Opportunities in Science and Engineering

Information for Applicants

Welcome from the Dean

Dean of JCU's College of Science and Engineering, Ron White.

Thank you for your interest in joining JCU's College of Science and Engineering and becoming part of a university quite unlike any other in Australia. The College of Science and Engineering is globally recognised for excellence in research, and we strive to bring research directly into our teaching. Our diverse range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses are united by a commitment to excellent teaching and experiential learning opportunities utilising our world-class infrastructure and natural laboratories, as well as a commitment to diversity and respect for difference.

All of this happens in some of the most interesting places in the world. Our footprint extends from Townsville, Cairns and the Cape York Peninsula in the north to Brisbane in the south. In the west our presence is felt as far as Mount Isa. Furthermore, in Singapore we are well-placed to make the most of the opportunities presented by the Asia-Pacific region.

We look forward to hearing from you and wish you well on the journey you are about to begin.


Professor Ron White

Dean of the College of Science and Engineering

Opportunities to Join Science and Engineering at JCU

Open to women applicants only

An international University as reflected in our people, our places, and our research, James Cook University takes pride in being recognised as a leading tertiary university in Australia, our Asia-Pacific region and the universities of the world.

Under the exception in section 25 of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 and as part of our commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace we welcome applications for this position from women. If you meet the inherent requirements of the essential selection criteria we invite you to consider working for JCU and being part of this journey towards gender equity.

With major campuses in Townsville, Cairns, Brisbane and Singapore, JCU offers a comprehensive learning and teaching, research/scholarship, leadership and service, and engagement framework, with focused attention on embedding sustainability and diversity in everything we do.

As part of the Division of Tropical Environments and Societies, the College of Science and Engineering promotes, fosters, supports and administers quality teaching and research at JCU in a variety of disciplines. In particular, the College provides considerable expertise in Aquaculture, Earth Science, Ecology, Engineering, Environmental Science and Management, Marine Biology, the Physical Sciences, and Urban and Regional Planning.

Reporting to and working collaboratively with the Dean, Science and Engineering, the Head, Engineering plays a key role within the College by providing academic leadership, direction and support of the College’s learning and teaching, research, research education and engagement activities for the Discipline of Engineering. In particular, the Head has an important role in stewarding the long-term future of the Engineering discipline, guiding the performance of academic staff, and building opportunities in learning and teaching, research and service.

Particular emphasis will be on the continued development of contemporary engineering programs (accredited through Engineers Australia), expansion of international programs, high impact research and industry engagement aligned to the strategic direction of the College, Division and University.

We are seeking outstanding and passionate women academic leaders, with international track records in research and demonstrated success in developing high quality, innovative and contemporary curricula in engineering. The Head will inspire and draw people together and facilitate the growth and development of the team, the strengthening of external partnerships and all related activities to the engineering discipline.

The University has engaged executive search firm Odgers Berndtson to assist with this appointment. For a confidential discussion about the role please contact: Suzanne Reiger, Senior Researcher, on +61 433 796 161 or by email suzanne.reiger@odgersberndtson.com; or Jenny Sutton, Partner, by email jenny.sutton@odgersberndtson.com.

Term: Full-time, Continuing

To submit your application please visit the Odgers Berndtson website at www.odgers.com/85351

An international University as reflected in our people, our places, and our research, James Cook University (JCU) takes pride in being recognised as a leading University in Australia, our Asia-Pacific region and the universities of the world and is committed to creating a brighter future for life in the Tropics and beyond, through education and research that makes a difference.

As the world transitions to sustainable energy, increased metal demand combined with consumer desires to extract resources with a reduced environmental footprint, means proving provenance of ores is becoming increasingly important.  JCU have secured a major Queensland government contract to undertake a high-profile research project ”Fingerprinting environmentally sustainable ores using neodymium isotopes”

We are seeking to fill a full-time and two-year fixed-term position, located at the Townsville, Bebegu Yumba campus, Douglas. Remuneration at Academic Level A $87,056 - $93,159 per annum + up to 17% employer superannuation contributions.


