CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in Next-Generation Soil Organic Matter Dynamics and Quantification

Date Posted: 25 Jun 2024
Views: 72 | | Applications:

Location: Canberra, ACT, AU

Company: CSIRO

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The opportunity

  • Exciting postdoctoral role for an early career researcher with a PhD in soil science, agriculture, environmental science, biogeochemistry, ecology.
  • Play an integral role in positioning CSIRO at the forefront of Next-Generation Soil Organic Matter Dynamics and Quantification research.
  • Join CSIRO’s Agriculture and Food Sustainability Team.


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.

CSIRO Agriculture and Food’s Sustainability Program is seeking an CERC Fellow to build on ongoing research into soil organic matter (SOM) dynamics in soil and the application of novel methods and instrumentation for their quantification. The CERC Fellow will work with cutting-edge technology to quantify measurable fractions of SOM using SOM’s thermal stability, and accounting for the physical protection that comes from soil aggregates.  The CERC Fellow will lead the development of next-generation analytical pipelines to measure biologically significant SOM fractions, to reduce analytical costs and accelerate technology readiness for commercial application.

The CERC Fellow will collaborate with national and international organisations and leading scientists and will have the opportunity to partner with other CSIRO initiatives such as ‘Towards Net Zero Emissions Mission’ and ‘Valuing Sustainability Future Science Platform’. 


Your duties will include:

  • Participate and contribute to engagements with peers and key stakeholders to obtain feedback and guidance on the project and ensure outputs produced are not only scientifically sound, but also 'fit for purpose' and therefore impactful in terms of having large uptake.
  • Undertake regular reviews of relevant literature and patents and carry out research investigations requiring originality, creativity and innovation.
  • Comprehensive review of existing soil organic matter fractionation methods and their applications.
  • Estimate the various forms of soil organic carbon and nitrogen fractions, considering their physical protection, chemical, and thermal stability.
  • Co-design the integration of the invertebrate soil module with other research scientists.
  • Conduction model testing, calibration, validation, true-up, and model uncertainty assessment.


Location: Canberra, ACT

Salary: AU$96,329 - AU$105,517 plus up to 15.4% superannuation

Tenure: Specified term of 3 years

Reference: 96406


To be considered you will need:


  • A doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in a relevant discipline area, such as soil science, agriculture, environmental science, biogeochemistry, ecology. Please note: To be eligible for this role you must have no more than 3 years (full-time equivalent) of postdoctoral research experience.
  • Theoretical and hands-on-experience on soil organic matter fractionation frameworks.
  • Design and conduct landscape and laboratory scale experiments related to soil organic matter fractionation.
  • Ability to use a variety of analytical instruments to develop high-throughput analytical pipeline to quantify biologically significant soil organic matter fractions including but not limited to physical wet sieving gear, C/N thermal-ramping analysers, IR spectroscopy.
  • Demonstrated experience and skills in modern data science (statistical/machine learning analysis) and programming (e.g., R, Python, but not limited to).
  • Sound knowledge of modern data management practices to ensure reproducibility and traceability of research, such as the deposition of data in publicly available repositories and the use of version control systems.



  • Experience with integrating analytical datasets with GHG process-based models.
  • Experience with soil physical measurement and modelling linking biogeochemical with physical soil processes.

For full details about this role please view the Position Description



Applications for this position are open to all candidates - Australian/New Zealand Citizens, Australian Permanent Residents or international candidates (both offshore or onshore) who either hold, or be 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 the following documents that best demonstrate your motivation and ability to meet the requirements of this role:

  • a detailed cover letter, including addressing both the essential and desirable selection criteria, and
  • current CV.

Please respond to both the essential and desirable selection criteria in detail and include it in your cover letter as one document.


Applications close

24 July 2024, 11:00pm AEST

11:00 PM

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