The Opportunity

Chief Scientist and Executive Director

Job Title: Chief Scientist and Executive Director
Contract Type: Permanent
Location: Sydney
Salary: Competitive
Start Date: 2021-08-12
Reference: BH-28599
Contact Name: Rob Macmillan
Contact Email:
Job Published: August 13, 2021 15:32

Job Description


• Transformational leadership opportunity
• Help make a difference to the significant mental health challenges facing Australia
• Based in Sydney

Our aim is to create a mentally healthier world for everyone. Established in 2002, the Black Dog Institute is the only medical research institute in Australia to investigate mental health across the lifespan and we do this through translational research. By integrating our research studies, education programs, digital tools and apps, clinical services, and public resources we strive to discover new solutions, foster connections and create real-world change. Our partnerships with people with lived experience, federal, state and local governments, communities, schools, corporate Australia and Indigenous groups in the mental health sector enables us to drive evidence-informed reform in mental health, where it’s needed most. We employ around 260 FTE and are on a rapid growth trajectory as we continue to lead and support ground breaking research in this critical field.

Following Scientia Professor Helen Christensen’s decision to step down from the Chief Scientist & Executive Director (CSED) role after 10 highly successful years, the Board are now seeking to appoint an inspirational executive who will continue to build and lead the organisation on its next stage.

Reporting to the Board, the CSED will guide the Black Dog Institute towards the delivery of its strategic objectives. The CSED will lead, through their executive team, all aspects of research strategy advocacy and financial governance of the organisation. The CSED will lead the research and translational teams and the broader staff to deliver outstanding and sustainable research and translational work, which ultimately positively impacts the mental health of the communities served. The CSED will guide productive partnerships with universities locally, nationally, and internationally; the position also leads the policy and advocacy group and is responsible for key government relationships.

We are seeking a leader who demonstrates the following experience and skills:

• Proven academic leader within the broad mental health / psychology / psychiatry or related disciplines with exceptional research credentials and highly regarded as a thought leader in their field;
• Deep experience of leading research collaboration across the mental health landscape and possess a track record of cultivating successful and sustainable partnerships;
• Experience leading a similar or related type of organisation or division;
• Experience of working with, and cultivating, diverse research funding sources;
• Highly adept communication skills, experienced and comfortable operating at the state, national and international level across government, NGO, academia and other relevant bodies;
• Passionate about translational research across diverse settings which may include, but not limited to, workplace, school, healthcare, population and e-mental health;
• Compassionate leader who inspires those around them to thrive and flourish.

This is an opportunity of transformational significance and comes at a pivotal point in our evolution.

Please CLICK HERE for a copy of the Candidate Information Pack, which includes details on how to apply. For more information, please contact Rob Macmillan, Partner Health or Madison Milliner at

Applications close: Sunday, 5th September 

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