Senior Research Fellow, NQ Research and Policy Lead, Regional Economies Centre of Excellence

Townsville/Cairns, Australia
10 May 2018
End of advertisement period
24 May 2018
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Part Time

Position Overview

JCU is a partner in the recently successful collaborative bid of four universities (including the University of Southern Queensland, Central Queensland University and the University of Queensland) to jointly host the Queensland Government’s $3 million Rural Economies Centre of Excellence (RECoE). RECoE brings together some of Queensland’s best economic analysts, rural business development specialists, policy developers and regional economic development practitioners.

The Senior Research Officer position is expected to research and facilitate opportunities for rural employment, investment, business activity and innovation as outcomes of this collaborative venture. In close consultation with the partners and key stakeholders, over three years, the position will lead and achieve the development of a world class research program, attracting investment and researchers, and delivering knowledge to support policy change and substantial beneficial impact to Queensland’s regional and rural economies. Located in JCU’s Cairns Institute, the position will be working across the University’s academic divisions and colleges.

Organisational Charts

James Cook University

Division of Research and Innovation

The Cairns Institute

Principal Accountabilities

  1. Lead the development and delivery of high quality research aligned within the strategic (rural economic development) directions of the RECoE, leading to significant policy influence in Queensland and northern Australia. This will involve the coordination of the JCU node of RECoE in collaboration with the other institutional partners.
  2. Lead the research performance of Centre staff and students, including undertaking high quality research relevant to RECoE’s mandate, obtaining external research funding, disseminating research findings in quality journals and other high impact sources, as well as recruiting and managing higher degrees by research (HDR) students.
  3. Lead comprehensive rural community engagement (including Indigenous communities), resulting in economic change and capacity development with key northern Queensland stakeholders (including industry, regional and community stakeholders, Federal, State and Local government and research funders and collaborators).
  4. Manage the translation of research to deliver significant policy, regional and local economic impact and outcomes to program stakeholders in government, industry and the community.
  5. Manage the operations of the Centre, including high quality budget/project management, foster a safe working environment and ensure the integrity of research undertaken by the Centre and compliance with relevant research codes, guidelines, and frameworks.
  6. Provide direction and focus to develop the Centre’s strategic plan and establish and monitor key research performance indicators for the Centre, including development and implementation of a Collaboration and Co-investment Framework.
  7. Implement high level administration functions and procedures, systems and policies to manage annual plans and budgets, ensure financial utility and accountability, ensure adequate resourcing of staff, and to keep personnel adequately informed.
  8. Maintain an active research and publications profile with academic and professional networks at state, national and international levels, ensuring the effective marketing of the Centre, including the development and maintenance of a network of national and international contacts and funding bodies, and fostering the development of networking skills in colleagues.
  9. Support the University's commitment to the principles of reconciliation, which exemplify respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and the valuing of justice and equity for all Australians.
  10. Demonstrate a commitment to the University values.
  11. Support the principles of the TropEco program and engage in commitment to JCU sustainability goals and objectives.

Generic Accountabilities 

There are generic responsibilities that apply to all James Cook University staff. 

  1. The Senior Research Officer is required to observe the lawful and reasonable directions, policies and decisions of the University Council, understand and comply with the Enterprise Agreement, the Statutes and Rules of the University, the policies and decisions of the University Council and other appropriate University authorities, as in force from time to time.
  2. The Senior Research Officer is required to demonstrate a personal commitment to ensure personal safety and the safety of others and contribute to the continuous improvement of our WHS performance. This includes the effective implementation and compliance with James Cook University WHS policies, procedures and safe systems of work, together with all relevant legislation, duties and obligations. Contribute to the continuous improvement of our WHS performance.
  3. The Senior Research Officer is required to exercise proper discretion in all matters affecting the well-being of the University which involve public writing or speaking in accordance with the University’s Code of Conduct. 

Selection Criteria

Selection and appointments will be assessed against selection criteria.


  1. Advanced qualifications and/or recognised significant experience in applied economics, policy development or development studies or similar disciplines relevant to regional economic and community development, especially in rural economies and have a strong national research track record with results translated on the ground.
  2. Advanced skills in rural economic/community development and training provision.
  3. Demonstrated experience working in complex ambiguous environments with government, industry and the community.
  4. Demonstrated executive management expertise and track record in providing strategic direction, focus and leadership within a research team environment.
  5. Demonstrated excellent track record of developing effective industry partnerships and attracting research grants and funding via public and private sources and programs.
  6. A demonstrated ability to lead research in a multidisciplinary team environment, to provide discipline leadership, to supervise research staff and postgraduate students and to establish co-operative relationships with both internal and external partners.