As part of a highly motivated team of researchers within the recently established IsoTropics Geochemistry Lab, you will apply your geochemical expertise to an emerging area of geochemistry.

You will undertake research focused on using both radiogenic and stable neodymium isotopes to isotopically fingerprinting a range of rare earth element ores and their concentrates to quantify the effects of different sustainable extraction techniques (including bioleaching and phytoextraction) on their isotopic compositions.

Working in collaboration with Earth and Environmental Sciences researchers and external collaborators/partners, you will conduct research, develop and/or contribute to research publications as a member of a high performing team and ensure all key research outcomes and milestones are achieved in alignment with project timelines.


You will have completed (or near completion) a PhD qualification or equivalent in Geochemistry, Geology or related discipline with demonstrated experience in the field of isotope geochemistry and a proven research publication track record.  Previous experience undertaking solution-based geochemistry and mass spectrometry is highly sought after, e.g. non-conventional stable isotopes (Fe, Zn, etc.) or radiogenic isotope systems (Sr, Nd, etc.).

  • generous superannuation scheme with up to 17% employer contributions
  • attractive options for salary packaging
  • five weeks’ annual recreation leave
  • modern; well-equipped on-campus facilities including medical, cafés, gym and childcare
  • employee benefits including fitness passport and online media subscriptions.

For further information on this position please click here and apply for vacancy reference 18214.


The AIMS@JCU is a strategic partnership between two global leaders in tropical marine science - James Cook University (JCU) and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). It integrates their strengths, synergies, infrastructure and expertise for a nett increase in world-class tropical marine research capacity.

While AIMS and JCU have a long history of collaboration, this formal arrangement, further develops Townsville as a centre of excellence for research, education and teaching in marine science. The strategic alliance partnership brings together a critical mass of tropical marine scientists with improved access to infrastructure at both institutions leading to new insights and research capability.

Click here to learn more about AIMS@JCU

The Opportunity

The position forms part of the AIMS@JCU Partnership – a long-standing partnership between AIMS and JCU concerned with furthering the mutual and respective interests of both organisations in tropical marine science. While primarily employed by JCU, this position is expected to participate fully in the AIMS@JCU program and deliver outputs, outcomes and impacts to both organisations.

The Challenge: To see the unseen

This challenge is to devise and implement an effective and efficient technological solution to capture marine monitoring baselines for benthos and fish through shallow, turbid waters, for the purposes of routine marine monitoring in tropical Australia.

The inshore and estuarine regions of tropical Australia are dominated by turbid, warm waters. This marine environment is rich in biodiverse life. However, routine monitoring techniques applied in typically clear waters are not well suited to this environment.

Typical marine monitoring methods for assessing the health and biodiversity of the benthos (e.g. coral, seagrass) depend on high imagery acquired by divers. Similarly, the health (biomass) and biodiversity of fish is often determined by stereo-videos. The performance of both techniques degrades substantially in turbid waters.

In addition, marine predators are a growing threat to divers operating in the inshore regions of tropical Australia. Water visibility has impacts ability of diver to survey the area for threats which has a direct impact to the safety of the marine monitoring team.

This challenge will equip marine researchers across Australia with the tools needed to capture an accurate record of the marine environment in turbid inshore regions.

Rather than dictate a specific technological solution, we encourage researchers to propose the approach. For example, the solution may be digital imagery enhancement based, machine-learning based on-board filtering, a new sensor integration approach, a data fusion solution or perhaps taking solutions from other domains and applying them to the marine environment.

The choice is yours, and the solution will be transformational to the tropical marine science field in Australia.

