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Postdoctoral Research Associate in Alcohol and Drug Prevention

Darlington, Australia
$101,507 - $112,462 p.a. + leave loading and 17% superannuation
Closing date
23 May 2024

Job Details

  • Exciting opportunity for a Postdoctoral Research Associate (Level A) to join the Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use
  • The Postdoctoral Research Associate will lead a research program to evaluate, optimize and disseminate strategies to prevent harm from alcohol and drug use
  • 2-year Fixed-term, full-time opportunity (with possible extension)
  • Base Salary $101,507 - $112,462 p.a. + leave loading and 17% superannuation

About the opportunity

The Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use provides a world-first synergy of leading prevention, early intervention and treatment research and translation programs in substance use and mental disorders. The Matilda Centre brings together researchers in broad fields to share skills, integrate data, and harness new technologies to develop and trial innovative prevention, early intervention and treatment programs for substance use and mental disorders.

This is an exciting opportunity for a skilled researcher with an interest in translating research evidence into policy and practice. We are looking for a Postdoctoral Research Associate (Level A) to contribute to our growing research program focused on prevention of alcohol and other drug (AOD) harms. In this role, you will develop and lead a research program to identify modifiable risk factors for alcohol/drug use harms and explore ways to optimize prevention and early intervention approaches. You also will play an active role in the translation of research knowledge into practice, liaising with the Australian Government Department of Health and peak AOD sector organizations. As part of the leadership team for the Positive Choices national alcohol and drug prevention initiative, you will lead the development of resources, webinars and workshops to disseminate research evidence and equip school staff, allied health professionals and parents to deliver the most effective AOD prevention and mental health promotion strategies.

Your key responsibilities will be to:

  • Design and lead a program of research to identify modifiable risk factors for alcohol/drug use harms and optimize prevention and early intervention approaches
  • Lead preparation of research outputs, including conducting statistical analyses and preparing peer-reviewed journal publications and conference presentations (opportunity for funded national and international travel);
  • Undertake research, systematic review of the literature and resource development to equip school staff, educators and parents to implement evidence-based AOD prevention strategies
  • Mentor and support junior staff and oversee management of the Positive Choices AOD prevention initiative, including reviewing and updating content in line with new evidence, and development of new evidence-informed content to meet identified needs
  • Liaise and work in partnership with the Australian Government Department of Health, maintain strong relationships and contribute to the compliance and reporting processes, including managing the project budget
  • Co-ordinate and implementing outreach activities to increase community awareness of evidence-based alcohol and drug prevention strategies. These activities include social media engagement and delivery of conference, workshop and webinar for educators, parents, researchers and the broader community

In your application, please provide a statement systematically addressing each of the selection criteria below.

The University values courage and creativity; openness and engagement; inclusion and diversity; and respect and integrity. As such, we see the importance of recruiting talent aligned to these values and are looking for a Post-Doctoral Research Associate who can demonstrate the following key skills, qualifications, and attributes:

About you

  • holds (or soon to be conferred) a PhD in psychology, public health, behavioural or social sciences, or related field
  • proven experience conducting research in the fields of mental health and/or substance use prevention, early intervention, or treatment
  • experience in health promotion/education and/or translation of research into practice
  • an emerging track record of research dissemination, as evidenced by peer reviewed (or equivalent) publications and conference presentations
  • proven experience in statistical analysis and reporting of research data (quantitative and qualitative) using statistical software packages such as Stata, R, MPlus, SPSS or similar
  • high-level organisational skills and proven ability to deal with multiple tasks, establish priorities and meet deadlines
  • awareness of and sensitivity to cultural and ethical considerations relevant to research and health promotion with culturally diverse populations
  • excellent verbal and interpersonal communication skills and a proven ability to work both independently and constructively within a research team
  • experience in health promotion, community consultation or research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Torres Strait Islander people would be highly regarded
  • ability to travel interstate or internationally as needed.

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.

Sponsorship / work rights for Australia

Please note: Visa sponsorship is not available for this position. For a continuing position, you must be an Australian or New Zealand citizen or an Australian Permanent Resident.

Australian Temporary Residents currently employed at the University of Sydney may be considered for a fixed term contract for the length of their visa, depending on the requirements of the hiring area and the position.

Pre-employment checks

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.

This position is designated as involving child-related work. To undertake or remain in this position, you are required to apply for and obtain a Working with Children Check clearance in accordance with the Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012.

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.

How to apply

Applications (including a cover letter, CV, and any additional supporting documentation) can be submitted via the Apply button at the top of the page.

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.

For a confidential discussion about the role, or if you require reasonable adjustment or support filling out this application, please contact Roshik Prasad, Recruitment Operations, by email to

Copyright The University of Sydney

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

Click to view the Position Description for this role.

Applications Close

Thursday 23 May 2024 11:59 PM


The University of Sydney was established in 1850 and is consistently recognised, both locally and internationally, for its outstanding teaching and research excellence. Sydney alumni include Prime Ministers, Governor Generals, Nobel Prize winners and leaders in every field of endeavour.

The University offers a comprehensive range of courses, including a number of disciplines unique in Australia. Teaching is spread across nine different state-of-the art campuses, located across New South Wales.

The University of Sydney’s commitment to excellence in research has resulted in an outstanding record in national competitive funding and underpins an approach to teaching which has won nominations for excellence and resulted in high student satisfaction ratings. The University has 78 research centres and institutes and is home to three ARC Centres of Excellence.

The teaching, research and cultural life of the University is supported by extensive facilities, including the largest library collection in the Southern Hemisphere, the world-class Nicholson Museum of archaeological antiquities, the Macleay Museum of natural history and ethnographic collections and the University Art Gallery. Its outstanding sporting and recreation facilities provide a training centre for students and Olympic athletes.

The University of Sydney is a key member of the Group of Eight Australian major research-intensive universities, and the Worldwide Universities Network.


The University of Sydney has nine official campuses.

1.         Camperdown/Darlington Campus.

2.         Cumberland Campus. Home to the Faculty of Health Sciences (based in Lidcombe).

3.         Mallett Street Campus. Home of the Sydney Nursing School.

4.         Sydney Conservatorium of Music Campus. In Macquarie Street, central Sydney.

5.         Rozelle Campus. Home to Sydney College of the Arts.

6.         Surry Hills Campus. Home to the Faculty of Dentistry.

7.         Camden Campus. Contains facilities connected to the Faculty of Veterinary Science and the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment.

8.         Burren Street Campus. Facilties are currently under development.

9.         Sydney Medical School campuses. These include the School of Rural Health (in Dubbo and Orange), the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Concord Hospital, Westmead Hospital, the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Nepean Hospital, Northern Clinical School, Sydney Adventist Hospital, Broken Hill University Department of Rural Health, and Northern Rivers University Department of Rural Health.


The University of Sydney has 16 faculties.

1. Agriculture and Environment

2. Architecture, Design and Planning

3. Arts and Social Sciences

4. Business (Business School)

5. Dentistry

6. Education and Social Work

7. Engineering and Information Technologies

8. Health Sciences

9. Law (Sydney Law School)

10. Medicine (Sydney Medical School)

11. Nursing and Midwifery

12. Pharmacy

13. Science

14. Sydney College of the Arts

15. Sydney Conservatorium of Music

16. Veterinary Science

Number of Employees

Full-time employees: 7616

For more information, please visit:

Company info
+(61) 2 9351 2222

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