Dr Mel Southwell-Lee commenced as Branch Manager, Policy and Strategy in late 2021. She is responsible for the ARC’s National Competitive Grants Program policies and data repositories, as well as agency non-financial corporate governance, audit, research integrity and other strategic policy issues.
Dr Southwell-Lee has a long history of engagement with Australian and international education, science and research. She has held leadership positions in the Australian Government departments of education, industry and science, and health. Dr Southwell-Lee has overseen higher education and research infrastructure programs, contributed to the development of the national tertiary education quality agency, advised on research impact policy and the innovation and science agenda, led the 2015 review of the Cooperative Research Centres program, and progressed Australia’s education and research relationships with key partner nations.
Dr Southwell-Lee has a PhD in Asian Studies and has studied and worked at a number of universities in Australia and abroad.