Research Projects Officer Plant Molecular Farming

Date Posted: 4 Jan 2024

Location: Canberra, ACT, AU

Company: CSIRO

Acknowledgement of Country

CSIRO acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land, sea and waters, of the area that we live and work on across Australia. We acknowledge their continuing connection to their culture and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. View our vision towards reconciliation

Child Safety

CSIRO is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people involved in our activities and programs. View our Child Safe Policy.

The Opportunity

  • Join the CSIRO Synthetic Traits group, a world-leader in cutting-edge plant biotechnology
  • Work with an established research team in Molecular Farming and create with us the next generation of high-value engineered crops
  • Great opportunity to join Australia’s national science and innovation agency! 


The CSIRO Synthetic Traits group is world-leading in translating cutting-edge plant biotechnology towards real impact for Australian agriculture. 

The group’s extensive track record includes the development of commercial high-oleic safflower and omega-3 canola together in close collaboration with key industry partners.

This position is an exciting opportunity to be at the forefront of one of CSIRO’s new strategic growth areas (Molecular Farming) and create with us the next generation of high-value engineered crops.
As part of the Molecular Farming team, you will focus on the genetic transformation of alternative plant hosts to produce high-value therapeutic cannabinoid molecules. 

Activities will involve tissue culture, growing and sampling selected transgenic plants in the glasshouse, molecular characterization of transgenic plants, extraction of cannabinoid metabolites, keeping a record of material for external reporting requirements, and sample preparation for LC-MS analysis.   

Your duties will include:

  • Conducting plant tissue culture using a variety of different genetic constructs.  
  • Taking care of plants in the glasshouse/growth cabinets, including sowing, transplanting, sampling.
  • Molecular characterization (copy number, gene expression) by digital droplet PCR.
  • Harvesting leaf samples and extraction of cannabinoid/lipid metabolites for LC-MS analysis following established protocols.
  • Assisting in timely planning of experiments to meet project demands, actively trouble-shooting to resolve identified problems, participating in project meetings, recording data in electronic lab notebook form, and working closely in a multidisciplinary team consisting of members across different divisions within CSIRO.
  • Other duties as directed.


Location: Black Mountain, ACT

Salary: AU$68,148-$86,733 per annum (pro-rata for part-time)
plus up to 15.4% superannuation

Tenure: Specified term of 16 months / Full-time

Reference: 94998


To be considered you will need:

Under CSIRO policy only those who meet all essential criteria can be appointed.

  • Relevant bachelor’s degree or equivalent relevant work experience in plant molecular biology.
  • Experience in plant tissue culture.
  • Experience in molecular characterization of transgenic plants such as digital droplet PCR.
  • Abilities in data collation, analysis and provision of results for inclusion in reports and papers



Prior experience working on (plant) lipids and/or secondary metabolites.

Any experience with leaf infiltration assays. 


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.

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

Thursday 15th February 2024, 11:00pm AEDT.

11:00 PM

Theme picker