CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in Food Systems Sustainability and Resilience

Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

Brisbane, Australia

Job posting number: #7177747 (Ref:cj_93947)

Posted: September 11, 2023

Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

Acknowledgement of Country

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The Opportunity


  • Do you have a PhD in sustainability science, agri-food systems, human geography, environmental and social governance or a similar discipline?
  • Keen to be involved in research on enhancing food system resilience and sustainability?
  • Join the CSIRO Agriculture and Food Sustainability Program for this exciting 3-year postdoctoral role


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 CERC Fellow will design and conduct mixed-methods research that informs modelling of trajectories towards enhanced food system resilience and sustainability. Using a case study approach to better understand priorities in local food systems, the CERC Fellow will engage with stakeholders to identify sustainability and resilience attributes and understand the context behind system drivers for sustainability transitions.  


They will leverage prior work in the interface between sustainability and resilience to develop pilot models based on local drivers and attributes, enabling the assessment of both long- and short-term implications of stakeholder strategies and scenarios while integrating local knowledge systems and decision-making processes. The project aims to enable food system decision makers (i.e., businesses, policy makers) to develop better informed strategies to transition into more sustainable futures by identifying appropriate attributes and sequencing of activities to attain said attributes. 


This position is embedded in the CSIRO’s Agriculture and Food Sustainability Program, particularly the Sustainability Transitions Target Area. The Target Area involves researchers from across CSIRO with a range of disciplinary backgrounds and is interested in how different aspects of agri-food systems can transform towards a more resilient and sustainable future. In addition, the CERC Fellow will have the opportunity to partner with other CSIRO initiatives such as the Food Systems Horizons Initiative, Towards Net Zero Emissions Mission and the Valuing Sustainability Future Science Platform.  

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.  
  • Examining existing approaches to informing food system transitions, particularly the interface between sustainability and resilience in food systems.
  • Developing selection criteria for the identification of case study food systems. 
  • Employing qualitative and quantitative research techniques to conduct in-depth case studies of the interface between resilience and sustainability in local food systems.    
  • Engaging with case study stakeholders to co-identify resilience and sustainability priorities and attributes and co-developing frameworks for food system resilience and sustainability.
  • Developing archetypal or pilot models and leverage participatory integrated assessment modelling approaches to explore disruption and intervention scenarios with relevant stakeholders.


Location: St Lucia, Brisbane, Queensland
Salary: AU$92k - AU$101k plus up to 15.4% superannuation
Tenure: Specified term of 3 years
Reference: 93947

To be considered you will need:

  • A doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in a relevant discipline area, such as sustainability science, agri-food systems, inter- and transdisciplinary research, sustainability transitions, social-ecological/socio-technical systems modelling, human geography, science and technology studies, environmental and social governance. Please note: To be eligible for this role you must have no more than 3 years (full-time equivalent) of postdoctoral research experience.
  • Demonstrated stakeholder engagement experience, including for example knowledge co-production, development and application of participatory research methods.
  • Demonstrated experience in the design and application of systems thinking and systems modelling, for example, systems dynamics, agent-based models, integrated assessment models or others. 
  • Demonstrated experience with qualitative and quantitative research methods, and the ability to integrate findings from both to provide meaningful insight. 
  • Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of agrifood systems, its key stakeholders and its challenges. 


For full details about this role please view the Position Description


Applications for this position are open to Australian/New Zealand Citizens, Australian Permanent Residents and Australian Temporary Residents currently residing in Australia. 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

10 October 2023,11:00pm 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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