VS CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in Navigating Sustainability Transitions and Innovation Dynamics

Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

Canberra, Australia

Job posting number: #7092495 (Ref:cj_81167)

Posted: January 19, 2022

Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

Acknowledgment 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 economic geography, economic sociology, business strategy, institutional economics, human geography, sustainability science, or similar?
  • Want to be a part of the Valuing Sustainability Future Science Platform?
  • Join CSIRO – Australia’s leading scientific research organisation!


The Valuing Sustainability Future Science Platform (VS FSP) is a new 5-year investment in cutting edge research by CSIRO that will recruit several postdoctoral researchers who will be embedded diverse inter-disciplinary research teams. The VS FSP aims to co-produce future pathways, measures and indicators to underpin sustainable innovation and prosperity for current and future industries and communities.


Within the VS FSP, the ‘Navigating Transitions’ project focuses on supporting the transformative shifts across Australian sectors, regions, corporate and consumer practices that will be needed to return within Earth system boundaries and to support diverse human values. Successfully navigating these transitions requires society to initiate and mainstream innovations to drive transitions, to monitor and manage transition risks, and to avoid perverse or undesirable outcomes.


The successful candidate will consider questions around how sustainability transitions are initiated and led, feasibility of socio-technical approaches, and relationships between diverse actors.

Your duties will include:


  • Reviewing available literature to identify the role of innovation dynamics in supporting sustainability transitions with emphasis on the applicability of learnings to the Australian institutional and economic context.
  • Drawing on the literature review and case studies, designing a diagnosis of the system challenges, barriers and driving forces to innovation readiness, including to mainstreaming innovation as part of system transitions.
  • Designing and building methods with potential to mobilize (i.e., trigger or initiate) socio-technical innovation at ‘micro’ to ‘meso’ levels of society.
  • Working with team members and other VS FSP projects to design and implement interventions that test mobilization efficacy in at least one case study location.
  • Supporting project development of a network of stakeholders and engage in workshops, conferences, community meetings that can identify and actualise desirable sustainable sector and regional development outcomes.


Location: Canberra, ACT (Brisbane or Hobart considered)

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

Tenure: Specified term of 3 years

Reference: 81167

To be considered you will need:


  • A doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in a relevant discipline such as economic geography, economic sociology, business strategy, institutional economics, human geography, sustainability science, or similar. However other disciplines would be considered. Please note: To be eligible for this role you must have no more than 3 years (full-time equivalent) of postdoctoral research experience.
  • Experience working on sustainability transitions, including developing frameworks and theories of change, with a focus in agricultural, land-use, and sustainability-focused topics, or in industrial and mining transformations in collaboration with a range of stakeholders.
  • A foundation in quantitative analytical approaches and evidence of proficiency (e.g., statistics, econometrics, microeconomics, industrial organisation, system dynamics, etc.).
  • Experience designing and undertaking transdisciplinary research, collecting primary data and managing fieldwork, developing and implementing experimental interventions including familiarity with human ethics in research processes.


For full details about this role please view the Position Description


To be eligible you must be an Australian/New Zealand Citizen, Australian Permanent Resident, or Australian temporary resident currently residing in Australia (visa sponsorship may be provided to eligible onshore candidates).

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 providing a cover letter that includes a written response to each of the selection criteria, and your CV highlighting your research experience and achievements.

Applications Close

20 February 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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