First listed on: 31 March 2017

Program Director (ATNF Science) 

  • Play a key role in shaping the future of radio astronomy in Australia through this senior position
  • Develop & support our dynamic research team to ensure CSIRO's global leadership in radio astronomy
  • Lead the science operations of our world-class national astronomical research facility as our newest telescope, ASKAP, comes on line

The Position

CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science (CASS) manages the Australia Telescope National Facility, including the Parkes radio telescope, the Australia Telescope Compact Array and the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder. CASS also contributes to the development of the international Square Kilometre Array and manages NASA's Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex.

As the Director of the ATNF Science program, you will lead a team engaged in astrophysics research and supporting science delivery with up-to-date instrumentation on the ATNF telescopes.

As a member of the CASS Executive team reporting directly to the CASS Director, you will work closely with ATNF users, the heads of our Technologies and Observatory Operations programs and the ATNF Chief Scientist. You will engage in and support world-class research and innovation in radio astronomy with the ATNF telescopes, and Australia’s preparations for the SKA.

Specifically you will:

  • Manage a world-class team whose scientific expertise is critical to CSIRO’s radio astronomy technology and telescope operations, and SKA activities (approximately 40 staff, including Postdoctoral Fellows, plus students);
  • Attract, develop and support staff from a diverse range of backgrounds;
  • Foster a creative culture that supports excellence in research by program staff;
  • Set direction for and oversee the delivery of user support, proposal review, time allocation and scheduling for the ATNF telescopes, evolving these to support ASKAP;
  • Build strategic relationships within the User Community and within CSIRO to help deliver the best science for the ATNF;
  • Manage the financial resources and ensure a sustainable financial pipeline for the ATNF Science program;
  • Produce internationally recognised astronomy output relevant to ATNF;
  • Actively promote a healthy, safe and environmentally sustainable workplace.

Location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia preferred. Perth, Western Australia considered.
Salary: AU$152K to AU$191K plus 15.4% superannuation and management loading
Tenure: Ongoing underlying role with Program Directorship to be reviewed every 3 years
Reference: 33961

As the Program Director (ATNF Science), you will be an internationally recognised scientist, who is an innovative and collaborative leader. You will have demonstrated excellent people management skills that enable you successfully to nurture a world-class team of scientists and manage a portfolio of science, projects and external relationships. You will have up to 30-40% of your time available for your own significant original research.

To be successful you will need:

  • A doctorate in a relevant discipline area, such as astrophysics.
  • Ability to engage with a broad range of stakeholders and build strategic collaborations.
  • An established international reputation and credibility in your field of astrophysics research or instrumentation.
  • Experience in, or aptitude for, managing user support, telescope time allocation and scheduling.
  • Demonstrated ability to attract, retain, empower and develop staff and to promote wellbeing and foster creativity in teams.
  • Evidence of the ability to think critically, identify business issues, manage conflicts and allocate resources to meet both short and long term needs.
  • Experience in strategic planning, organisational alignment and management of change.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead with respect to Health, Safety and Environment and integrate this program into normal business processes.

CASS is committed to increasing awareness, demonstrating best practice, and implementing initiatives to improve diversity within our workplace. Women and minorities are particularly encouraged to apply. Part-time employment will be considered.


At CSIRO we do the extraordinary every day. We innovate for tomorrow and help improve today - for our customers, all Australians and the world.

We imagine. We collaborate. We innovate.

Like to know more? Please contact Mr Andrew Wright at

To apply: Please go to on Current Vacancies and enter Job Reference 33961 or click on 'Apply'


Benefits include relocation, visa costs and health insurance for overseas applicants , four (4) weeks annual vacation leave, up to 4 days a year miscellaneous leave and maternity leave. CASS supports a flexible working environment and offers a range of family friendly options.

The role will be open until filled. Applications will be considered from 1 April 2017.

Recent Jobs