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Executive Leadership & Management in Research

This program has been postponed, to express your interest in future deliveries, please contact us.

For enquiries and more information

Please direct enquiries and expressions of interest to Anita Wong: +61 3 8344 0906.


This executive program offers a flexible suite of three interactive modules that provide an opportunity for senior managers in research institutions to gain insight, share experience and learn more about the current and likely future environment for research.

It will include interactive sessions with current political, institutional and industry leaders, and those responsible for implementing and managing major government initiatives in research and innovation. An emphasis will be placed understanding on gaining an international perspective, in addition to the Australian environment.

Who should attend?

Designed for Deputy/Pro Vice-Chancellors (Research), directors of public and private institutes, research managers, leaders of research teams and centres and research policy makers. Those who are presently in, or intend to pursue a career in research management are encouraged to attend all modules.

Delivery mode and location

The full program is comprised of three modules. Participants can register for any or all modules set out below.

Program content

Key themes are as follows.

Module 1: The future research environment
  • What is changing in research?
  • Australia’s position in the global research endeavour
  • Government policy settings for research and innovation: state, national and international
  • Relationships between sectors: barriers and opportunities in collaboration
  • Understanding funding for research: agencies and philanthropy
  • Industry and social perspectives on research and innovation.
Module 2: Leadership and management for the future research environment
  • Addressing the challenges of local and global workforce competition
  • Leadership for researchers
  • Ethos, ethics and good conduct in research
  • Understanding collaboration in different cultural and regulatory research environments
  • Understanding and working with new modalities of information exchange
  • Governance and risk: making sure the fundamentals are right.
Module 3: Playing a part in the future global research endeavour
  • Challenges and benefits of competition, cooperation and collaboration – for institutions
 and individuals
  • Maximising opportunities for international participation – for institutions and individuals
  • Strategies for gaining access to international funding – USA, Europe, philanthropic organisations and beyond
  • Challenges and opportunities in postgraduate and postdoctoral training
  • Leading and managing IP, knowledge transfer and commercialisation
  • Realising opportunities and the importance of moving knowledge towards practical outcomes
  • Protecting investments and enhancing commitment to research and innovation
  • Inspiring leadership and motivation.

Learning outcomes

Each Module of this program will provide participants with a deeper knowledge and understanding of different aspects of leadership in research. In the context of the different themes that will be covered, participants in each Module will:

  • Have greater knowledge and understanding of the current and potential future of the Australian research environment and its position in the global research endeavour;
  • Appreciate the diversity of research directions and challenges facing individuals and institutions in a rapidly changing and competitive research environment;
  • Develop comparative ideas and strategies to
 address these challenges for leaders and managers in different institutions, with potential application to their own institution; and
  • Have improved awareness of opportunities to facilitate funding and cooperation in research across institutional and international borders.


  • 'Good balance of presentation and discussion. Generated a strong sense of empathy and sharing of common problems.' (2011 participant)
  • 'Highly impressed with the quality of all the presenters. Value added by the presenters joining in discussions and staying for breaks – allowing informal/further discussion.' (2011 participant)

Program facilitator

Professor Alan Pettigrew is Adjunct Professor at the College of Medicine, Biology & Environment, the Australian National University and Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne (LH Martin Institute). He has held a range of academic and senior executive appointments at various Australian
universities, including: Deputy Chair of the Academic Board, University of Sydney; Pro Vice- Chancellor (Biological Sciences), University of Queensland;and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), University of New South Wales. He was appointed by the Commonwealth Minister for Health and Ageing as the inaugural Chief Executive Officer of the National Health and Medical Research Council in 2001. He served that role until the end of 2005, when he was appointed Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer of the University of New England. Professor Pettigrew retired from the University in 2009. Currently, he is a member of the Advisory Council of Research Australia Philanthropy, the Council of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research and the Cooperative Research Centres Committee of the Australian Government. He is also an adviser to the Chief Scientist of Australia.

Professor Pettigrew will be joined by guest speakers from politics, institutions and industry, and those responsible for implementing and managing major initiatives in research and innovation. All of whom will be announced on this website at a later date.

Enquiries and more information

Please direct enquiries about this program to  on +61 3 8344 0906.

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