First listed on: 25 June 2019

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Crop Physiology (for application in breeding)


  • Contribute to ecologically responsible cotton production in Australia
  • Kick start your research career in Narrabri - Australia’s best kept secret!
  • Join CSIRO and enjoy the benefits of country living in our close-knit community

The position:

CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowships help facilitate the recruitment and development of our potential leaders.  They provide valuable opportunities for scientists and engineers to launch their careers, extend professional networks and enhance their career prospects.

As the Postdoctoral Fellow in Crop Physiology (for application in breeding) with CSIRO Agriculture and Food, you will be based at the Australian Cotton Research Institute (ACRI), Narrabri, in regional New South Wales.  Developing an understanding of the physiological responses of cotton to abiotic stress, you will assess genotypic variation for the limiting transpiration trait in cotton. To understand potential value of this trait at the plant and crop level, you will assess GxE responses through crop modelling and field studies. Your work will also include research investigating pollen viability under high temperature stress with the results ultimately being used to develop breeding material with enhanced abiotic stress tolerance.

At ACRI we conduct a wide range of research aimed at providing stable and ecologically responsible systems of cotton production for Australia, now and in the future. Research projects include efforts into plant breeding, entomology, agronomy and crop physiology. Joining the cotton breeding teams onsite, you will also have the opportunity to interact with integrated cotton management colleagues also based in Narrabri.

ACRI is a welcoming and inclusive working environment, with an active social club and relaxed working environment. The site boasts the co-location of CSIRO and NSW Department of Primary Industries research hubs, with employees from a mix of local, interstate and international backgrounds. The positive and inclusive collaborative research work environment reflects the country hospitality you’ll experience in the town of Narrabri.

In this role you will:

• Develop innovative concepts, theories and techniques in abiotic stress physiology for application in a plant breeding program, specifically.

-  Screen germplasm for genetic variation to the limiting transpiration trait in response to atmospheric vapour pressure deficit.

-  Develop an understanding of the morphological and biochemical characteristics associated with the limiting transpiration trait.

-  Through field experimentations and crop modelling, develop an understanding of the environments and cropping systems where the limiting transpiration trait will provide an advantage.

-  Refine existing assays used to determine pollen viability at high temperatures, and determine if this assay corresponds to fruit retention and yield under heat stress.

• Undertake regular reviews of relevant literature and patents.

• Produce high quality scientific papers suitable for publication in quality journals and for presentation at conferences and meetings.

• Contribute to the development of novel concepts and ideas for further research.

Location:       Narrabri, regional New South Wales, Australia (Relocation assistance will be provided as required)
Salary:           AU $83,687 to AU $94,679 per annum, plus up to 15.4% superannuation
Tenure:          3 year term
Job ref:          58230
Residency:   All candidates, no restrictions

As a minimum requirement, you will hold a doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in field-based plant breeding or stress physiology, or related discipline. You will also have:

• Excellent communication and team skills, and a history of professional behaviours.

• A record of publications in quality, peer reviewed journals.

• Knowledge and experience in modern Australian crop production techniques, abiotic stress physiology and its application in a plant breeding context.

• Experience in the execution and management of field-based, glasshouse and laboratory research.

• An understanding and ability in experimental design and the use of scientific programs, such as R, for data handling and statistical analysis of field experiment data.

• The drive to incorporate novel ideas and approaches into scientific investigations.

• A desire and commitment to living and working in a thriving community in regional Australia.

To see more of what’s on offer in the Narrabri region (as well as further details on the postdoctoral fellowship), click on the ‘Brochure’ link below. Apply today!

Brochure -  Postdoc Narrabri - PDF / Word

To be eligible for this postdoctoral fellowship, you must have less than 3 years of relevant research experience since gaining your PhD.


We imagine. We collaborate. We innovate. At CSIRO, we do the extraordinary every day. We innovate for tomorrow and help improve today – for our customers, all Australians and the world. We do this by using science and technology to solve real issues. Diversity is the compass that navigates our innovation. We provide an inclusive workplace that respects, values and actively pursues the benefits of a diverse workforce - CSIRO

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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.

Flexible Working Arrangements

We work flexibly at CSIRO, offering a range of options for how, when and where you work. Talk to us about how this role could be flexible for you. Balance

How to apply: Please load one document containing your CV and a brief cover letter which outlines your suitability for the role and your motivations for applying (Maximum 2MB). At the end of the online application process, you will also be required to respond to some screening questions. 

Applicants who have previously applied for this position need not re-apply.

Applications close: Tuesday 23 July, 2019

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