Laboratory Technical Officer - Soil Biogeochemistry

Date: 28 Mar 2024

Location: Adelaide, SA, AU

Company: CSIRO

Acknowledgement of Country

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The opportunity


  • Key role for a Laboratory Technical Officer - Soil Biogeochemistry
  • Contribute to the delivery of key data on soil carbon concentrations and stability across national projects
  • Join CSIRO, Australia’s premier scientific research organisation.


The role of Research Projects staff in CSIRO is to collaborate in scientific and technological activities with other research staff usually by assisting with detailed planning, undertaking or assisting with experimental, observational or technology development work, and in carrying out the more practical aspects of the work.

The Laboratory Technical Officer - Soil Biogeochemistry will directly support the delivery of key data on soil carbon concentrations and stability, and soil nitrogen dynamics across a number of national projects within the Biogeochemical Cycles Team and wider Footprinting and Credentials Group Adelaide. 

The position will require demonstrated hands-on experience in the understanding, measurement and inference of soil biogeochemical properties, measured directly and proximally sensed in the laboratory. 

This key role will sit within the Accounting and Function Group Adelaide and will have access to a unique range of laboratory instrumentation, including FT-IR, elemental analysers, isotope ratio mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance, and chromatography instrumentation. A tailored career development and training program will be provided.

This position is for 3 years, with possibility of conversion to indefinite, subject to funding and strategic alignment.

Your duties will include:

  • Under limited supervision, design and perform straightforward experiments and routine laboratory analyses, design new processes or apparatus by adapting existing techniques and components to meet special circumstances or undertake modifications to methods requiring some innovation.
  • Deliver high quality and consistent data on concentrations, vulnerability and dynamics of soil carbon and nitrogen, and the processes that drive these.
  • Perform some non-routine analyses activities using a range of techniques, often working on a number of parallel and competing tasks.
  • Work collaboratively as part of a multi-disciplinary, regionally dispersed research team to carry out tasks in support of CSIRO’s scientific objectives.
  • Other duties as directed.


Location: Adelaide (Waite Campus Site), SA

Salary: AU$70k - AU$90k per annum (pro-rata for part-time)
plus up to 15.4% superannuation

Tenure: Specified term of 3 years/Full-time

Reference: 96262

To be considered you will need:


  • Relevant bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of qualifications and demonstrated relevant work experience in soil science, agricultural science, environmental science, analytical chemistry, or similar fields of science.
  • Demonstrated hands-on experience in the measurement of soil chemical and biological properties, including the use and maintenance of laboratory equipment.
  • A clear understanding of the requirements of conducting analysis in dynamic biological systems and the precautions required to limit or avoid experimental artefacts.
  • Practical knowledge of how stable isotopes may be used in experiments in order to trace source and fate of C and N in plant-soil systems.
  • Demonstrated practical knowledge of Australian landscapes and soils, their constraints and opportunities. 
  • The ability to work effectively as part of a multi-disciplinary or regionally dispersed research team, and the motivation and discipline to carry out autonomous work components.
  • A current Australian driver’s licence.



  • Demonstrated hands-on experience in measuring soil properties using proximal tools such as infrared spectroscopy (e.g. FT-IR, Vis-NIR) in a laboratory setting, and knowledge of, or clear evidence in developing a skillset in the laboratory and data requirements for soil inference calibration and validation. 
  • Demonstrated programming skills in one or more scientific coding languages including (but not limited to) Python and R.

For full details about this role please review the Position Description.


Applications for this position are open to Australian/New Zealand Citizens and Australian Permanent Residents. 


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.

Applications close

Friday 26th April 2024, 11:00pm AEST.