First listed on: 30 September 2022

CSIRO Winanga-y Postdoctoral Fellowship in Nutritional and Health Qualities of Insect Protein


Acknowledgement 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 analytical chemistry, food allergy, food safety, molecular immunology, or food science?
  • Keen to work closely work with domain-specific national and international collaborators?
  • Join our Agriculture and Food team for this exciting 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.

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.

The global insect protein market is projected to reach USD $8 billion by 2030. The safety of insect-based products needs full attention, as food safety is closely linked to legislative approval. Insects are increasingly processed as protein for feed and food, data on safety and nutrition (allergenicity, toxic potential, antinutrients, microbial risk and microbial/enzymatic stability, and nutrient stability) relates to processing conditions is limited.

The CERC Fellow will closely work with domain-specific national and international collaborators to obtain skills in food processing, allergen detection and quantification using proteomics and analytical chemistry, big data mining strategies, and microbial screening for food safety using microbiological assays. Supported by the team, the CERC Fellow will (i) establish the effect of processing methods on insect protein nutrition, quality and stability; (ii) develop allergen detection and quantitation methods using proteomics for raw and processed insect protein products; and (iii) determine microbial safety assessment of processed insect protein for food and feed. The CERC Fellow will apply these methodologies to enable food quality, safety, and shelf stability assessment to provide an informed position for the expanding insect protein industry, consumers and regulators.

Your duties will include:

  • Applying protein analysis methodologies such as protein separation, immuno-blot, protein purification, and spectrophotometry to establish immunological and biochemical properties of insect proteins using mass spectrometry and traditional immunological methods such as ELISA.
  • Acquiring and developing discovery and targeted proteomics methods for allergen quantitation for insect proteins.
  • Collaborating to develop microbiological screening methods.
  • Reviewing literature to select suitable insect protein processing methods.

Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Salary: AU$89k - AU$98k plus up to 15.4% superannuation
Tenure: Specified term of 3 years
Reference: 89842

To be considered you will need:

  • A doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in a relevant discipline area, such as analytical chemistry, food allergy, food safety, molecular immunology, or food 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 protein analysis methods such as protein separation, immuno-blot, protein purification and spectrophotometry methods.
  • A good understanding of food allergy and cross-reactivity and peptide biomarker identification.
  • Characterising allergenic proteins from various food sources using one or more techniques including genomics, proteomics and molecular cloning techniques.
  • 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.

For full details about this role please view the Position Description


Appointment to this role is subject to provision of a national police check and may be subject to other security/medical/character requirements.

To enter a CSIRO site, CSIRO will require you to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (or show a valid medical exemption from vaccination). If you are unable to meet this requirement, then you must return a negative result on a Rapid Antigen Test (within 48 hours prior to attending site) and wear a face mask whilst on the CSIRO site. These requirements apply if you are attending a CSIRO site as part of a recruitment process.

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

31 October 2022, 11:00pm AEDT

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