Hiring now: Research Director | CPD Sustainable Economy Program


We’re hiring now: Research Director for our Sustainable Economy Program

  • Help develop the evidence and ideas we need to make Australia’s economy sustainable
  • Full-time, two-year position
  • Based in Sydney

About the CPD
The Centre for Policy Development is a non-profit research institute that provides a platform for progressive ideas for policy change. CPD combats short-termism in public policy by developing and communicating long-term policy agendas, based on original and credible research. The Centre for Policy Development makes good ideas matter – putting options for fair and sustainable policy reform at the heart of public debate in Australia.
A small and dedicated group of staff and volunteers have built the CPD into a well-respected and effective policy voice. We are now looking for a research director for the Sustainable Economy Program.

Position Summary
The Sustainable Economy Program will develop and highlight options for Australia to make a rapid transition to an economy that is environmentally and socially sustainable. The Program is underpinned by an understanding of the problems caused by systemic short-termism in both the public and private sectors and by the failure to value public goods which are hard to measure or monetise. The Program will address these problems by demonstrating the value of Australia’s natural wealth, and developing a positive, evidence-backed agenda for sustainable industry policy.

The Research Director is responsible for conducting and communicating research in these areas. This position is also responsible for managing the day-to-day business of the Program and developing and implementing strategies for the quality, financial sustainability and public impact of the Program over the long term.

The successful applicant will be an ideas person with strong research and communication skills, who can combine a big-picture vision on Australia’s economic future with an eye for detail and a knack for economic and policy analysis. The Research Director will need to be reliable, resourceful, creative, and able to make things happen quickly, with minimal resources and supervision. This position gives you a chance to put great ideas at the centre of public debate.

Roles & responsibilities:
Conducting and coordinating the Sustainable Economy Program’s research

  • Conduct research and write high-quality, accessible reports on the Program’s two core themes: ‘valuing what matters’ and ‘sustainable industry policy’
  • Coordinate research on these themes from CPD fellows and others – this may involve coordinating collaborative research projects, co-authoring some papers, editing and arranging peer review for research contributed by others
  • Promote the results of the Sustainable Economy Program’s research through the media, public forums and other forms of communication

Program management

  • Managing the resources, workflow and budget of the program
  • Reporting to the Executive Director, Board and funders on the program, research projects and project outcomes
  • Working with the CPD Executive Director to identify, cost and resource new research projects
  • Working with other CPD staff to develop and implement communication strategies for the program and its projects

Selection Criteria

  • A passion for fair, sustainable and democratic policy reform
  • Qualifications and/or experience in economic analysis and modelling
  • Excellent policy research skills
  • Relevant academic qualifications
  • Program and/or project management skills and experience
  • Clear understanding of research, policy development and policy processes
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Excellent attention to detail and ability to work independently
  • Excellent interpersonal skills – ability to establish and maintain good relationships with funders and stakeholders; and to work with and ensure the quality of contributions by other researchers
  • Ability to coordinate research projects involving multiple contributors
  • Ability to manage research assistants and volunteers


  • Background in industry policy research and/or development
  • Specific skills in environmental economics, e.g. natural asset valuation and the economics of ecosystem services
  • Significant academic or professional public policy experience
  • Strong public speaking and/or media experience
  • Familiarity with and aptitude for online collaboration and content management

This is a full time position. Flexible hours can be negotiated. Base salary is $71,000. The position is based in Sydney, but we will consider applications from other locations. It is envisaged that the Sustainable Economy Program will run until late 2012, and that the Research Director will occupy the position for the duration of the program, subject to performance.

To apply, please send your CV and a cover letter addressing the selection criteria to admin@cpd.org.au. For more information or to discuss, please email admin@cpd.org.au or call 02 9043 6584.

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