The ideal candidate will possess;
  • A PhD or equivalent qualification in a relevant sub-field of technology or engineering.
  • Demonstrated research experience in technology (eg sensors and/or cameras systems, operations in reduced visibility domains, data analysis, robotics etc)domains that either directly or haves the potential to translate to the challenge of sensing and/or operating in turbid water for the purpose of being able to characterise the benthos, fish and other in water assets/biology.
  • Demonstrated evidence of a strong publishing track record in quality peer- reviewed journals, particularly in a lead author capacity.
  • Demonstrated evidence of a track record delivering science outcomes that are relevant to end-users.
Special Conditions of employment;
  • It is a requirement of this position to hold or be able to obtain current CPR and First Aid Certification.
  • It may be a requirement of this position to be prepared to undertake fieldwork, potentially in remote locations, on small or large boats in the marine environment, and outside normal working hours.
  • It is a requirement of this position to hold or be able to obtain a current ‘C’Class manual Queensland drivers licence.
How to Apply

For further information contact either Professor Ron White email deancse@jcu.edu.au or telephone 4781 4197; or Dr David Mead, Executive Director, Strategic Development email d.mead@aims.gov.au. To apply visit the Careers at JCU Website: https://www.jcu.edu.au/careers-at-jcu.

Applications close on 19 February 2023.

About JCU

This is Uni... but not as you know it

Students and staff can develop professional skills during field trips to the most fascinating places on Earth. Students don't just leave with degrees, they finish with stories. JCU staff are committed to inspiring those stories through research and teaching excellence that brings together people and societies, the natural world, the built environment and experiential learning.

Stories about Research and Teaching

Benefits of Working at JCU

JCU is strongly committed to equity and diversity in the workplace and aspires to continue developing a workforce that reflects the diversity, capacities and capabilities of people from the regions in which we operate. We are committed to developing future leaders, building upon the wealth of wisdom and experience embodied by our current academic leaders, we will identify and nurture those who will take JCU into the future.

Remuneration Package

An appropriate and attractive salary will be offered including a range of flexible salary packaging options.

  • Five weeks’ annual recreation leave
  • Annual Leave Loading
  • Generous sick, carer's and cultural leave
  • Generous long service leave pro-rata at 7 years
  • Up to 6 months paid parental leave
  • Flexible working options
  • Ongoing professional and career development
  • Attractive options for salary packaging
  • Staff study assistance and paid study leave
  • Fitness Passport
  • Access to online media subscriptions
  • Corporate discount on health insurance
  • Free Employee Assistance Program (Coaching and Counselling)
  • On-campus cafés, gym, pool, hairdresser, post office and childcare
  • Re-location and immigration assistance can be negotiated
  • Balance of work and life so you can enjoy a lifestyle that supports a diverse range of leisure and sporting interests

Generous superannuation scheme with up to 17% employer contributions.

JCU has an Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Workforce Strategy.

Candidates are supported knowing JCU’s Vice Chancellor and senior management team are fully committed to the goals and strategies laid out in the Workforce Strategy to increase, retain and develop our Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff.

Increasing numbers of staff at JCU are undertaking cultural awareness training, so members on the selection panel should have an understanding of significant cultural differences.

SAGE (Science and Gender Equity)

SAGE is a national program promoting gender equity and diversity in science, technology engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM). It is based on the principles of the UK's Athena SWAN Charter, an evaluation and accreditation framework that addresses the improvement of gender equity policies and practices in STEMM.

JCU is one of 45 organisations participating in the SAGE Pilot of the Athena SWAN Charter, which recognises institutional capacity to eliminate gender inequity and a demonstrated commitment to bolster the hiring, promotion and retention of women, while also improving the workplace environment for people of all genders.

JCU encourages diversity

JCU has an extensive program in place to encourage diversity, examples of which include:

  • Diversity messages in our recruitment advertising, such as, “We are enriched by and celebrate our workplace diversity and welcome applications from candidates of all backgrounds and abilities”.
  • Extensive event calendar where JCU students and staff come together to acknowledge, celebrate and raise awareness of the diverse groups that make up our community, including Harmony Day, International Women’s Day, NAIDOC Week, Disability Action Week, IDAHOT (International Day Against Homophobia), Transphobia and Biphobia.
  • Diversity training for all staff.

