First listed on: 27 August 2021

CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in host-microbial interactions and intestinal organoids


The Opportunity

  • Do you have a PhD in a relevant discipline area, such as microbiology or cellular and molecular biology or similar?
  • Join a strong multidisciplinary team to apply an ex vivo human intestinal organoid system to improve our understanding of human health 
  • Join CSIRO – Australia’s leading scientific research organisation! 

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. 
The position will be part of the Microbiomes for One Systems Health - Future Science Platform (FSP). CSIRO FSPs address new scientific challenges for Australia.

The Microbiome FSP is developing new understanding of microbiome connectivity across the environment to human continuum and how system perturbations impact on microbiome functionality, diversity and systems health.  A key objective is to capture greater benefit from microbiome interactions through more informative and predictive frameworks for functionality and by targeted interventions. Capacity to directly manipulate microbiomes across hosts and environments will provide new opportunities for bio-based solutions to be developed and applied to improve host and environmental health and for increased benefit to plants, animals and humans.

The portfolio of research within the Microbiome FSP is focussed around new science that address; systems connectivity, predictive frameworks and deliberate Interventions through the application of multi-omic tools to analyse point and system level change and associated measures of functionality both within and across interconnected biomes. This includes integration and analysis of multi-layered data and use of empirical and/or statistical modelling.  The science portfolio of the FSP spans multiple CSIRO Business Units that address key focal areas that include; i) Environment, Soil & Plant Health, ii) Food Chain & Production ii) Diet, Gut and Health and iv) Optimized Industry & Urban Processes.

This is an exciting opportunity for a Postdoctoral Fellow to join a project that will establish genetically diverse normal and disease matched intestinal organoids, co-cultured with host microbial community and microenvironment, as a platform to understand microbe-microbe interactions and host-microbe interactions within a relevant physiological environment. The Postdoctoral fellow will join a strong multidisciplinary team within the Molecular Diagnostics Solutions team to apply an ex vivo human intestinal organoid system to improve our understanding of human health. Derived from patient biopsy tissue, these 3D organoid cultures retain both the cellular architecture and cellular diversity of the large intestine, making them physiologically representative of the tissue from which they are derived. This will ultimately contribute to our understanding of how gut microbial communities can be influenced to improve human health. The Postdoctoral Fellow will be exposed to a range of new and cutting-edge approaches with ample opportunity for further training and development, especially in metagenomics, bioinformatics and biostatistics. 

Your duties will include:

  • Develop a capability to co-culture human intestinal organoids and gut microbes
  • Design and execute experiments to enable host-microbial interactions to be elucidated
  • Interact with clinical collaborators to obtain and culture intestinal organoids and microbes 
  • Participate in collaborative research with scientists in the Microbiomes for Ones Systems Health - Future Science Platform
  • Carry out innovative, impactful research of strategic importance to CSIRO that will, where possible, lead to novel and important scientific outcomes. 
  • Recognise and exploit opportunities for innovation and the generation of new theoretical perspectives, and progress opportunities for the further development or creation of new lines of research
  • Utilise design thinking methodology to plan and prepare research proposals, and apply impact methodology to research projects
  • Carry out research investigations requiring originality, creativity and innovation
  • Record, manage, and analyse data/information using relevant domain data science techniques.

Location: Adelaide, SA
Salary: AU$88k - AU$96k plus up to 15.4% superannuation
Tenure: Specified term of 3 years
Reference: 76421

To be considered you will need:

  • A doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in a relevant discipline area, such as microbiology or cellular and molecular biology or similar. Please note: To be eligible for this role you must have no more than 3 years (or full-time equivalent) of postdoctoral research experience.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of human intestinal biology and/or human gut microbiome
  • Demonstrated experience in tissue or cell culture, or organoid culture, including cell based assays to measure physiologically relevant endpoints
  • Experience with culturing gut microbes
  • Demonstrated skills in molecular biology, including PCR, western blot and ELISA 
  • Demonstrated skills in advanced microscopy techniques including immunofluorescence and IHC
  • The ability and desire to work effectively as part of a multi-disciplinary, potentially regionally dispersed research team, plus the motivation and discipline to carry out autonomous research.
  • 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.

For full details about this role please view the Position Description


To be eligible you must be an Australian/New Zealand Citizen, Australian Permanent Resident or Australian temporary resident currently residing in Australia (visa sponsorship may be provided to eligible onshore candidates) and be able to commence employment by December 2021/January 2022.
The successful applicant will be required to obtain and provide a National Police Check or equivalent. Additional integrity checks may be required for specific roles which require security clearance for working with children, Australian Government cybersecurity requirements or other identified security roles.

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. 

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

23 September 2021, 11:00pm AEST

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