CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in Actinobacteria Strain Engineering

Date: 1 Sep 2023

Location: Canberra, ACT, AU

Company: CSIRO

Acknowledgement of Country

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The Opportunity


  • Do you have a PhD in molecular biology, microbiology, biologic engineering, biochemistry?
  • Conduct impactful research to deliver engineering biology benefits to industry, society, and the environment.
  • Join the Advanced Engineering Biology - Future Science Platform team in 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 position will be part of the Advanced Engineering Biology - Future Science Platform (AEB FSP). CSIRO FSPs address new scientific challenges for Australia.  They are an investment in science that underpins innovation that has the potential to help reinvent and create new industries.  FSPs allow the development of capability and capacity for a new generation of researchers to work with CSIRO on future science.

As part of a broader Actinobacteria-based Biomolecule Discovery project team, the CERC Fellow will focus on using engineering biology for the discovery of novel biomolecules encoded by secondary metabolite gene clusters in Actinobacteria. The CERC Fellow will work closely with a Microbial Genome Biologist and a Metabolic Network Modeller to develop a high-performance pipeline for the discovery, prediction, and production of novel bioactive molecules from Actinobacteria. Additionally, the CERC Fellow will also work closely with two other strain engineers focused on developing new strategies for engineering microbial communities.

This position will join the Innovative Bioproduction Platforms team in AEB FSP working on low-cost commercial-scale biomolecule production. The CSIRO supervisory team brings together leading expertise in microbial and plant engineering, plant pathology, biocontrol, microbiome and bioinformatics. The CERC Fellow will have access to state-of-the-art laboratory, bioproduction, metabolomics, proteomics, microscopy, and supercomputing facilities.

Your duties will include:

  • Using advanced biological engineering to select and engineer model and non-model chassis strain(s) to produce multiple biomolecules for agricultural use.
  • Validating metabolic models to domesticate non-model Streptomyces strains and optimise bioproduction to industrially relevant levels.
  • Working as part of an inter-disciplinary team of researchers, contributing to projects within and beyond the CSIRO FSP.
  • Carrying out innovative, impactful research of strategic importance to CSIRO that will, where possible, lead to novel and important scientific outcomes.


Location: Black Mountain, Canberra, ACT

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

Tenure: Specified term of 3 years

Reference: 93913

To be considered you will need:

  • A doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in a relevant discipline area, such as molecular biology, microbiology, biologic engineering, biochemistry, or related field. Please note: To be eligible for this role you must have no more than 3 years (or full-time equivalent) of postdoctoral research experience.
  • A strong background and demonstrated experience in microbial engineering of both model and non-model strains.
  • Demonstrated experience in the development and analysis of quantitative biological assays.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop experimental plans and apply well developed research skills to scientific investigations.


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.


CSIRO is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people involved in our activities and programs, whether we are undertaking research, engaging with the public or nurturing future scientists in person or online. Source – CSIRO Child Safe policy 2023

Join us and start creating tomorrow today!

How to Apply

Please apply on-line and provide a cover letter and CV that best demonstrates your motivation and ability to meet the requirements of this role.  We recommend you address the selection criteria outlined in the position description and include this information in your cover letter. 

Applications Close

23 October 2023, 11:00pm AEDT