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Deputy Director - Research

Australian Institute of Family Studies

The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) is the Australian Government's key family research body in the area of family wellbeing. It is an independent statutory authority, based in Melbourne. AIFS research develops evidence to inform policy and services for the wellbeing of families and children in Australia. With bold new strategic directions, the Institute is transforming to strengthen its impact on “what works” for families.

As a member of the AIFS Executive, the Deputy Director, Research provides advice to the Director on the strategic direction and management of the Institute, in particular with respect to research priorities and strategies. 

The Institute’s influential research covers a wide range of social policy areas including family relationships, program evaluation, child wellbeing, family law, out-of-home care, family violence, gambling harm, community development, communities, and families and/or family policy and services. The role provides leadership of flagship research projects including high-profile longitudinal studies and data linkage. 

To be a strong contender for this role you will need to have highly credentialed research and/or policy skills, highly developed critical thinking and analytical capability and be a strong leader with outstanding organisational and interpersonal skills. You will also possess excellent stakeholder management skills and be able to represent the Institute in the media and nationally and internationally. You will have qualifications (or equivalent relevant experience) in a discipline relevant to families-based research such as social, behavioural or data science, statistics, economics, public health or law.

Position duties:

  • Provide senior leadership across the Institute as a member of the executive team including providing leadership in the development and achievement of the Institute’s strategic objectives.
  • Provide strategic advice on the development and delivery of the AIFS research program, including the associated resources.
  • Manage the AIFS research program, including supervision of research managers, delivering the research program to a high standard, within budget, strict timelines, and in compliance with risk, governance and project management frameworks.
  • Edit and review research papers and provide quality control over all Institute output.
  • Build and manage stakeholder relationships by providing information, research expertise and specialist advice to key stakeholders, including funding bodies, policy makers (in government and service provision agencies) and practitioners.
  • Liaise with and provide research and policy advice to key stakeholders including government Ministers, government departments, media, academia and non-government bodies.
  • Manage senior research managers including performance management, development planning, facilitating resource allocation and strategic guidance.
  • Represent the Institute in the media and nationally and internationally at conferences, seminars and other forums concerned with the wellbeing of Australian families.
  • Support the Director ensure compliance with legislative and public service accountabilities, including Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act, the Public Service Act and other government and parliamentary reporting and accountabilities.

This process may be used to fill one or two positions at the present time and may also be used to fill similar vacancies that become available over the next 12 months.

Before applying, please obtain selection documentation from the Executive Intelligence Group vacancies page Ref. No. #773. If, after reading the selection documentation, you require further information please contact Tricia Searson or Karina Duffey on (02) 6232 2200.

To apply click Apply Now.


To be eligible for engagement, applicants must be Australian citizens unless special approval is given. For example, applicants with permanent resident status who have applied or intend to apply for Australian citizenship may be considered for engagement. 

Working at AIFS

We provide a family-friendly and flexible workplace that supports the wellbeing and professional development of our diverse workforce. Benefits include workplace health and wellbeing activities, a healthy promotion allowance and Christmas closedown period with no deduction from leave credits. Our salaries and conditions of employment are set out in our Enterprise Agreement.

AIFS is committed to providing an inclusive and diverse workplace. We encourage applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with disability, mature age people, those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people who identify as LGBTI+, and people with parenting and/or caring responsibilities.

How to apply

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