Applications are open for a new Chief Operating Officer role in the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plants for Space.

Upon establishment in late 2023, the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plants for Space (P4S) will constitute a 7-year, $90M investment with 38 national and international partners, including major space agencies, international universities, and agricultural, technology, and education industries (

Our vision is to enable long-term, deep Space habitation and create new breakthroughs for on-Earth sustainability through plant & food redesign, positioning Australia as the global leader for plant-based Space research and education. Expected deliverables include innovative plants, foods, and technologies for industry, with patents and spin-off companies to create on-demand, zero-waste, high efficiency plants and plant products.

Headquartered at the University of Adelaide, P4S will have a standing cohort of at least 200 staff and students across 5 Australian universities. We are looking for a P4S Chief Operating Officer (COO), reporting to the Director of P4S, to help lead our diverse and passionate group. Working with a high degree of autonomy, the P4S COO will be responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the Centre, including all aspects of its establishment, operation, and outcomes.

To be successful you will need:

  • Demonstrated ability to effectively lead a team, deliver an organisational vision, and manage individuals’ and teams’ performances.
  • Proven record of establishing and maintaining productive working relationships with internal and external stakeholders at all levels of the organisation and across different sectors, contributing to removing barriers or influencing outcomes.
  • Aptitude for strategic thinking, translating strategies and priorities into goals, and leading change, ideally in a research setting.
  • Experience in commercialising and managing Intellectual Property (background and new) across multiple partners and projects.
  • Highly developed time and workload management skills, with demonstrated ability to prioritise effectively, manage competing demands, meet deadlines, and achieve results.
  • Exceptional problem solving, conflict resolution, negotiation, and influencing skills, including the ability to investigate and manage complex issues with diplomacy and discretion.
  • Demonstrated experience in effective planning and management of a significant budget.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team, exercising initiative and sound judgement to manage day-to-day operations and deliverables.
  • High-level written and oral communication skills.

Please note a working with children check will be required for this role.

Learn more and submit your application: 

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