First listed on: 13 May 2019

CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in Molecular Tools for Pathogen Control

  • Are you an early career scientist keen to investigate how natural gene drives work?
  • Work with technology that could reduce crop losses, reduce fungicide uses and make food safer!
  • Work with game changing technology in the sustainable agriculture arena

The Position

CSIRO Early Research Career (CERC) Postdoctoral Fellowships provide opportunities to scientists and engineers who have completed their doctorate and have less than three years relevant postdoctoral work experience. 

Gene drives are selfish genetic elements that are inherited at frequencies higher than normally expected.  Recently this technology has been heralded as a potential game changer in the control of problematic species. What if we use this technology to reduce crop losses, reduce fungicide uses and make food safer? This postdoctoral fellow will investigate how natural gene drives work and if they could be used in sustainable agriculture. The successful applicant will undertake research directed at both:

- understanding the mode-of-action of biochemical mechanisms of natural gene drive systems, and

- gaining knowledge of how gene drives might behave in complex populations by combining experimental evolutionary biology and modelling approaches.

The experimental systems to be used will be relevant to Australian and global agriculture.

Your duties will include:

Under the direction of senior research scientists and engineers:

  • Develop innovative approaches to understanding how natural gene drives work mechanistically. Some possible approaches could involve both biochemical (e.g. protein-protein interaction assays) and/or genetic approaches. The fellow will have the freedom and support, from the supervisory team, to determine how best to approach this challenge.
  • Develop experimental evolutionary biology approaches to understand how gene drives might behave in complex populations.
  • Interact with other researchers in CSIRO working in the areas of social licence and gene drives such as those in the Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform’s Maximising Impact and Environment and Biocontrol domains. These interactions will help guide the experimental work to maximise the potential for impact from the work.
  • Lead the writing of reports and scientific papers resulting from the work.
  • Develop collaborations within and external to CSIRO around gene drive technology and its application in agriculture.

Location:      Queensland, St Lucia
Salary:          AU$83k- AU$94k plus up to 15.4% superannuation
Tenure:         3 years full time or part time equivalent
Reference:   61555

To be successful you will need:

  • A doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in a relevant discipline area, such as molecular plant pathology, molecular genetics, biochemistry or evolutionary biology or related disciplines.  Please note: To be eligible for this role you must have no more than 3 years (or part time equivalent) of postdoctoral research experience.
  • An understanding of biological containment practices to allow strict adherence to regulatory requirements of working with genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
  • Demonstrated experience in the design and execution of experiments to investigate complex biological processes
  • 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.
  • A sound history of publication in peer reviewed journals and/or authorship of scientific papers, reports, grant applications or patents.

For details about who to contact and for more information please view the Position Description

We’re working hard to recruit diverse people and ensure all our people feel supported to do their best work and empowered to let their ideas flourish.

Flexible Working Arrangements

We work flexibly at CSIRO, offering a range of options for how, when and where you work. Talk to us about how this role could be flexible for you. Balance


At CSIRO you can be part of helping to solve big, complex problems that make a real difference to our future. We spark off each other, learn from each other, trust each other and collaborate to achieve more than we could individually in a supportive, rewarding, inclusive and truly flexible environment. 

Apply Online

To apply online, please provide a CV and cover letter together with a statement addressing the selection criteria.

Applications Close at 10.59 AEST 19 June 2019

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