Dr Mel Southwell-Lee is Branch Manager, Research Policy Branch. The Research Policy Branch leads the ARC’s strategic policy, policy development and evidence work – working with domestic and international stakeholders across sectors to contribute to the vision for the agency outlined in the ARC Strategy 2022-25. The branch also supports the ARC’s responsibilities in relation to the integrity and security of research it funds.
Dr Southwell-Lee has held leadership positions in the Australian Government departments of education, industry and science, and health. She 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.