CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in Pathogen Effector Biology

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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

Child Safety

CSIRO is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people involved in our activities and programs. View our Child Safe Policy.

The Opportunity

  • Do you have a PhD in plant molecular biology, plant-microbe interactions, or synthetic biology?
  • Interested in developing technology for screening pathogen genes for virulence roles?
  • Join CSIRO's Agriculture and Food team for this exciting 3-year postdoctoral opportunity

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 CERC Fellow will be working across two high-performing groups (Pests & Diseases, Synthetic Traits) at CSIRO Agriculture & Food, engaging with a new initiative within CSIRO named Catalysing Australia’s Biosecurity, Data61 and the Collaborative Intelligence Future Science Platform for genome annotation. The CERC fellow will be housed at the Pests & Diseases group which is globally recognised for delivering impact and advancing knowledge on rust disease resistance with the overall goal to prevent crop losses. 

To facilitate infection many plant pathogens secrete effector proteins that if recognised by the host trigger plant immunity responses. Until recently the identification of effectors has been a challenge; however, our team recently developed a breakthrough screening platform for pooled effector library screening in plant protoplasts to isolate host-recognised effectors from wheat stem rust. The CERC Fellow will take this platform to maturity and demonstrate its applicability to other important diseases and unexplored questions such as leveraging the platform for rapid discovery of genes are not only disease-causing, but also disease-preventing in a plant-pathogen agnostic manner. The CERC Fellow will benefit from working in a world leading team and through exposure to a broad scientific context spanning the spectrum from basic biology to applied delivery of science research to achieve industry outcomes.

Your duties will include:

  • Carrying out innovative, impactful research of strategic importance to CSIRO that will, where possible, lead to novel and important scientific outcomes.
  • Carrying out research investigations requiring originality, creativity and innovation. This will include leveraging a molecular screening platform to rapidly pinpoint which genes are not only disease-causing, but also disease-preventing in plant-pathogen systems.
  • Undertaking regular reviews of relevant literature and patents.
  • Communicating results internally through regular team meetings and group level presentations.
  • Communicating results externally through preparation and presentation of appropriate conference papers as agreed with your supervisor and through preparation of scientific manuscripts suitable for publication in quality journals and granting of patents.

To be considered you will need:

  • A doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in a relevant discipline area, such as plant molecular biology, plant-microbe interactions, or synthetic biology. Please note: To be eligible for this role you must have no more than 3 years (full-time equivalent) of postdoctoral research experience.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and research experience in molecular plant-pathogen interactions.
  • Experience in applying molecular biology approaches to investigate protein function in the context of their contribution to overall biological processes or to develop synthetic biology tools/approaches.
  • 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


Applications for this position are open to Australian/New Zealand Citizens, Australian Permanent Residents or you must either hold, or be able to obtain, a valid working visa for the duration of the specified term. 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 on-line and provide a cover letter and CV that best demonstrate your motivation and ability to meet the requirements of this role. 

Closed 4 months ago
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Closed 4 months ago
  • Job type:Graduate Jobs
  • Disciplines:
    Medical and Biomedical Science, Research and
  • Work rights:
    Australian Working Visa, Australian Permanent
  • Locations:
  • Salary

    AU$92k - AU$101k plus up to 15.4% superannuation

  • Tenure

    Specified term of 3 years

  • Closing Date:31st Jan 2024, 12:00 pm


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