CEO, Doherty Clinical Trials Ltd

Posted: 27 May 2022

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The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity (Doherty Institute) is establishing a dedicated facility to conduct clinical trials. The first of its kind in the southern hemisphere, Doherty Clinical Trials (Doherty CT) is a private company dedicated to the use of innovative clinician-led challenge models.

Alongside the Doherty CT Board, you will provide leadership of strategic and operational performance, promoting the new venture to national and global clients and developing sound relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders.

You have postgraduate qualifications relevant to investigations in the pharma, biotech or CRO sectors, with a record of success in building businesses, based on initiative, judgment and influencing abilities.

Position Overview

The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity (Doherty Institute) is establishing a new facility to conduct clinician-led clinical and challenge trials. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) will have a significant role in developing, leading and implementing strategic initiatives for Doherty Clinical Trials Ltd (Doherty CT), in addition to establishing a high performing management and operational team, will work with them to ensure that the organisation is equipped with the critical capabilities (expertise and infrastructure) to achieve its strategic goals.

The facility is being established to test drugs and vaccines within a purpose-built controlled setting to accelerate the development of new therapies. Doherty CT is being developed with the aim of being recognised as a leader in the delivery of clinical trials specific to infectious disease research through the use of innovative challenge models and practices. It will be the only facility of its type in the southern hemisphere and its implementation therefore represents a significant strategic priority for the Doherty Institute.

The incumbent will provide effective leadership of the facility’s strategic and operational performance in conjunction with the board, and will be responsible for high-level project reporting to the Doherty Council, University Chancellery, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission and State Government.

This position will be expected to represent the interests of Doherty CT on a range of committees, health services and other relevant entities.

Doherty CT has a development/start-up budget of over $6 million with a detailed reporting schedule across multiple organisations. A Senior Program Manager has been employed to guide establishment of the organisation, including facilitation of facility design and financial management of the establishment phase. It is anticipated that this role will work in conjunction with the CEO to commence operations, transition to business-as-usual and support initial business development functions.



  • In conjunction with the Board, develop a company vision and mission
  • Lead development and implementation of the strategic plan as approved by the Board
  • Supported by the management team, ensure sustainable and efficient use of resources through effective execution of operational and project budgets


  • Develop and lead an exceptional management team
  • Set a precedent for a versatile, innovative organisation with change as the norm


  • Promote Doherty CT across a broad range of prospective clients, nationally and internationally, including members/partners, collaborators and external entities
  • Ensure development of the research profile of Doherty CT to attract new business


  • Establish and maintain effective and positive relationships with Board members, stakeholders, collaborators, partners and industry/corporate entities
  • Develop relationships with key member/partner representatives (such as The University of Melbourne, hospital partners, state government and industry/corporate) to ensure alignment with strategic goals


  • Conduct start-up activities: develop/implement processes and systems to ensure effective operations of the unit
  • In conjunction with the management team, prepare reports as required to meet legislative requirements or for business planning and development purposes
  • Ensure that reporting and compliance requirements are met through consultation and input of subject matter experts as required

Selection Criteria Essential

  • Postgraduate qualifications in a relevant discipline and/or an equivalent combination of education and significant relevant experience in biotechnology or pharmaceutical industries
  • Sophisticated interpersonal management skills, demonstrated through successful advocacy, negotiating, consulting and influencing of diverse stakeholder groups
  • Demonstrated experience in business planning, including business start-up; business continuity and risk management
  • Demonstrated experience in budgeting and fiscal management of large and complex portfolios
  • Demonstrated senior management level experience in the establishment and oversight of small to medium enterprises, preferably with board-level engagement
  • Familiarity with clinical trials design and processes or other relevant operational knowledge
  • Proven risk management expertise, particularly in biotechnology or pharmaceutical settings


  • Experience in drug discovery and/or development
  • Demonstrated and practical innovation and entrepreneurship experience
  • Familiarity with grant/funding applications, particularly in the field of clinical research

Job Complexity, Skills, Knowledge Level of Supervision / Independence The CEO works under the broad direction of the Board with a considerable degree of autonomy and independence in the execution of the role. The position operates within a broad framework defined by the strategic, business, and operational plans, and the budget.

Problem Solving and Judgement Considerable initiative, excellent negotiation skills and sound judgement are necessary to develop and implement strategies within a broad framework defined by strategic plan and long-term goals. High level management skills in planning and problem solving are essential. The position requires the capacity to implement best practice solutions in a complex environment and the incumbent will identify and analyse alternative solutions to problems that may require modification of existing systems or recommendation of new policies.

Professional and Organisational Knowledge The successful applicant is expected to have the capacity to quickly adopt and apply a broad understanding of relevant regulations and legislative parameters and how they interact with business functions for the effective implementation and successful outcomes of Doherty CT’s deliverables.

Resource Management The successful applicant will have oversight of operations and budgets of Doherty CT. In conjunction with the management team they will ensure the successful, on-time execution of Doherty CT operations and projects.

ABOUT The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity
Finding solutions to prevent, treat and cure infectious diseases and understanding the complexities of microbes and the immune system requires innovative approaches and concentrated effort. This is why The University of Melbourne – a world leader in education, teaching and research excellence – and The Royal Melbourne Hospital – an internationally renowned institution providing outstanding care, research and learning – have partnered to create the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity (Doherty Institute); a centre of excellence where leading scientists and clinicians collaborate to improve human health globally.


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