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Principal Research Scientist - Sustainability Credentials & Standards

Date: 13-Aug-2022

Location: Canberra, ACT, AU Adelaide, SA, AU Brisbane, QLD, AU

Company: CSIRO

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


•    Lead the growing research in sustainability credentials  

•    Bring your expertise in farming systems science 

•    Join CSIRO Agriculture and Food and make a difference!

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is one of the world’s largest and most successful publicly funded research and development organisations that delivers world-class science and outcome-focused research that generates economic, environmental, and social benefits for Australia in a global context.
Agriculture and Food (A&F) is CSIRO’s largest research business unit (BU).  We apply world class multidisciplinary science, technology and facilities, IP and global networks across the value chain to create healthier, trusted, safer and more sustainable food and fibre for the future. 

CSIRO is seeking a senior scientist to lead the research in the growing area of sustainability credentials and standards. The role will  drive new innovations to build accessible and trusted sustainability credentials that meet multiple emerging sustainability challenges across Australia’s agri-food sectors. In this role you will be a key point of contact for external stakeholders and the wider innovation system. You will liaise internally and externally to garner the resources required to drive our research impact in sustainability transitions and assemble high performing multi-disciplinary capability from across CSIRO to deliver science impact that supports Australia’s agri-food sector demonstrate sustainable production and processing of food and fibre. 

This role will collaborate broadly across CSIRO, engage with Mission research initiatives including Towards Net Zero Mission and the Valuing Sustainability Future Science Platform, to lead research into how to enable regional transitions to sustainable futures. 

Your duties will include:

•    Lead a portfolio of research in sustainability credentials and standards for Australian Agri-Food sector. 
•    Build strategic relationships with industry, government, and academic stakeholders to deliver research that underpins CSIRO Agriculture and Food strategy and contribute to a national innovation ecosystem. 
•    Lead, develop, and manage staffing capability to ensure that research and innovation activities align with strategy, and are conducted professionally and efficiently to high scientific standards.  
•    Supervise and mentor early career researchers, coordinating their activities across multiple business units and portfolios of work within CSIRO.
•    Act as a trusted advisor within CSIRO and externally on matters related to agri-food systems and their transition to a sustainable, low emissions, future. 
•    Communicate research results to clients and the scientific community through oral and written reports.
•    Other duties as directed.


Locations: Brisbane, Canberra or Adelaide preferred

Salary: AU$141,949 – AU$157,055 plus up to 15.4% superannuation

Tenure: Specified term of 3 years

Reference: 86165


To be considered you will need:

Selection Criteria

•    PhD or an equivalent industry or regulatory experience in a relevant field of sustainability studies, environmental science, life cycle assessment, applied economics, or social science with a focus on credentialling or accounting frameworks. 
•    Demonstrated ability to undertake original and creative research in complex sustainability science to develop novel metrics, measures, or standards that meet the needs of private and public sectors. 
•    Demonstrated ability to catalyse and lead and manage complex projects that include diverse stakeholders and disciplinary skills that blend qualitative and quantitative methodologies. 
•    Excellent, high level oral and written communication skills, including ability to facilitate and lead group processes and develop strategic and practical pathways with groups. 
•    A willingness to travel on short trips to other locations in Australia, and region, as part of project development and delivery. 
•    A current driver’s licence.

•    Knowledge of international market shifts and/or technology and data innovations, that will drive new innovations in sustainability credentials frameworks and their accessibility. 
•    Research or industry experience in accounting systems or assessment frameworks relevant to agri-food production efficiencies and environmental footprints.
•    Experience in establishing governance structures for collaborative initiatives. 
•    Experience in establishing and operationalising monitoring and evaluation systems to track sustainability outcomes including environmental, social, and economic indicators.

For full details about this role please view the Position Description


To be eligible to work in CSIRO you must be an Australian/ New Zealand Citizen, Australian Permanent Resident or either hold, or be able to obtain, a valid working visa (sponsorship may be provided to eligible candidates).
The successful applicant will be required to obtain and provide a National Police Check or equivalent.

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

Wednesday 24th August 2022, 11:00 pm AEST