JCU has a comprehensive calendar of events that celebrate diversity. Joining the organisation in these activities, or participating as an invitee, is an effective way to participate in diversity focused activities. There are also many student organised events and staff are almost always welcome at these.

Access to disability services during recruitment and selection

If you are interested in applying for a position at JCU and require assistance with making your application, please discuss your needs with the Chairperson for the position.

When offered an interview, please discuss with the person who contacts you any access assistance you may require, so this can be accommodated.

Benefits available to JCU employees

Refer to Working at JCU.

Should you have any additional questions not featured in our FAQs please contact the Chairperson in the first instance.

Join a university known for its world-leading research, knowledge infrastructure, partnerships and research findings.

JCU is equally committed to high-quality and high-impact research. To realise these outcomes, the University has invested substantially in structures and facilities to support research and development activity. Wherever possible these initiatives have been leveraged to obtain additional external investment and the best value outcomes in facility development.

One of several key aspects in JCU's success lies in its unique geographical location. The advantages of this to our researchers and graduate students cannot be overstated, with ready access to the most spectacular and diverse natural laboratories in the world. Field site environments for research on coral reefs, tropical rainforests, coastal wetlands, woodland savannahs and the arid outback are all available in our backyard. The University has invested in field research stations to take further advantage of this tropical landscape. Find out more about JCU's research centres, institutes and colleges.

This commitment has resulted in hard-earned accolades, with Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) rating 83% of JCU’s research fields as world-class or above. JCU received the highest possible rating, well above world standard, in the research areas of ecological applications, ecology, environmental science and management, fisheries sciences, geology, medical microbiology, organic chemistry and plant biology. Every field of research in medical and health sciences was rated world-class or above.

JCU received a rating of world-class or above in the following research areas:

  • Anthropology
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Archaeology
  • Biochemistry and Cell Biology
  • Cardiorespiratory Medicine and Haematology
  • Classical Physics
  • Clinical Sciences
  • Criminology
  • Ecological Applications
  • Ecology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Environmental Science and Management
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Fisheries Science
  • Geochemistry
  • Geology
  • Human Geography
  • Human Movement and Sports Science
  • Immunology
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Law
  • Linguistics
  • Materials Engineering
  • Medical Biochemistry and Metabolomics
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Microbiology
  • Neurosciences
  • Nursing
  • Oncology and Carcinogenesis
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry and Environmental Geoscience
  • Plant Biology
  • Public Health and Health Services
  • Sociology
  • Specialist Studies in Education
  • Technology
  • Tourism
  • Veterinary Sciences
  • Zoology.

JCU campuses and research hubs are on the doorstep of some of the world’s most spectacular environments, including:

  • The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
  • The rainforests of the Wet Tropics
  • The savannahs of Cape York Peninsula
  • The deserts of the arid outback.

Some of these unique environments are home to JCU's exceptional research facilities, including:

Governments and global businesses consider JCU’s research as central to the future of the tropics. JCU has strong links with rural, remote and Indigenous communities in the Asia Pacific region. Many local, national and international research organisations and industry groups collaborate with JCU. These linkages help ensure our courses are research-rich and reflect the latest innovations. Many of our staff and students are co-located with researchers from partner institutions.

Celebrating women in STEM

Explore stories about JCU staff and students

A group of students sitting on a sunny beach in Tropical North Queensland.

About Tropical North Queensland

With the Great Barrier Reef, Australian Outback and ancient rainforests, North Queensland has a treasure-trove of natural wonders to explore.

The urban centres of Cairns and Townsville are major commercial and tourism hubs, providing opportunities for business, recreation and adventure.

North Queensland is home to some of the best weather that Australia has to offer. Sunny days, warm waters, cool ocean breezes and a generally comfortable climate are part of what make North Queensland such a popular place to live.

The North Queensland climate is characterised by two distinct seasons, with warm temperatures and a low rainfall during the winter period while summer sees higher rainfall and warmer, balmy temperatures.

For more information, visit JCU North Queensland.

For more information

Phone: +61 7 4781 4345 Email: deancse@jcu.edu.au