Principal Data Scientist

Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation Ltd
Level 5, Axon Building (47), The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Australia
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Position Title: Principal Data Scientist (Sustainable Futures)
Employment Type:  3-Year fixed term, full-time position.
Salary Level: HEW 9/10 or Level C
Salary Range:$124,996 - $149,217 (plus superannuation) 


About QCIF  

The Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation (QCIF) is a non-profit organisation that provides cutting-edge digital infrastructure capabilities for research and innovation across Queensland and Australia. QCIF draws investment from its Members, the Queensland Government, and the Australian Government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) program. We are an NCRIS node for the Australian BioCommons (Bioplatforms Australia), and the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) and its Nectar Research Cloud. 

Our purpose   

  • To provide cutting-edge digital research infrastructure to our Members.   

Our vision   

  • To be the digital research partner of choice for our Members, collaborators and clients.    

Our mission   

To accelerate research excellence and societal impact through our Members by:     

  • Provisioning cutting-edge digital research infrastructure capabilities and enterprise solutions;   
  • Upskilling current and future researchers and innovators; and    
  • Catalysing collaboration within Queensland and across Australia.    

Our values    

  • Excellence — we stand by the quality and integrity of our contributions to research;     
  • Collaboration — we believe teams are best placed to tackle the grand challenges that confront society; and    
  • Entrepreneurial — we do not wait for opportunities to come to us; we make things happen. 


About the Role  

Aligned with QCIF’s Mission and Strategic Plan, the incumbent will lead the ‘Sustainable Futures’ data science portfolio within QCIF. The portfolio will encompass the application of data science and platform solutions in support of research and societal impact in agriculture, environmental science, biodiversity and sustainable urban design. Sustainable Futures looks to promote and leverage the convergence of multidisciplinary efforts towards insightful data-driven decision-making in minimising the negative impact on our planet.  

The incumbent will spearhead QCIF efforts, working across academia, industry, government and our national NCRIS partners, including ARDC, AURIN, TERN, ALA and Bioplatforms Australia.   

In the first two years of this appointment, the role will exclusively focus on delivering the EcoCommons Platform as the Senior Program Manager. 


About EcoCommons   

The EcoCommons Australia platform is a culmination of a thirteen-year national investment worth $8.45M across multiple partners, positioning the nation for research with impact through effective leveraging of eco-data and eco-analytics. EcoCommons currently provides access to over 60,000 curated datasets—on species, environment and climate—and dynamically updated data-streams through API with major national and international biodiversity data providers. The Platform's existing capabilities span modelling geographic distribution of single/multiple species (land, freshwater or oceans) and species traits, based on environmental features and historical, current, or projected future climates.   

This role will mature the existing Platform capabilities and operation of EcoCommons Australia and continue alignment with ARDC’s Planet Research Data Commons (Planet RDC) for biodiversity and ecological modelling, specifically under the Modelling, Analytics and Decision Support Infrastructure Program (MADSI). The incumbent will nurture collaborations, develop partnerships and increase end-user uptake of the Platform. 


Key Responsibilities   

For the first two years, this position will exclusively focus on the role of Senior Program Manager – EcoCommons, specifically:    

  • Lead: Recruit and develop a highly productive and efficient EcoCommons team, both operational and the QUT-based development teams; be seen as the champion for digital environmental related infrastructure across university, government and NCRIS partners, advocating for EcoCommons and associated programs in research and decision-making settings;    
  • Project Management: Ensure Platform maintenance for stable operation and facilitate ongoing development; oversee and coordinate resources that contribute to EcoCommons; report on project progress as required to EcoCommons governance and/or QCIF/ARDC Executive; ensure compliance with relevant legislation and licensing related to EcoCommons;  
  • Stakeholder Engagement: collaborate with ARDC and other key stakeholders and end-users to optimise EcoCommons offerings;  
  • Business Development: promote and leverage further opportunities across academia, industry and government; and  
  • Strategy: provide recommendations and advice to the EcoCommons governance and/or QCIF/ARDC Executive regarding management, development and opportunities associated with EcoCommons;  


About you  

Essential Qualifications and Experience  

  • Demonstrated experience at the intersection of science and technology, data acquisition and analysis, preferably in the field of biodiversity, environment and agriculture or a related area of science.   
  • Postgraduate qualifications or equivalent work experience in one or more of biodiversity, environment or agriculture disciplines.   
  • Extensive experience in application of data science and digital research infrastructure at scale.  
  • Experience in program and project management and leading geographically dispersed teams.   
  • Experience in end-to-end operational management and development of a digital services and/or products.     
  • Experience developing innovative solutions and strategically driving projects to meet a diverse set of needs in the research sector.     
  • Well-developed communication and stakeholder engagement skills, including end-users of research infrastructure.   

Desirable Qualifications and Experience  

  • Experience working with one or more of the partner NCRIS projects  
  • Experience with AI applications, development of research and/or data tools including use of R, python or Jupyter notebooks  


Organisational Relationships  

The position reports to the Director, Data Science and works closely with the Head of Data & Software Solutions.  



The role will work from the QCIF offices at UQ, St Lucia. Flexible working arrangements may be negotiated.  


How to apply?  

  • Cover letter addressing key criteria (max. 2 pages)  
  • CV (max. 4 pages)  

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
Applications close 29 Feb 2024