First listed on: 21 January 2022

VS CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in Social-Ecological Systems Integration


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 social-ecological systems, complex systems or a similar science area?
  • Want to be a part of an exciting new sustainability science initiative and make a difference to Australia’s future?
  • Join CSIRO – Australia’s leading scientific research organisation!

The Valuing Sustainability Future Science Platform (VS FSP) is a substantial new 5-year investment in cutting edge research by CSIRO that will recruit several post-docs who will be embedded in 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.

This position falls within the ‘Functional Ecosystems for Nature + Prosperity Project’. It offers an exciting opportunity to join an interdisciplinary team aiming to develop new leading indicators of ecosystem health and integrity within a social-ecological systems context and embed these indicators into decision processes to accelerate practice change for nature-positive outcomes across agri-food and nature-based systems.

The successful candidate will drive social-ecological systems research to inform the design of fit-for-purpose ecosystem indicators and embed them in social processes. The research will develop knowledge-to-action frameworks for uptake of indicators in diverse decision contexts. This will include developing novel approaches to link stakeholder values to ecosystem functions, and co-design ecosystem health and integrity indicators suited to assessing ‘values at risk’ from ecological change. The research will include addressing diverse and contested values and characterising system boundaries and scales relevant to both social interactions and transactions, and ecosystem function.

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.
  • Recognising and utilising opportunities for innovation and the further development of approaches linking social values and benefits to ecosystem function.
  • Working with project stakeholders and collaborators to co-develop and design research questions, implement research activities and evaluate outcomes.
  • Translating outcomes of research activities to partners and end-users, for instance through participation in meetings, workshops, field visits and presentations.
  • Carrying out research investigations requiring originality, creativity, and innovation.

Location: Canberra, ACT (other locations considered)
Salary: AU$89k - AU$98k plus up to 15.4% superannuation
Tenure: Specified term of 3 years
Reference: 81057

To be considered you will need:

  • A doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in a relevant discipline such as social-ecological systems science, sustainability science, quantitative, spatial or experimental natural systems ecology in soil and/or plant science, 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.
  • Demonstrated experience in participatory research methods, knowledge co-production, values framing and elicitation, and stakeholder engagement
  • Demonstrated experience in undertaking interdisciplinary research linking social and biophysical systems, ideally with experience linking qualitative and quantitative approaches
  • Background knowledge in ecology, biodiversity, soils and/or ecosystem function concepts, ideally including their application in a social-ecological systems context.

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

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