Research Project Officer - Plant Molecular Biology and Genetics

Date: 4 Jul 2024

Location: Canberra, ACT, 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

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

•    Apply your Research Project skills in Plant Molecular Biology and Genetics
•    Join CSIRO and make an impact in the future of sustainable agriculture
•    Contribute to the delivery of key projects in the Ag & Food Crops program


The role of Research Projects staff in CSIRO is to participate in scientific and technological activities with other research staff usually by assisting with experimental, observational or technology development work, and in carrying out the more practical aspects of the work. 
This role will be part of CSIRO’s Agriculture and Food Business Unit crops program. The position will be associated first with a GRDC-funded project on crown rot resistance, and at a later stage will work on other strategic projects led by scientists in the Pests and Diseases Group.  
The position will work on various aspects of genetic resistance and application of techniques to uncover novel genetic resources and make those available to the crop industry.  
The successful candidate will examine the use of disease resistance genes and modifications in various crop genotypes.  Activities undertaken by the research officer will involve cutting edge techniques in molecular biology and genetics, data analysis, statistics and skills in plant maintenance.  

Your duties will include:

•    Apply contemporary molecular biology techniques (e.g., gel electrophoresis, media preparation, PCR, vector design and construction, mutagenesis, gene editing).
•    Sample preparations of DNA and RNA material for sequencing and downstream analysis (e.g., RNAseq).
•    Acquisition of genotypic (e.g., KASP molecular markers, SNPs) and phenotypic data (disease resistance).
•    Operation of robots and large equipment in PC2 laboratory settings.
•    Maintain large plant populations in glasshouse and growth cabinets at a meticulous standard.
•    Prepare and conduct seasonal field work at multiple sites and maintain accurate experimental records.
•    Work collaboratively as part of a multi-disciplinary research team to carry out tasks in support of CSIRO’s scientific objectives.
•    Other duties as directed.


Location: Black Mountain Science and Innovation Park, Canberra, ACT
Salary: AU$70k to AU$90k pa (pro-rata for part-time) + up to 15.4% superannuation
Tenure:  Specified Term of up to 2 years, Full-time
Reference:  97015


To be considered you will need:

Under CSIRO policy only those who meet all essential criteria can be appointed.
•    Relevant degree or equivalent relevant work experience in plant molecular biology and genetics, or other related science discipline.
•    Demonstrated knowledge of plant maintenance and contemporary techniques in molecular biology (e.g., gel electrophoresis, media preparation, vector design and construction, mutagenesis, gene editing).
•    Manipulation and handling microbes and/or plants under controlled environmental conditions.
•    Basic knowledge on statistical analyses and processing of DNA/RNA sequencing, genotypic and phenotypic data.
•    Familiar with working on plant growth facilities.
•    Excellent record keeping and experience on electronic laboratory notebooks.
•    Excellent oral and written communication skills and willingness to present results to a team/group.
•    The ability to work collaboratively within a team to achieve results.
•    Demonstrated ability to manage multiple priorities whilst meeting tight time frames and organisational goals.
•    Ability and willingness to learn new laboratory skills and techniques and adhere to safety requirements.

•    Experience developing various types of molecular markers and crop field trials.
•    Fungal disease inoculation and insect handling.
•    Planta DON detoxification assay.
•    Genetics crosses for crop improvement.
•    RNAi silencing, and gene editing.

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 Australian Temporary Residents, with an existing valid visa and unrestricted work rights for the duration of the 2- year term, and no requirement for visa sponsorship from CSIRO.

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

Sunday 4th August 2024 11:00 pm AEST.