australian Council of Deans of Science (ACDS) is seeking an Executive Director

Proposals should be submitted to . Further information is available from Professor Melissa Brown, President of the Australian Council of Deans of Science: 


The Australian Council of Deans of Science (ACDS) represents and advocates for University Science in Australia. It comprises the Deans (or equivalent) of all Australian universities that have a significant organisational investment in science, such as a Science Faculty, a College, or a major component of these.

Information on the ACDS can be found at, including our vision for Australian University Science, our strategic goals for the next three years, our priorities for the next 12 months, and many of our submissions relating to various higher education and other policy matters. Of particular note, our sector-leading ACDS Teaching and Learning Centre continues to be highly valued, as is our magazine, Australian University Science.

The ACDS is funded by member fees and has an approximate annual budget of $350,000. The budget is used to run events and conferences, communications, and small grant schemes, and to support a small team, comprising the Director of the Teaching and Learning Centre, Director of the Research Forum, a Finance Officer and an Information and Communications Officer.

The ACDS convenes an Annual General Meeting and Conference and runs a number of events throughout the year.

The activity of the Council is guided and supported by the Executive Committee, comprised of the President of ACDS, the Immediate Past President and five full member representatives.  The Executive Committee generally meets seven times a year.

The opportunity

The ACDS invites proposals from appropriately experienced and qualified individuals to provide executive services for the ACDS, commencing as soon as possible for up to a 3-year period subject to review.

It is expected that these services will be provided in a timely manner, usually on a part-time basis across the year, but there will be peak workload times during the Annual General Meeting and Conference, and for other events and initiatives.

The successful candidate will serve as an ex-officio member of the Executive Committee and will have the title of ‘Executive Director’.

Executive services required

  • Monitoring the release of discussion papers and other documents from various government departments and peak bodies on matters relevant to the ACDS and drafting responses as appropriate,
  • Engaging with, and drafting strategic correspondence to, key stakeholders including Executive Directors of cognate Councils and Academies,
  • Drafting communications on the activities and achievements of the ACDS that can be shared with members and partners,
  • Providing strategic and administrative support for the Executive Committee meetings, the Annual General Meeting and various working groups,
  • Overseeing the outreach activities of the Council including:
    • Ensuring appropriate messaging and focus for the ACDS website and regular updates to members,
    • Providing strategic, organizational and secretarial leadership for the ACDS AGM and Conference including program development, budgeting, liaison with the host institution, inviting speakers and conduct of the business meeting), and
    • Supporting and monitoring of the work of the Communications and Information Officer and Finance Officer
  • Assisting the Executive in planning, implementing, tracking and monitoring outcomes of strategic projects,
  • Ensuring that the statutory requirements of the Council are met.

Skills and expertise

Essential selection criteria:

  • Credibility in the sector through past exposure to higher education or government environments and evidence of respect for and appreciation of Science,
  • Outstanding communication skills,
  • Experience and skills in working with executive committees,
  • Strong skills in managing the delivery of strategic projects,
  • Demonstrated organizational and interpersonal skills,
  • Experience in writing submissions to government and peak bodies
  • An understanding of higher education issues

Preferred experience:

  • Direct experience working within or influencing science research and/or education in Australia,
  • Five or more years of university management experience,
  • Experience in a member-based organization.


  • Working in a vibrant sector with a group of Deans who are passionate about University Science and a highly experienced and committed team of professional staff
  • A 100% work-from-home role from any location in Australia
  • Several ACDS-funded Interstate travel opportunities each year
  • Opportunities to engage across the higher education sector


Proposals to provide the above-mentioned services should include the following:

  1. A document that introduces the person who will be supplying the services and addresses their experience and skills at supplying each of the services listed above.
  2. A current CV
  3. A fixed quotation for the supply of services on a monthly or annual basis.
  4. The names and contact details of two referees who may be contacted at the end of the selection process in the case of the person being the preferred candidate.

The successful candidate must be registered for GST and hold their public liability and professional indemnity insurance.

Proposals should be submitted to  by Monday the 24th of July, 2023.

Further information

Further information is available from Professor Melissa Brown, President of the Australian Council of Deans of Science: