First listed on: 03 December 2021

CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in Plastic-Munching Microbiomes for Biorecycling


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.

The Opportunity

  • Do you have a PhD in microbiology, molecular biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, omics, systems biology, synthetic biology or environmental engineering?
  • Want to conduct world class research and development with a team of dedicated professionals?
  • 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 Postdoctoral Fellow will be part of CSIRO’s efforts in solving one of our most pressing sustainability challenges, the accumulation of plastic waste in the environment. The position will fall within the Resource Sector Biotechnology Team, Industrial Biotechnology Group and Industry Environments Program in Land and Water Business Unit.

The successful candidate will be involved with the engineering of new microbial consortia to degrade plastic waste into organic material suitable for producing value-added products, supporting bio-based recycling and the transition to a circular economy.

Your duties will include:

  • Designing and engineering microbiomes for plastics degradation; and evaluating the degradation efficiency and products.
  • Using integrated omics and systems biology to characterise plastic-munching microbes and microbiomes and identifying molecular basis for plastics degradation.
  • Developing, constructing, and testing a prototype for converting plastic waste to precursors for producing value-added products.
  • Recognising and utilising opportunities for innovation and the generation of new theoretical perspectives, and progressing opportunities for the further development or creation of new lines of research

Location: Perth, WA
Salary: AU$89k - AU$98k plus up to 15.4% superannuation
Tenure: Specified term of 3 years
Reference: 79513

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, molecular biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, omics, systems biology, synthetic biology, environmental engineering, or similar.

Please note: To be eligible for this role you must have no more than 3 years (full-time equivalent) of postdoctoral research experience.

  • Demonstrated experience in microbiology and aseptic culture techniques and/or developing and evaluating the performance of bioprocesses.
  • Demonstrated experience in the application of molecular biology, omics and/or systems biology approaches to characterise the composition and/or function of microbial cultures and/or molecular mechanisms of microbial activities.
  • Experience in conducting experiments on the biodegradation of plastics and/or other persistent wastes or contaminants, and/or recovering value from waste is highly desirable

For full details about this role please view the Position Description


To be eligible for this role, you must be an Australian/New Zealand Citizen, Australian Permanent Resident or Australian temporary resident currently residing in Australia and be able to commence in the role by 30 June 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 roleIn your cover letter, please provide a response addressing, individually under separate headings, each of the essential and desirable selection criteria that are listed in the attached Position Description. The cover letter (including selection criteria) is to be no more than 4 pages.

Applications Close

30 January 2022, 11:00pm AEDT

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