Head of School, School of Physics

Sydney, Australia
05 May 2022
End of advertisement period
05 Jul 2022
Academic Discipline
Physical Sciences, Physics & Astronomy
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time
  • Opportunity for a distinguished academic to lead the School of Physics
  • Be a part of the leadership team of the Faculty of Science
  • Fixed-term role for a period of 4 years with an attractive remuneration package

About the opportunity

With a history dating back to 1882, the Faculty of Science is among five faculties and three University schools at the University of Sydney and conducts teaching and research across eight distinct Schools: Chemistry; Geosciences; History and Philosophy of Science; Life and Environmental Sciences; Mathematics and Statistics; Physics; Psychology; and the Sydney School of Veterinary Science.

The School of Physics is the leading Physics department in the country, with outstanding staff and students undertaking world-leading teaching and research. In the most recent Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) report, we were the only physical sciences school in Australia to receive a perfect score in all eight categories. Our collective research interests reach beyond traditional physics and pioneer new ways of thinking and innovative approaches. With access to supercomputers, modern laboratory facilities and observatories, locally, nationally and internationally, we conduct research across a vast range of interests

We are seeking to appoint a distinguished academic as Head of School, School of Physics, who will join the leadership team of the Faculty of Science. The Head of School is responsible for the school's academic teaching, learning and research performance outcomes that support the overall faculty strategic goals, maintaining accreditation standards (where appropriate), the student experience, meeting financial targets and the workplace culture. The position has formal financial and people delegations and is responsible for effective decision making to ensure financial sustainability. The successful applicant will contribute to the recruitment, appointment, development and retention of talented staff who are able to attract and develop talented students. The successful applicant will also help to promote the school's, the faculty's and the University's reputation for excellence and its national and international academic standing.

The successful applicant must have a wide network of established relationships with key academic, industry and professional institutions, partners and stakeholders, that can be leveraged to enhance the standing of the school, faculty and University.

About you

The successful candidate will hold PhD qualifications and will have a recognised international academic and professional standing within a relevant academic field. You will have extensive experience in people leadership and management within the higher education/knowledge worker sector, experience in working with industry, and a track record in managing financial sustainability, infrastructure and the operational needs and practices of an academic unit.

Your ability to make strategic decisions, together with a strong business acumen, will support your endeavours in academic leadership, key stakeholder management and industry collaborations.

Term and remuneration

The term of the appointment is four years with the possibility of renewal, subject to negotiation. The successful candidate will also be offered a professorial appointment in an appropriate discipline in the school and will retain that position at the conclusion of their headship. An attractive remuneration package will be offered.

Visa sponsorship and relocation assistance will also be provided if required.

The successful candidate will be offered a competitive remuneration package commensurate with the responsibilities of the position and the candidate's relevant experience and qualifications.

How to apply

Applications (including a CV and cover letter outlining how your skills, capabilities and experience meet the requirements for the role) must be submitted via the link above. Please refer to the candidate information brochure for further details.

Candidate Information Brochure

Click to view the Position Description for this role.

If you are a current employee of the University or a contingent worker with access to Workday, please login into your Workday account and navigate to the Career icon on your Dashboard. Click on USYD Find Jobs and apply.

Intending applicants are welcome to seek further information about the position from Associate Professor Christopher McErlean, Deputy Dean, Faculty of Science, on +61 2 9351 3970 or by email

For a confidential discussion about the role, or if you require reasonable adjustment or support filling out this application, please contact: John Flynn (Senior Talent Partner, Recruitment Operations, Human Resources) on +61 481 564 562 or by email


To keep our community safe, please be aware of our COVID safety precautions which form our conditions of entry for all staff, students and visitors coming to campus.

Your employment is conditional upon the completion of all role required pre-employment or background checks in terms satisfactory to the University. Similarly, your ongoing employment is conditional upon the satisfactory maintenance of all relevant clearances and background check requirements. If you do not meet these conditions, the University may take any necessary step, including the termination of your employment.

EEO statement

At the University of Sydney, our shared values include diversity and inclusion and we strive to be a place where everyone can thrive. We are committed to creating a University community which reflects the wider community that we serve. We deliver on this commitment through our people and culture programs, as well as key strategies to increase participation and support the careers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, women, people living with a disability, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and those who identify as LGBTIQ. We welcome applications from candidates from all backgrounds.

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The University reserves the right not to proceed with any appointment.

Applications Close

Tuesday 05 July 2022 11:59 PM