Professor Sue Thomas, Chief Executive Officer

Professor Sue Thomas commenced as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Australian Research Council (ARC) in July 2017. Professor Thomas’s depth of experience in research and research management is helping deliver the ARC’s key functions and priorities.
Professor Thomas’ academic background lies in microbiology—she holds both a Bachelor of Science with Honours and Doctor of Philosophy from La Trobe University. 
 
Her professional career commenced with postdoctoral appointments at Princeton University, USA and the UK Medical Research Council. Since that time she has held academic leadership roles at: Flinders University as head of the School of Biological Sciences; the University of Canberra as Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Division of Health, Design and Science and Pro Vice-Chancellor Research; Charles Sturt University as Deputy Vice-Chancellor; and most recently was Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of New England.

As CEO, Professor Thomas leads the ARC in line with the requirements of the PGPA Act and Public Service Act 1999: making recommendations to the responsible Minister in relation to which research applications should be approved for funding through the funding schemes of the National Competitive Grants Program; administering financial assistance approved by the Minister for research programs; and providing advice to the Minister on research matters. Professor Thomas also has responsibility for two federal assessments of research within universities, Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) and Engagement and Impact (EI).