Hiring now: Research Director | CPD’s Public Service Research Program

We’re hiring now: Research Director for our NEW Public Service Research Program

  • Make good ideas matter on the future of the public service in Australia
  • 4 days a week
  • 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 a new program on the future of the public service in Australia.

Position Summary
The CPD’s new Public Service Program will combine big-picture thinking on the role of government in the 21st Century with practical research on options for public sector reform. The Public Service Research Director will need to conduct the majority of research within the program, ensure the quality and success of the program over the long term, and coordinate the development of the program’s policy agenda and publications.

The successful applicant will have strong research and communication skills, and be able combine a progressive vision for the future of Australia’s public services with an eye for detail and a knack for policy analysis. The Research Director will need to be reliable, resourceful, creative, and able to make things happen quickly and with minimal resources and supervision. This position gives you a chance to put great ideas at the heart of public debate in Australia.

Roles & responsibilities:

  • Conducting and coordinating the Public Service Program’s research
  • Conduct research and write high-quality, accessible reports
  • Coordinate research on the program’s core 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 Public Service 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
  • Excellent research skills, preferably both qualitative and quantitative
  • Clear understanding of policy development and political processes
  • Relevant academic qualifications
  • Significant academic or professional public policy experience
  • Program and project management skills
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • 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


  • Significant public service experience
  • Qualifications and/or experience in economic analysis
  • Strong public speaking and/or media experience
  • Familiarity with and aptitude for online collaboration and content management

This is a part time position, for four days a week. Base salary is $71,000 pro rata. The position is based in Sydney. It is envisaged that the Public Service Program will run until late 2012, and that the Program 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.