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Head of Research Development and Support

Black Dog Institute

About the Institute:

The Black Dog Institute is a Medical Research Institute and a global leader in translational mental health research. We harness the latest technology and other tools to quickly turn our world-class research findings into clinical services, education and e-health products that improve the lives of people with mental illness and the wider community.

We pride ourselves on translating our own world leading Workplace Mental Health research into an award-winning culture that encompasses a holistic view of wellbeing. We aim to create a positive, mentally healthy workplace that recognises the importance of meaningful work, balanced lifestyles, psychological well-being and continual learning whilst being guided by our core values - Collaboration, Compassion, Excellence, Innovation and Respect. We offer:

  • Competitive salaries
  • Salary packaging
  • Commitment to Learning and Development
  • Flexible working hours and work-life balance
  • Generous parental leave policy
  • Pet friendly office
  • Social and team events

About the Role:

The purpose of this position is to lead the research development and support function across the Research Priority Areas for the Black Dog Institute. The position will: support our continued success across competitive grant schemes through management and delivery of high-quality research development programs; oversee research performance through management of our research output monitoring systems and platforms; support the development and monitoring of academic career development plans and ongoing mentoring to build research capability and capacity; and provide focused research support to Research Heads and Team Leaders. The Head of Research Development and Support is a key member of the Senior Management Group that provides leadership across the Institute and supports the Director to enable excellent research outcomes and delivery against the Strategic Plan.

Key Duties:

Strategy and Planning

  • Lead the development, implementation and delivery of the departmental operational plan and budget in accordance with the broader Strategy.
  • Coordinate and maintain effective internal structures and relationships with a diverse team of academic and professional staff.
  • Coordinate and maintain effective internal communications and ensure research development and support information is disseminated thoroughly and within time-sensitive parameters
  • Identify potential risks and propose suitable mitigants to the Director Strategy and Operations.
  • Provide input to and contribute to broader Black Dog Governance Framework and engage in senior forums and committees.


  • Lead the expansion of the Research Development and Support team through a period of organisational growth, whilst continuing the timely delivery of high-quality research management and support services.
  • Manage high-level external relationships to facilitate partnerships in the development and coordination of research development and support activities
  • Effectively manage change management processes to support implementation of new functions and activities and continuous improvement
  • Foster a culture of transparent, effective, timely and appropriate communication.
  • Support the professional development of staff through coaching, mentoring, training and collaboration opportunities.
  • Represent Black Dog Institute on key stakeholder committees, external forums and meetings as appropriate

Research Development

  • Ensure that the research development activities of the Institute are sector-leading, including the following functions: grant strategy and development, grant administration, grant management and systems.
  • Maintain expert knowledge of relevant research funding landscapes including competitive grant schemes and other funding programs to further the Institute’s Strategy.
  • Align resources and manage talent to improve competitive research grant success, including provision of direct support with grant writing and budget development.
  • Directly manage the planning and development of all large strategic research grants.
  • Lead the planning and delivery of grant development workshops and peer review processes to ensure all competitive grant applications are of high calibre.
  • Work in partnership with the Fundraising and Partnerships Directorate to support development of grants and proposals for private foundations and supporters and identify key partners that can help further our research translation goals.
  • Work in partnership with the Finance and Governance Directorate to support the preparation, review and negotiation of contracts for research collaborations and funding agreements

Research Systems and Platforms

  • Work in partnership with the Digital Transformation Directorate to develop cutting edge Research Systems and Platforms that are aligned to the Institute’s scientific agenda
  • Oversee and ensure the appropriate management for Research Systems and Platforms, and engagement with researchers and research governance.
  • Develop, maintain, review and advise on Research Systems and Platforms policies and procedures.
  • Oversee, develop and maintain systems of internal controls to safeguard information within Research Systems and Platforms, including research integrity and compliance issues.
  • Oversee the promotion, measurement and reporting of indicators of research excellence, and work with the Institute Executive Leaders, Research Priority Heads and members of the Research Committee to improve research excellence.

Research Support and Management

  • Oversee the management, accurate reporting and sustainability of the Institute’s research infrastructure programs, such as the Medical Research Support Program (MRSP) and Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC)
  • Oversee the effective and efficient research support and management to the Research Priority Areas to assist the Black Dog Institute’s Strategy and Operational Plans through mobilisation of people, teams and programs of research.
  • In partnership with Research Heads and Team Leaders, collaborate with the People and Culture team to recruit and support high functioning research teams required in each area.
  • Support the Director of Research and Heads of Research Priority Areas to ensure all aspiring graduate, early and mid-career researchers are provided with career development planning and mentoring opportunities.
  • Provide strategic guidance to build research capability and capacity.
  • In partnership with Research Heads and Team Leaders, collaborate with the People and Culture team to attract high-calibre higher degree students and visitors/interns to the Institute

About You:

The successful candidate will have the following:

Essential Criteria

  • A relevant postgraduate qualification or an equivalent level of knowledge and skills gained through any other combination or education, training and/or experience.
  • 8+ years experience in senior research management role
  • Significant research operational management experience at a senior level preferably within a medical research institute, health or university environment.
  • Expert knowledge of research grant funding programs and funding rules, with in-depth knowledge of National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Research Council and Medical Research Future Fund, and a well developed understanding of what constitutes a high quality and competitive funding application.
  • Outstanding planning and organisational skills and the demonstrated ability to manage organisation-wide projects, people and workflows, and to prioritise and meet deadlines.
  • Exceptional written communication, negotiation and research skills including data analysis and reporting, with a proven experience of business communication to an Executive Team or equivalent.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to interact with academic and non-academic professionals at a variety of levels in a collaborative and effective manner.
  • Demonstrated experience of successfully leading and engaging a team, and leading change and business improvement.
  • Proven ability to exercise independent judgement and problem solving with the ability to resolve and address issues as they arise.

Desirable Criteria

  • Experience in a research environment that is consistent with the mission and objectives of the Black Dog Institute, with a good understanding of the broader research context.

Please apply via the link below with your resume and cover letter addressing the selection criteria and your interest in Black Dog Institute.

Due to to volume of applications we receive, only candidates who meet the selection criteria will be contacted. Candidates who apply via email will not be considered.

Advertisements are subject to closing earlier than specified if a suitable candidate is appointed.

The Black Dog Institute is an EEO Employer.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and encouraged to apply.

How to apply

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