Research Scientist in Molecular/Synthetic Biology

Date Posted: 13 May 2024
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Location: Canberra, ACT, AU

Company: CSIRO

Acknowledgement of Country

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The opportunity

  • ​​​​​​Bring your synthetic/molecular biology and genomics knowledge into an impactful role
  • Exciting role to further develop your domain expertise and leadership skills
  • Great opportunity to join the supportive team at CSIRO – Australia’s National Science Agency!


We are currently seeking a motivated Research Scientist, with expertise in synthetic or molecular biology, to join our multi-disciplinary team in Canberra, and it could the next best career step that you’re looking for!


CSIRO, as Australia’s National Science Agency, plays a crucial role in researching and addressing plant pathogens, pests, diseases, and other biosecurity challenges. Our research teams are working hard to achieve the best scientific outcomes, and are dedicated to partnering with government, research and industry sectors to create real impact. In this role, you will be part of our ‘Data Intensive Approaches Team’ that specialises in using data-driven approaches to accelerate knowledge discovery in plant-pathogen interactions. The team develops state-of-the-art methods encompassing all areas of plant-pathogen interactions such as effector prediction, resistance gene identification, genomics as well as digital disease diagnostics.


As a Research Scientist, you will bring your expertise in molecular/synthetic biology and genomics, to conduct research towards broadening the discovery of virulence molecules for plant pathogens of economic importance using high throughput gene discovery platforms. You will be ideally using these platforms to design impactful scientific solutions to tackle biotic stress and protect Australian agriculture from emerging global pathogens. The application of synthetic biology to monitor plant pathogens and build disease resistance engineering have been identified as key growth areas for our research program. Therefore, through this position, you will play an essential role in building & strengthening CSIRO’s overall research capabilities and ability to engage with biosecurity stakeholders. The position also offers potential future leadership opportunities and prospects to further grow your research career with CSIRO, and therefore, your well-developed communication, leadership, stakeholder engagement, and teamwork skills would be highly regarded.


If you are motivated by forming collaborative partnerships, leading research initiatives, and contributing to making a real difference with your work, this would be an exciting and fulfilling role for you! CSIRO champions in providing a diverse and inclusive culture, supports flexible work arrangements, and offers you excellent professional development opportunities to grow your skills & career.


Your duties will include:

  • Carrying out innovative and impactful research of strategic importance to CSIRO that will, where possible, lead to novel and important scientific outcomes.
  • Expanding and scaling up gene discovery platform applications to disease problems that threaten Australia’s crop production.
  • Participating in identification of further opportunities in disease and pest control.
  • Working collaboratively with senior scientists to plan and prepare research proposals, and carry out research investigations requiring originality, creativity and innovation.
  • Presenting results in a meaningful format, preparing reports for clients and/or writing scientific papers for publication (high-level journals and conferences).
  • Contributing to the supervision and other management responsibilities of junior scientific and technical staff.


Location: Canberra (Black Mountain), ACT

Salary: AU$110K – AU$119K pa + up to 15.4% superannuation

Tenure: Specified Term of 3 years (with possibility for extension/continuity upon future reviews)

Reference: 96642


To be considered you will need:

  • A PhD (or an equivalent combination of qualifications and research experience), and at least some demonstrated post-doctoral experience in a relevant field such as Molecular Biology, Genetics, Synthetic Biology, or Plant Sciences.
  • Demonstrated ability to undertake original, creative and innovative research by generating and pursuing novel ideas and solutions to scientific research problems.
  • Evidence of strong molecular biology skills and functional genomics applications.
  • Ability to combine experimental and computational analysis to deliver research outcomes.
  • A demonstrated publication history of authorship on scientific papers in peer reviewed journals and/or reports, grant applications or inventorship on patent applications.
  • High level communication skills with the ability to represent the research team effectively internally and externally, including presentation of research outcomes at national and international conferences.


For full details about this role please review the Position Description.



Applications for this position are open to all candidates – Australian/New Zealand Citizens, Australian Permanent Residents, or candidates who either hold, or are able to obtain, a valid working visa for the duration of the specified term (visa sponsorship and relocation assistance may be provided to the successful candidate if required).

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 online, and provide your CV and a detailed cover letter that best demonstrate your motivation and ability to meet the requirements of this role. Please note that we strongly encourage you to respond to each of the selection criteria in detail, and attach it to your cover letter as one document.


Applications close

23 June 2024, 11:00pm AEST

We strongly encourage you to apply early as we will be reviewing applications as they come through.

11:00 PM

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