CERC Postdoctoral Fellowship in Farming System Design

Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

Canberra, Australia

Job posting number: #7087276 (Ref:cj_77761)

Posted: October 18, 2021

Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

The Opportunity


  • Do you have a PhD (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in a relevant discipline area, such as agricultural science, agronomy, digital agronomy or similar?
  • Explore highly integrated emerging and future complex farming systems
  • Develop frameworks will be tested and deployed on real-world robotics platform! 


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 CSIRO Data61 and Agriculture and Food business units recently established a new 3-year project to develop digital transformation of farming system design. This is an exciting opportunity to join a multidisciplinary team, where you will work with CSIRO scientists, engineers and collaborate with national and international university partners to explore highly integrated emerging and future complex farming systems. The work will specifically focus on the development of novel, complex farming systems that gain maximum benefit from autonomous solutions to implement, manage and monitor farming systems in an efficient and sustainable workflow. 


The successful postdoctoral researcher will work closely with leading farming systems and digital agriculture scientists in CSIRO Agriculture and Food and with Data61 scientists in robotics and machine learning. The farming system research will seek to optimise across multiple dimensions of productivity, profitability, environmental sustainability and resilience. This is likely to include exploration of complex systems that integrate crop, livestock, horticulture, orchard and ecosystem services. 


Working with the Data61 team, key management and monitoring tasks will be developed, optimised and co-developed into autonomous workflows. Research will focus on optimising these innovative farming systems and developing new technologies and methods for future farming systems. The successful candidate will work within national and international settings and as part of a diverse multidisciplinary team. The developed frameworks will be tested and deployed on real-world robotics platform in a range of settings such as field research station and on-farm. They will present the findings in appropriate top-tier journals or conferences.

Your duties will include:

  • Designing complex farming systems which incorporate novel agronomic practices and advances in automation, sensing and robotic technologies and evaluate their productivity, profitability and sustainability.
  • Building trusted relationships with networks of stakeholders and partners to help inform how autonomous processes can be implemented in real-world scenarios on farm and develop an innovative technology roadmap.
  • Interpreting and present research findings to research scientists, practitioners and industry partners from a wide range of scientific areas.
  • Publishing results in relevant international scientific venues (high-level journals and conferences).


Location: Canberra, ACT

Salary: AU$89k - AU$98k plus up to 15.4% superannuation

Tenure: Specified term of 3 years

Reference: 77761

To be considered you will need:

  • A doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in a relevant discipline area, such as agricultural science, agronomy, digital agronomy or similar. Please note: To be eligible for this role you must have no more than 3 years (full time equivalent) of postdoctoral research experience.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the drivers of productivity and profitability in agricultural systems, particularly mixed farming systems.
  • Experience in the utilisation of digital approaches in agriculture, including monitoring and sensing across a variety of scales (paddock to aerial) 
  • Experience in design and use of field-based experimentation of broadacre agriculture, mixed farming systems with livestock, or horticultural farming systems. 
  • The ability to work effectively as part of a multidisciplinary, regionally dispersed research team, with the motivation and discipline to carry out independent research.


For full details about this role please view the Position Description


To be eligible to work in CSIRO you must be an Australian Citizen, Permanent Resident or either hold, or be able to obtain, a valid working visa.

The successful applicant will be required to obtain and provide a National Police Check or equivalent. Additional integrity checks may be required for specific roles which require security clearance for working with children, Australian Government cybersecurity requirements or other identified security roles.

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

17 November 2021, 11:00pm AEDT

We’re working hard to build a safe and welcoming culture where people can bring their whole selves to work. Valuing and enabling difference empowers our people, unlocking their potential to innovate and shape the future for our customers, all Australians and the world. We do the extraordinary every day. We innovate for tomorrow and help improve today. We're the people that stay awake solving the world’s big questions. This is true of our science and of our people. Our mission is to create benefit for Australia through impactful science and innovation but we know that that's not possible without an inclusive and diverse culture. We're working hard to recruit diverse people and ensure all our people feel supported to do their best work and empowered to let their ideas flourish.

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