CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in Unravelling the Toxic Burden of Micro and Nano Plastic Pollution

Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

Brisbane, Australia

Job posting number: #7090524 (Ref:cj_79981)

Posted: December 13, 2021

Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

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


  • Do you have a PhD in environmental modelling, analytical chemistry, or environmental toxicology?
  • Want to conduct world class research and development with a team of dedicated professionals?
  • Join CSIRO – Australia’s leading scientific research organisation!


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 worldwide, massive use of plastics has led to the spread of micro and nanoplastics (MNP) through the environment, with clear signs plastic particles are now part of the global carbon cycle and enter the food production chain via both aquatic and terrestrial pathways. The effects these particles have on microbiomes and soil health as well as the potential risk associated with the transport of microbes and chemical compounds by these particles through the production chain is unknown.


This project aims to unravel the toxic burden of micro and nano plastic pollution by developing needed analytical methods and tools required to analyse two important risks associated with MNP pollution: chemical leaching and gene transport. Supported by a multi-disciplinary team of analytical chemists and microbiologists, the successful candidate will apply multiple omic and classical analytical approaches to achieve these goals.

Your duties will include:


  • Carrying out innovative, impactful research of strategic importance to CSIRO that will, where possible, lead to novel and important scientific outcomes.
  • Utilising design thinking methodology to plan and prepare research proposals, and apply non-academic impact methodology to research projects
  • Carrying out research investigations requiring originality, creativity and innovation
  • Recording, managing, and analysing data/information using relevant domain data science techniques.


Location: Brisbane, QLD

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

Tenure: Specified term of 3 years

Reference: 79981

To be considered you will need:


  • A doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in a relevant discipline area, such as analytical chemistry (LC-MS), environmental toxicology, 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.
  • Experience in classical analytical chemistry techniques such as sample extraction from terrestrial and aquatic systems and LC-MS detection/quantification method development.
  • A good understanding regarding conjugation chemistry for particle immobilisation to surfaces
  • Experience in mass spectrometry and omic approaches (including proteomics, transcriptomics and metabolomics) is very highly regarded
  • Knowledge and/or experience in micro and nano plastic analysis is desirable


For full details about this role please view the Position Description


To be eligible for this role, you must be an Australian/New Zealand Citizen, Australian Permanent Resident or Australian temporary resident currently residing in Australia and be able to commence in the role by 30 June 2022.

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

30 January 2022, 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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