First listed on: 04 February 2024

Principal Researcher – Work from home

  • Full time or part time (0.8FTE) $148,526 to $164,439 p.a. plus 11% superannuation
  • Term contract until 31 Dec 2025
  • Work from home (Australia-wide)

Are you…

  • a self-starter who is passionate about education research and evaluation
  • experienced managing project teams to deliver research-informed policy advice
  • familiar with research and evaluation methods, and able to both critically consume this information, and plan work using these methods
  • looking to join a new team of dedicated professionals all passionate about improving education outcomes using evidence

Be part of Australia’s new education research organisation

The Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO) is Australia’s national education evidence body. AERO is working towards excellent and equitable outcomes for all children and young people by generating and making high-quality evidence accessible, and enhancing the use of evidence in Australian education.

AERO is bringing together people who are passionate about evidence-informed policy and practice for schools and early childhood services. Our team is collegial, creative and committed to fulfilling AERO’s potential to make an impact. We value agile thinkers who can help shape AERO as a new, dynamic organisation, and team players who enjoy working across projects and in diverse, interdisciplinary teams. Many of our people have ongoing connections to research, policy and practice organisations, helping us to bridge the gap between evidence generation and translation.

For more information about AERO, please see 

Lead evaluation and research project in areas of national priority

The role contributes to high-quality education research, evaluation and policy analysis in schools that aims to deliver high-impact findings that can be easily accessed, understood and implemented by education practitioners and policymakers.

Essential requirements:

  • Experience in designing qualitative and quantitative research or evaluation projects and advising school systems based on this work.
  • Experience working in research and/or policy teams to deliver complex, high-quality products under tight timelines and competing priorities.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, with an ability to translate technical and complex information concisely for diverse audiences including policymakers, academics and school staff.
  • Deep knowledge of the Australian education sector, including key stakeholders, policies and frameworks.
  • Ability to critically consume research in academic journals and from other sources including think tanks, NGOs, consultancies and governments.
  • Experience managing, supporting and developing staff to deliver organisational outcomes
  • Understanding of and experience in facilitating cross organisational collaboration


  • Leading the scoping, planning and designing of projects aligned to AERO’s annual research agenda, and, through the life of a project, recalibrating strategic direction in response to opportunities and challenges.
  • Facilitating collaboration within the team and with other divisions to undertake role accountabilities, with guidance and direction provided by the Program Director and Executive.
  • Developing outputs and services that meet the needs of intended audiences, adhere to AERO's brand, processes and style, and are subjected to an appropriately thorough quality assurance process.
  • Leading a team, including establishing and managing priorities, deliverables, timelines, budgets, staffing, and performance and development. Outputs and services may include education practitioner guidance, evaluation and research projects or policy advice for school systems and other actors interested in designing programs and policies to support students.
  • Reporting regularly on progress to meet internal communications and external compliance requirements.
  • Working with other AERO teams, ensure a stakeholder engagement and communications strategy is planned and executed to achieve project objectives, including identifying key stakeholders, and planning how to engage and influence them in pursuit of these objectives.
  • Providing advice and expertise to AERO teams as required.
  • Establishing and maintaining strong relationships with key internal and external stakeholders while ensuring AERO’s broader objectives and needs are kept in consideration.

Key challenges:

  • Managing workload and expectations, given competing organisational priorities which are often changing and unpredictable.
  • Providing accurate and balanced research advice and recommendations on a range of complex issues, given AERO’s vision, values and strategic direction.
  • Drawing on one’s own expertise and that of both the project and broader team to meet the needs and expectations of a diverse set of stakeholders, including school-based staff, policymakers (e.g. staff responsible for policy design and implementation within education departments) and the broader research community.

How to apply?

If you reside in Australia and are an Australian Citizen, Permanent Resident or have unrestricted work rights in Australia, and believe you meet the requirements of the roles, we'd love to hear from you by COB 27 Feb 2024.

Please only apply for this role if you already have current work rights in Australia.

Please press ‘apply’ with:

  • a resume
  • a cover letter describing your interest in and suitability for the role.

AERO particularly welcomes applicants who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

More information

For more information email

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