Employment Opportunities

Research Director



The Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) is Australia’s premier independent public policy think tank. Our mission is to encourage and provide independent, fact based practical research and encourage/provoke debate that promotes liberty, the rule of law, free enterprise and an efficient democratic government.  The CIS is not directed by the latest political or social trends.  We work to develop solutions to the big public policy problems.

We are seeking to fill the new position of CIS Research Director.  This is an important senior position that we believe will co-ordinate the CIS research activities and take the research outcomes to the next level.  The person we are looking for will have a strong affiliation with the CIS mission, understand the CIS strategic positioning and have the intellectual capacity to drive forward the CIS’s research program.  They will have an enthusiasm for engaging in public policy debate and an ability to guide a research team.


The Research Director role is to manage and develop the Centre’s research program in conjunction with the Executive Director, to ensure the Centre’s performance indicators and targets are met and to build an efficient and effective research team.


Develop and implement a strategic research agenda that advances the objectives of the CIS in conjunction with the Executive Director

Ensure that all research is intellectually rigorous and of high quality

Foster a workplace culture that values intellectual creativity and achievement by:

  • Performance managing all members of the research team to ensure research, editing and publication deadlines are met
  • Overseeing a program of professional development for research staff
  • Identifying opportunities to recruit talented research staff
  • Allocating workflow and supervising the CIS internship programCultivating  professional relationships with the media, members of state and federal parliaments and heads of government departments
  • Promoting CIS research to supporters, business, government, media and the general public via media appearances, public presentations and speeches
  • Assisting with fundraising activities where appropriate
  • The position is full time and based in Sydney

Take a lead role in the CIS marketing and communications strategy by:

Produce and monitor an annual research budget (in conjunction with the Executive Director)

Provide detailed reports to the board of the CIS on the status and direction of the research program

Qualifications and Background

  • A postgraduate qualification, ideally in economics, is highly desired. However exceptional candidates with equivalent experience in the private sector or not-for-profits will be considered
  • Strong publication and research record
  • An existing network of contacts within media, academia and government
  • A recognised and developed media profile and a high level of media experience
  • Skills and experience in supervising and developing research staff
  • Excellent organisational and time management skills, including the ability to set priorities, work independently and perform well under pressure
  • Well-developed problem-solving, negotiation and interpersonal skills
  • Strong communication, analysis and writing skills
  • Understanding of the not-for-profit sector
  • Strong interest in contributing to the debate around public policy issues
  • A genuine interest and understanding of the The Centre for Independent Studies and its mission.


  • Salary will be at a senior level and will be commensurate with experience


  • For an informal discussion about this position, candidates are welcome to contact the General Manager on 02 9438 4377
  • Written applications only.  Please include a cover letter addressing the position criteria, your CV and three referees. 

Send to:   
Jenny Lindsay
Email: jlindsay@cis.org.au
Phone: 02 9438 4377




A small number of short-term unpaid internships are available throughout the year. If you would like to be considered for a position during 2015 please send in your CV and a cover letter and we will add you to the waiting list.

We select interns on three main criteria:

1. That the intern is studying in a field that we have a research interest in or that they are prepared to be involved in the project we offer them which may not be directly research oriented.
2. That a mentor within the CIS is available to work with the intern. We have found that the experience is less than satisfactory on both sides if there isn’t a real project to be worked on and real support for the intern.
3. That you are available to work at our office in St Leonards, Sydney

Please send your CV and a cover letter explaining why you would like to intern at the CIS. We would also like to know your availability. For your information we have have interns who have worked with us for 12-14 weeks for 1 day a week and others who have worked 2-3 days a week over a shorter period of time in holiday periods.

Please send your application to Jenny Lindsay jlindsay@cis.org.au