Chief Scientist for Australia, Office of the Chief Scientist

Professor Ian Chubb was appointed to the position of Chief Scientist on 19 April 2011 and commenced the role on 23 May 2011.

Prior to his appointment as Chief Scientist Professor Ian Chubb was Vice-Chancellor of the Australian National University from January 2001 to February 2011. He was Vice-Chancellor of Flinders University of South Australia for six years and the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Monash University for two years while simultaneously the Foundation Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics for 16 months.

He was also Chair of the Higher Education Council (the Commonwealth Government’s peak advisory body on higher education) from September 1990 to December 1994 and was, until mid-1994, the Deputy Chair of the National Board of Employment, Education and Training (the Commonwealth’s peak advisory body on all matters related to the Employment, Education and Training portfolio). During 1993, he was Interim Chair and then Deputy Chair of the Committee for Quality Assurance in Higher Education.

From January 1986 to September 1990, Professor Chubb was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wollongong and an Honorary Professor of Biology. During the period 1978-1985 he was Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor in the School of Medicine of Flinders University. Before that he was at Oxford University where, during the period 1971-1977, he was a Wellcome Foundation Scholar, a Junior Research Fellow of St John’s College, and a Royal Society Research Fellow. He spent 1969-1971 as a JF & C Heymans Research Fellow at the University of Ghent, Belgium.

Professor Chubb’s research focussed on the neurosciences and was supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Australian Research Grants Scheme and by various Foundations. He has co-authored some 70 full papers and co-edited one book all related to his research. He was a member of the Grants Committee, and a member or Chair of several Grant Interviewing Committees, all of the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Professor Chubb was President of the Australian Vice-Chancellors’ Committee (AVCC) for 2000 and 2001. Previously he was elected Vice-President of the AVCC for 1998 and 1999. Professor Chubb was formerly an elected member, or member, of the Board of the AVCC between 1996 and 2006. He has served as a member of the Vocational Education and Employment Training Board of South Australia from 1995. From January 2000 to December 2001 Professor Chubb was a member of the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council (PMSEIC). He serves, or has served, on numerous other Boards and Committees related to his university or Commonwealth responsibilities – in universities and in the public and private sectors.

In 1999 Professor Chubb was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for “service to the development of higher education policy and its implementation at state, national and international levels, as an administrator in the tertiary education sector, and to research particularly in the field of neuroscience”. In 2006 he was made a Companion (AC) in the order for “service to higher education, including research and development policy in the pursuit of advancing the national interest socially, economically, culturally and environmentally, and to the facilitation of a knowledge-based global economy”. In 2000, Professor Chubb was awarded a Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) from Flinders University. He was made the ACT’s Australian of the Year in 2011 for his contribution to higher education.


  • 2001–2011
    Vice-Chancellor, Australian National University