First listed on: 27 May 2023

Research Projects Officer - Molecular Diagnostics


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

  • Join the Plant Health Molecular Diagnostic team within CSIRO’s Health and Biosecurity.
  • Contribute to molecular and glasshouse-based experimentation directed to plant health diagnostics.
  • Grow your career with CSIRO – Australia’s National Science Agency!

CSIRO’s Health and Biosecurity Business Unit is dedicated to conducting scientific research that develops products and services to address the complexity and interdependencies of human, animal and environmental health and biosecurity challenges to provide benefits to Australia and the world.

As a Research Projects Officer, you will contribute to planning, formulating and undertaking experimentation to develop and optimise innovative molecular diagnostic tools and platforms that detect endemic and exotic pests and pathogens affecting a range of Australian crops and native plants. This will be a hands-on role and we are seeking a proactive, inquisitive biologist who enjoys spending time in a laboratory and glasshouse setting undertaking experimentation to generate high quality results that are used in downstream analyses.

Your duties will include:

  • Under limited supervision, undertake a range of molecular based experiments in a laboratory employing various techniques including specimen homogenisation, DNA and RNA extraction, PCR amplification, DNA sequencing, real-time PCR, assay design, troubleshooting and optimisation.
  • Preparation of growth media, chemical reagents, and inoculum of plant pathogenic fungi/bacteria for glasshouse use in inoculation trials.
  • Maintenance of fungal or bacterial cultures.
  • Maintenance of experimental plant stocks.
  • Record experimental results in a precise, structured manner within hardcopy and digital notebooks while also entering research data into research databases for downstream analyses.
  • Conduct literature reviews, investigations and inspections in the field or laboratory including associated analysis possibly involving statistical or graphics software.
  • Other duties as directed.

Location: Canberra, ACT
Salary:  AU$68k to AU$86k pa + up to 15.4% super
Tenure:  Specified Term of 3 years
Reference:  91888

To be considered you will need:

  1. Relevant bachelor’s degree or equivalent relevant work experience in plant pathology, microbiology, mycology, bacteriology, virology, biological sciences.
  2. Experience in laboratory-based experimentation using standard molecular biology techniques.
  3. Experience in handling and maintaining microbial (fungal or bacterial) cultures.
  4. Proven experience in undertaking and maintaining glasshouse plant experiments.
  5. Previous experience in propagating and maintaining plants.
  6. Demonstrated understanding of experimental procedures and effective record keeping.
  7. The ability to work effectively as part of a multi-disciplinary team under the general direction from Research Scientists.


  1. Previous experience working with fungal or bacterial plant pathogens.
  2. Previous experience in the analysis of DNA sequence data.

For full details about this role please review 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. without the requirement for 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.

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

2 July 2023, 11:00pm AEST

Recent Jobs