CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in Microbial Consortia Engineering (two roles)

Date Posted: 8 Nov 2023

Location: Canberra, ACT, AU

Company: CSIRO

Acknowledgement of Country

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The Opportunity

  • Do you have a PhD in molecular biology, microbiology, biochemistry, protein chemistry, metabolic engineering, or synthetic/engineering biology?
  • Bring your innovation and expertise and conduct impactful research within engineering biology.
  • Join the Future Science Platform team in this exciting 3-year postdoctoral opportunity!


CSIRO Early Research Career (CERC) Postdoctoral Fellowships provide opportunities to scientists and engineers who have completed their doctorate and have less than three years of relevant postdoctoral work experience. These fellowships aim to develop the next generation of future leaders of the innovation system.

At the Advanced Engineering Biology Future Science Platform (AEB FSP) we’re working to catalyse a step change in biotechnology development in Australia. We are also working to ensure engineering biology delivers broad societal benefit. Our research is working to address the challenges holding engineering biology back from delivering benefits for society, environments and industry.

We have an excellent opportunity for two CERC Fellows to join an interdisciplinary team in a new project at the cutting edge of biological engineering.  Microbial consortia are formed when two or more microbes live together symbiotically. Often this cooperation enables them to occupy environmental niches that would be inaccessible to the individual species in the consortium. This project will leverage this same principle to enable the engineering of communities of microbes capable of addressing problems that no one species could solve alone. This significant challenge requires us to develop methods for genetic engineering in new species, as well as developing positive and negative feedback mechanisms to allow different species to co-exist and work together.


Your duties will include:

  • Developing tools and techniques for genetic transformation of a variety of microbial species.
  • Culturing microbes and developing analytical methods characterise their behaviour, interactions and productivity.
  • Creating communities of engineered microbes capable of cooperation.
  • Working as part of an inter-disciplinary team of researchers, contributing to projects within and beyond the CSIRO Advanced Engineering Biology (AEB) future science platform (FSP).

Location: Black Mountain, ACT
Salary: AU$92,624 - AU$101,459 plus up to 15.4% superannuation
Tenure: Specified term of 3 years
Reference: 94961


To be considered you will need:


  • A doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in a relevant discipline area, such as molecular biology, microbiology, biochemistry, protein chemistry, metabolic engineering, or synthetic/engineering biology. Please note: To be eligible for this role you must have no more than 3 years (full-time equivalent) of postdoctoral research experience.
  • Demonstrable experience in microbial genome/strain engineering or metabolic engineering, preferably with non-model microbes.
  • Familiarity with or knowledge of functional assays with proteins/enzymes/cells/ organisms.
  • High level written and oral communication skills with the ability to represent the research team effectively internally and externally, including the presentation of research outcomes at national and international conferences.


  • Experience of genetic engineering in both bacteria and fungi.
  • A familiarity with the mechanisms of microbial interactions.

For full details about this role please view the Position Description



Applications for this position are open to Australian/New Zealand Citizens, Australian Permanent Residents or you must either hold, or be able to obtain, a valid working visa for the duration of the specified term.

Appointment to this role is subject to provision of a national police check and may be subject to other security/medical/character requirements.


Flexible Working Arrangements

We work flexibly at CSIRO, offering a range of options for how, when and where you work. 


Diversity and Inclusion

We are working hard to recruit people representing the diversity across our society, and ensure that all our people feel supported to do their best work and feel empowered to let their ideas flourish. 



At CSIRO Australia's national science agency, we solve the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology. We put the safety and wellbeing of our people above all else and earn trust everywhere because we only deal in facts. We collaborate widely and generously and deliver solutions with real impact. 

CSIRO is committed to values-based leadership to inspire performance and unlock the potential of our people.

CSIRO is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people involved in our activities and programs, whether we are undertaking research, engaging with the public or nurturing future scientists in person or online. Source – CSIRO Child Safe policy 2023

Join us and start creating tomorrow today!


How to Apply

Please apply on-line and provide a cover letter and CV that best demonstrate your motivation and ability to meet the requirements of this role.


Applications Close

7 December 2023, 11:00pm AEDT

11:00 PM

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