Program Manager

Astronomy Australia Limited

Astronomy Australia Ltd (AAL) manages the Astronomy program of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS). AAL is a not-for-profit company whose members are Australian universities and research organisations with a significant astronomical research capability.

Our vision is that Australian astronomy is world leading and publicly valued. Our mission is to facilitate access for Australian-based astronomers to the best research infrastructure, encourage the sharing of astronomical technical capabilities to maximise their value to the nation, and inspire Australians with these astronomical achievements.

The role of Program Manager is for two years with the possibility of renewal. AAL is open to considering any location within Australia. Currently, AAL has offices in Melbourne (hosted by Swinburne University of Technology in Hawthorn), Sydney (hosted by Macquarie University in North Ryde) and Canberra (hosted by ANU in Acton).

Flexible working arrangements may be negotiated, with AAL supporting a hybrid working model where staff spend the majority of their time working from home. AAL prides itself on being a small but dedicated team of professionals, offering a relaxed and family-friendly working model to all staff.

Position summary

AAL’s Program Managers are responsible for overseeing several research infrastructure projects. In this position, the Program Manager is also expected to be skilled in writing content to contribute to the shaping and achievement of AAL’s strategic agenda.


  • Oversee a set of AAL-funded projects and collaborations
  • Build content that supports AAL’s strategic efforts
  • Stakeholder communications

Travel requirement: one or two interstate trips per year.

No staff supervision is required. As AAL is a small company, all members of staff are expected to spend some of their time assisting with general operations.

Statement of duties
Project Oversight

The Program Manager will be responsible for overseeing a sub-set of AAL research infrastructure projects. Oversight responsibilities include:

  • Negotiating and agreeing project descriptions, milestones and budgets between AAL, sub-contractors and lead agents;
  • Monitoring project progress, milestones, finances and KPIs, and ensuring accountability of all pertinent project team members in the report submission process;
  • Maintaining a customer focus by ensuring the delivery of research infrastructure projects that astronomers will want to use;
  • Reporting regularly on project progress to the relevant advisory committees, AAL Board and other stakeholders; and
  • Identifying and escalating risks and changes to the AAL CEO.
Specific Areas of Responsibility

The Program Manager will perform a number of tasks related to management of the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT). These tasks include:

  • Providing administrative support to the AAT Council, including arranging meetings of the Council and its Finance Committee, and preparing reports as required; and
  • Ongoing and effective oversight of time allocation on the telescope, including engagement with paid-time customers and supporting the activities of the allocating committee, ATAC.

In addition, the Program Manager will also support two international astronomical collaborations:

  • The Australia-China Consortium for Astrophysical Research (ACAMAR); and
Stakeholder Communications

AAL’s stakeholders include Australian based astronomers and the Australian Government. The Program Manager will be responsible for:

  • Providing project-level reports and contributing to the program-level reports for the Australian Government;
  • Demonstrating to stakeholders that AAL is successfully addressing the Australian Government’s innovation and science agenda; and
  • Supporting the AAL initiative to connect astronomers with industry.
Experience and qualifications

The successful candidate will require the essential skills, experience and qualifications below.

  1. Bachelor’s degree in a science-related discipline.
  2. Significant project management experience for large and complex initiatives.
  3. Ability to develop relationships and influence a range of stakeholders.
  4. A high standard of written and oral communication skills.
  5. Initiative and the ability to work independently to strict deadlines.
  6. Ability to organise and prioritise multiple tasks, solve problems, and work with interruptions.
  7. Considerable skills and experience using Microsoft products (including Microsoft Teams or similar collaborative work environment), Google products, and Zoom.
Desirable experience
  1. Postgraduate qualification in astronomy or a science-related discipline.
  2. Experience in producing written research outputs and knowledge translation material.
  3. Research infrastructure project management working experience.
  4. Experience working with Australian Government.
  5. Experience working in a small not-for-profit company.
  6. Experience preparing progress reports.
To apply

To discuss this role please email [email protected] or contact James Murray (Director of Operations) on 0409 703 929.

To apply for the role, please submit a covering letter addressing the selection criteria, and resume via email to [email protected].

Applications Close 20 January 2023, 9:00 AM (AEDT).

Reporting to: Director of Programs
Hours: 0.8-1.0 FTE
Term of Employment: Two-year fixed term
Location: AAL will consider applications from any location in Australia
Salary: $100,000 – $120,000 p.a (pro-rata) + superannuation
To apply: [email protected]

Vertical Milky Way over the AAT. Credit: Ángel R. López Sánchez.
Acamar (Eridani) is a bright naked-eye star visible from both Australia and China. Credit: ACAMAR.
The energetic universe as seen with the eROSITA X-ray telescope.
The energetic universe as seen with the eROSITA X-ray telescope. Image credit: Jeremy Sanders, Hermann Brunner and the eSASS team (MPE); Eugene Churazov, Marat Gilfanov (on behalf of IKI).