First listed on: 11 June 2022

CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in Smart Milk 4.0


The Opportunity

  • Do you have a PhD in chemistry or biochemistry, colloid/emulsion science, food, dairy or material science?
  • Keen to be involved in developing a better tasting and nutritionally sound plant-based dairy experience for consumers?
  • Join us for this exciting postdoctoral role whilst extending your networks and building your career!

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.

We are thrilled to be able to deliver on the commitment we made in our strategy to invest in frontier science with the CSIRO Agriculture & Food Winanga-y Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme. The word Winanga-y (pronounced win-na-gnay) is a cultural asset gifted by the Gomeroi Nation in Myall Vale to CSIRO's Agriculture and Food Business Unit to name the new Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme. Winanga-y means to understand, know, remember, and think.

CERC Fellows are appointed for three years or full-time equivalent.  This role provides an exciting opportunity for a new CERC Fellow to deconstruct the molecular composition and colloidal structure of traditional dairy milk and ingredients, to better understand the iconic sensory, flavour elements and the key nutritional factors. This fundamental understanding will allow the CERC Fellow to recreate the sweetness, and creaminess (mouthfeel) of dairy, while avoiding the less appealing attributes like sourness, bitterness, and specific flavour notes such as beany, oxidised, metallic, and sulphur flavours, using non-dairy ingredients.

In this project, the CERC Fellow will deconstruct the sensory, mouthfeel/texture, composition, and nutritional experience of drinking traditional bovine milk, based on the molecular make-up, presence, and variety of macro-molecular structures (milk fat globules/emulsion, casein protein/calcium phosphate complex known as casein micelles) and physico-chemical properties. This challenge requires a multi-disciplinary approach to develop plant-based milks that meet consumer expectations and offer enhanced nutritional quality (protein content, quality and bioavailability). This will require the CERC Fellow to develop a broad range of skills including fundamental chemistry & biochemistry, colloid/emulsion and sensory sciences as applied in food and ingredient processing and novel product development. The CERC Fellow will have further opportunity to enrich these skills by incorporating other structural visualisation and characterisation skills as needed. The CERC Fellow will be working closely with a supervisory team from diverse fields across three CSIRO Business Units, namely Agriculture & Food, Data61 and Health & Biosecurity.

Your duties will include:

  • Characterising the molecular composition, physicochemical/structure, nutritional and flavour/sensory attributes of traditional dairy milk using a trained sensory panel and analytical approaches
  • Developing experimental and modelling approaches to apply learnings from traditional dairy plant-based milk, leading to a step change in the manufacture of non-dairy milk and milk products
  • Carrying out innovative, impactful research of strategic importance to CSIRO that will, where possible, lead to novel and important scientific outcomes.
  • 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.

Location: Werribee, Victoria
Salary: AU$89k - AU$98k plus up to 15.4% superannuation
Tenure: Specified term of 3 years
Reference: 85084

To be considered you will need:

  • A doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in a relevant discipline area, such as chemistry or biochemistry, colloid/emulsion science, food, dairy or material science. Please note: To be eligible for this role you must have no more than 3 years (or full-time equivalent) of postdoctoral research experience.
  • Experience in the preparation and characterisation of emulsion and colloidal food systems.
  • Experience in the chemical and physico-chemical characterisation/analysis of food systems and method development e.g. analytical chemistry, characterisation of colloidal/emulsion structures, sensory-directed flavour analysis.
  • Experience in the design, execution, and analysis of experiments with the purpose of gaining new understandings of a physical system.
  • Experience in the use of chemometrics tools and working knowledge of modelling and simulation to deduce generic understanding from chemical and physico-chemical characterisation data.

For full details about this role please view the Position Description


CSIRO is an Equal Opportunity employer working hard to recruit world-class talent that represents the diversity across our society. As part of our commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment outcomes, preference will be given to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander candidates who meet the role criteria.

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. 

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

14 July 2022, 11:00pm AEST

Recent Jobs