CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in Responsible Hydrogen Transition (Social Science) - CSIRO - EducationCareer

First listed on: 11 July 2020

CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in Responsible Hydrogen Transition (Social Science)

The Opportunity
  • Utilise your social science research PhD to understand and measure societal expectations
  • Engage with stakeholders on the responsible transition to hydrogen in Australia
  • Join the Sustainability Pathways Research Program in CSIRO Land and Water 

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.

Hydrogen has emerged as a significant opportunity for Australia, in terms of decarbonising our energy systems and creating a new, clean energy export industry. Taking advantage of this opportunity requires a significant transition in the way we make and use energy: the focus of this Postdoctoral Fellowship is the ‘social licence to operate’ of the national hydrogen sector and the role of hydrogen in the transition of Australia’s energy system, particularly for communities. There are clear opportunities for social science to guide industry, government and other stakeholders in terms of the role of the environmental performance and community acceptance of a transition to hydrogen. This role will therefore have a specific focus on understanding and measuring community and societal expectations and perspectives about hydrogen with a focus on safety issues, and the design of appropriate modes of communication and engagement that are specific to a range of hydrogen uses and applications. The research may extend beyond local communities affected by hydrogen activities to include social licence as it relates to the broader Australian public.  

It is envisaged the outcomes of this research will have both research and practical applications, the latter via CSIRO’s ‘Hydrogen Industry Mission’, an initiative to bring CSIRO’s vast hydrogen capabilities to accelerate the development of industry-scale pilots and demonstrations - key to supporting these activities is, inter alia, a strong understanding of community views. By bringing their own expertise in social science research and methodologies, the Postdoctoral Fellow will apply current approaches and methods in understanding community perceptions and expectations, stakeholder engagement and risk communication to supporting a responsible transition to hydrogen. They will also directly contribute to extending the existing expertise in the field of social licence to operate within CSIRO to be relevant to this new and rapidly-developing industrial sector.

Your duties will include:
  • Conducting empirical social licence and risk communication research using both qualitative and quantitative methods.
  • Collaborating with industry, government, and multi-disciplinary research partners and facilitating strong stakeholder participation.
  • Carrying out innovative, impactful research of strategic importance to CSIRO that will, where possible, lead to novel and important scientific outcomes. (This fellowship has a specific focus on public and community expectations in relation to hydrogen in Australia, and the design of appropriate responses).
  • Recognising and exploiting opportunities for innovation and the generation of new theoretical perspectives, and progressing opportunities for the further development or creation of new lines of research.
  • Utilise design thinking methodology to plan and prepare research proposals, and applying non-academic impact methodology to research projects.

Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Salary: AU$86k - AU$94k plus up to 15.4% superannuation
Tenure: Specified term of 3 years
Reference: 67874

To be considered you will need:
  • A doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in a relevant social research discipline, such as social psychology, social science, sociology, human geography or similar.
    Please note: To be eligible for this role you must have no more than 3 years (or part time equivalent) of postdoctoral research experience.
  • An ability to undertake both qualitative research and quantitative multivariate statistical analysis of social data.
  • Experience with conducting interviews, engaging with stakeholders, and conducting surveys.
  • Experience with or knowledge of social licence research and/or risk communication research.
  • High level written and oral communication skills with the ability to represent the research team effectively internally and externally, including the presentation of research outcomes at national and international conferences.
  • A sound history of publication in peer reviewed journals and/or authorship of scientific papers, reports, grant applications or patents.

For full details about this role please view the Position Description


The successful applicant will be required to obtain and provide a National Police Check or equivalent.

Applicants must be Australian/New Zealand citizens, Australian permanent residents or Australian temporary residents currently residing in Australia and be able to commence in the role by December 2020/January 2021.

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

Diversity and Inclusion

We are working hard to recruit diverse people and ensure that all our people feel supported to do their best work and feel empowered to let their ideas flourish. Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

We are committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people.


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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

9 August 2020, 11:00pm AEST