Head of School of Physics and Astronomy
Monash University

Head of School of Physics and Astronomy


Job No.: 590922

Location: Clayton campus

Employment Type: Full-time

Duration: The Professorial appointment will be a continuing appointment and will include the role of Head of School for an initial period of 5 years with opportunity for renewal

Remuneration: A competitive remuneration package will apply

  • Reputation - Monash University is ranked globally in the top 1% of universities
  • Innovation - Be surrounded by extraordinary ideas and the people who discover them
  • Growth - Take your research further with state-of-the-art infrastructure and support

The University

Monash University is based in Melbourne, which has been voted the world’s most liveable city for 6 out of the past 7 years (ranked by the Economist Intelligence Unit). Melbourne is well known for its coffee, restaurants, night-life and is proud of its excellent healthcare, education, diverse culture and booming infrastructure, making Melbourne a welcoming and exciting place to work and to call home.  Monash Clayton campus is also truly unique in the world, it is a self-sufficient community with its own postcode and is set on more than 1 square kilometre of land.

If you're after a rewarding career, Monash University can help make it happen.  With leading academics and world-class resources, combined with a ranking in the top 100 universities worldwide, we offer all you need to build a brighter future. In striving to be truly excellent for our staff and students, we embed diversity and inclusion into the fabric of who we are and believe that achieving equity makes us better as a University and stronger as a community.

The School of Physics and Astronomy within the Faculty of Science is passionate about creating a truly collaborative learning and research environment, where students drive their own learning and benefit first hand from our world-leading research programs. The School is going through an exciting period of renewal - investing significantly in people and facilities. We have state-of-the-art research spaces and provide research opportunities for creative students and scientists to work on a wide range of fundamental research topics, which will have impact for future generations - including astronomy and astrophysics, atomic and molecular physics, biophotonics, biomedical imaging, gravitational wave astronomy and cosmology, condensed matter physics, high energy particle physics, quantum science and synchrotron science. In fact, the Australian Synchrotron and Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication are adjacent to the campus.

In March 2013 the School’s research laboratories were re-located to the New Horizons Research Centre. This $175M building provides premium laboratory and office space for the School’s research activities, which include the Monash Centre for Atomically Thin Materials and the ARC-funded Centre of Excellence for Future Low Energy Electronics Technologies (FLEET).

The School has recently consolidated its research activities within four broad research themes, which cover the full range of activities in physics and astronomy:

  1. New Windows on the Universe - comprising computational astrophysics, observational astronomy, high energy astrophysics, exoplanets and gravitational wave astrophysics
  2. The New Quantum Revolution - comprising atomic and molecular physics, condensed matter physics and materials/nanophysics, quantum computing and quantum measurement/metrology, and ultracold atomic gases.
  3. The Quest for New Physics and Symmetries - comprising high energy particle physics (the standard model), and physics beyond the standard model (SUSY, matter/antimatter asymmetry, dark matter, etc.), particle cosmology and particle astrophysics.
  4. New Ways of Seeing and Understanding the Physical world - comprising optics with atoms, electrons, light and X-rays, biophotonics, electron microscopy and diffraction physics, X-ray and synchrotron science, and foundations of image processing.

Within each of these themes, there are both established research strengths, as well as emerging and new opportunities to expand and diversify what we currently do. The School's strategic plan aims to achieve research excellence, benchmarked against the best national and international institutions; it is focused on creating a forward-looking research culture of scientific leadership.

The Opportunity

The School is now seeking a new Head, to lead its strategic direction and growth and to capitalise on its existing educational and research strengths. The appointee will have demonstrable experience in improving levels of overall research performance and student education experience, and the ability to increase the School’s profile through links with industry, both domestic and international.

The Head of School will require highly developed leadership skills and the capacity to align the school with faculty and University strategic plans. This is an exceptional opportunity to both lead the school and make a major contribution to building education and research at one of Australia’s premier Physics & Astronomy schools.

The Head of School, Physics & Astronomy will be expected to bring a strong personal commitment and reputation in both education and research. Eminently credible, the incumbent will drive the ongoing international profile of our Physics, Astrophysics/Astronomy and interdisciplinary research, whilst simultaneously leading traditional and innovative pedagogical activities in order to ensure that our students’ University experience is of the highest standard.

The Benefits

An attractive remuneration package (which includes employer superannuation contribution of 17%), an attractive start-up package, relocation travel, removal allowance, salary packaging and Visa Sponsorship are available.

Monash offers a range of professional development programs, support for research, study and overseas work, generous maternity leave and flexible work arrangements.

Monash University also strongly advocates diversity, equality, fairness and openness. We fully embrace the gender equity principles of the Athena SWAN Charter and invite you to join us in celebrating women in STEMM

At Monash University, we are committed to being a Child Safe organisation. Some positions at the University will require the incumbent to hold a valid Working with Children Check.

Position Description

Download FileProfessor and Head of School of Physics and Astronomy

Enquiries only to

To apply and for a confidential discussion about the role, please contact: Paul Hill, Partner, (search firm) Odgers Berndston, +61 3 8375 7424 or +61 407 766 756, physicsastronomy@odgersberndtson.com


To apply please email your curriculum vitae and supporting covering letter to physicsastronomy@odgersberndtson.com before Sunday 29th March 2020, 11:55 pm AEDT


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