First listed on: 10 May 2023

Research Scientist - Soil Microbiology


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

  • Bring your skills in identifying opportunities to manage soil biota and biological functions
  • Engage directly with industry in the creation of biological innovations and farming system interventions
  • Join the truly supportive team at CSIRO – Australia’s National Science Agency!

Interested in joining a team of motivated and enthusiastic researchers? We are currently seeking a passionate Research Scientist to join the team!

The Functional Soil biology (FSB) team as part of CSIRO Systems Program has a long-standing reputation in microbiology research in production systems that incorporates cutting edge microbiology and molecular biology tools to investigate key functional groups and opportunities for improved function in a systems context. Current research extends into leading research in molecular microbiology, microbial ecology and host-microbe interactions with national and international collaboration. The FSB team works in partnership with multiple rural industries, communities, and governments in bringing novel biological solutions. Our existing scientific and leadership capacity is under ever increasing demand and is expected to grow with the desire by the growers, industry and among the top priority goals of government and society.

As a Research Scientist you will join the Systems program at the Waite Campus with an objective of developing a long-term capability in soil biology for national and international impact, contributing to project teams in Systems and Sustainability programs across multiple locations. You will work with microbiology researchers in Agriculture & Food, across other CSIRO BUs and contribute to Microbiomes for One System Health-Future Science Platform.

Your duties will include:

  • Developing novel scientific approaches to investigate original concepts and innovations for new and current microbiology research as applied to dryland and irrigated cropping farming systems in Australia.
  • Deciphering associations between soil microbiomes and functions for plant nutrition, growth and health responses and overall soil health.
  • Carrying out innovative, impactful research of strategic importance to CSIRO that will, where possible, lead to novel and important scientific outcomes.
  • Recognising and exploiting opportunities for innovation and the generation of new theoretical perspectives, and progress opportunities for the further development or creation of new lines of research
  • Developing, negotiate and lead new research projects that bring together skills across CSIRO, external partners and funding organisations. 
  • Other duties as directed.

Location: Adelaide, SA
Salary: AU$105K – AU$114K pa + up to 15.4% superannuation
Tenure: Specified Term of 4 years
Reference: 91790

To be considered you will need:

  1. A PhD (or an equivalent combination of qualifications and research experience) in a relevant field such as soil microbiology and biological functions
  2. Demonstrated ability to undertake original, creative and innovative research by generating and pursuing novel ideas and solutions to scientific research problems.
  3. A demonstrated publication history of authorship on scientific papers in peer reviewed journals and/or reports, grant applications or inventorship on patent applications.
  4. Experience in soil biology ideally with focus on the rhizosphere, host plant interactions and plant growth promotion.
  5. Demonstrated knowledge and/or practical understanding of structure and function relationships of microbiomes using genomics and biochemical techniques across soil ecosystems.
  6. Experience in data sciences and statistical skills, particularly with regard to experimental design and statistical modelling.
  7. Demonstrated capacity to work in multi-disciplinary teams including with industry
  8. High level communication skills for scientific and industry levels.


  1. Understanding of farming systems and biological interactions in soil-plant systems.
  2. Evidence of good data management practices.
  3. Demonstrated ability to work with agile methodologies.
  4. Strong collaboration skills and potential to develop opportunities and lead research

For full details about this role please review the Position Description


Applications to this role are open to Australian/New Zealand Citizens, Australian Permanent Residents, Australian Temporary residents, and international applicants who may require visa sponsorship.

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 demonstrate your motivation and ability to meet the requirements of this role.

Applications Close

11 June 2023, 11:00pm AEST

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