University science has grown into much more than the pursuit of fundamental discoveries, although that remains the well-spring for all that it does. University science now reaches out to engage at every stage of the cycle in which knowledge is turned into new and better ways of doing things.

Increasingly science graduates, PhD’s and academic staff are collaborating, partnering, and using what they know to be a part of producing the new technologies and practices that a changing world needs. They do this in the context of a strong core of basic discovery research, and the skills development embodied in science undergraduate programs and postgraduate research programs.

While engagement is anchored in the core values of our member universities the ACDS seeks to bring into focus the combined impact that university science brings to society. 

How can I engage with the ACDS?

I am a Tertiary science educator:


Indigenous Science website: This ACDS website aims to give tertiary science educators a starting resource in their quest to incorporate Indigenous knowledges, pedagogies, and perspectives in their teaching.

Resource repository: The ACDS Resource Repository includes teaching and assessment resources developed across science, particularly those to support online learning.

Conferences and webinars

Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education (ACSME): A forum for educators interested in advancing teaching and learning in science and mathematics education.

ACDS Indigenous Science Community of Practice: A series of Webinars for educators and leaders to engage and learn from others through sharing experiences and resources, and exploring new ideas.

Teaching & Learning Leaders Conference: An annual conference for Associate Deans (Teaching & Learning) and other leaders in science education.

ACDS Teaching and Learning Webinar series: A series of Science Education Leadership Webinars to engage science and mathematics educators in the discussion of current topics of interest.

I am a University science research or education leader (Associate Dean or equivalent):

ACDS Research Leaders Network: a series of webinars to engage research leaders (Associate Deans Research, Higher Degree by Research and Industry Engagement) in discussions of current topics of interest.

ACDS Science Education Leaders Network Meetings: a series of webinars for Associate Deans (Teaching & Learning) to engage in discussions of current topics of interest.

University Science, Research Institutions, Policy makers

Australian University Science is a new biannual publication, commissioned by the ACDS, that highlights the role of university science and its impact.

Showcasing the impact of university science

The ACDS biannual magazine, Australian University Science seeks to promote a vision of contemporary university science. Each edition presents a case study of the role of university science, showcasing exceptional science teams, as well as providing profiles of roles that science graduates play in industry and broader communities. See how University science brings about change and reaches out to engage at every stage of the cycle in which knowledge is turned into new and better ways of doing things.

Subscribe to print or electronic copies of the biannual publication Australian University Science Sign up here to receive your issue twice a year.   

ACDS Executive

The ACDS executive meets six times a year. Prior to Covid-19 the meetings would rotate through state capitals.

Among other things the Executive uses the meetings to engage with deans and other university science leaders from the state.

Recently South Australia’s previous Chief Scientist, Dr Leanna Read, spoke on the challenges for science research leadership when it comes to university-industry engagement and commercialisation, as well as the challenges and opportunities available through the large cohort of science PhD graduates. A highly experienced researcher and CEO of several CRC’s and start-ups, the Executive highly recommends university science leaders to read the synopsis of her address.

ACDS Annual General Meeting

The ACDS Annual General Meeting is the major meeting for the organisational leadership of university science. It provides an essential opportunity for networking and policy discussion.

The 2023 AGM and Conference will be held in Canberra on 24-25 October.

The 2022 AGM and Conference was held in Canberra on 24-25 October. Read more here

The 2021 AGM was held online in October. The keynote speaker presentations and summary speaker notes are available here.

Traditionally the AGM is held as a face-to-face event. In 2020 the AGM was held as a series of webinars. The AGM was held online over October 26, November 9 and November 23.  Professor Debbie Terry AO, Vice Chancellor of The University of Queensland and Chair of Universities Australia, opened the AGM on October 26. Professor Caroline McMillen, Chief Scientist for SA, Professor Peter Klinken, Chief Scientist for WA, and Professor Professor Hugh Possingham Chief Scientist QLD joined a panel on November 9 to discuss engagement with and support from industry. Professor Sue Thomas, CEO of the ARC, addressed the November 23 session. Notes from the three sessions are available from the ACDS.