First listed on: 29 March 2023

CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in Developing a Bio-Based Battery Prototype


Acknowledgement of Country

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The Opportunity

  • Do you have a PhD in bioelectrochemistry, biotechnology, electrochemistry or chemical engineering?
  • Do you want to advance your scientific knowledge & experience?
  • Join CSIRO – Australia’s leading scientific research organisation!

CSIRO Early Research Career (CERC) Postdoctoral Fellowships provide opportunities to scientists and engineers who have completed their doctorate and have fewer than three years of relevant postdoctoral work experience. These fellowships aim to develop the next generation of future leaders of the innovation system.

The CERC Postdoctoral Fellow will be part of CSIRO’s efforts to advance our current energy storage technologies. The CERC fellow will explore opportunities to store and harness electrical energy using biologically derived compounds in bioelectrochemical systems (BES), which are a promising technology platform for energy conversion applications. They will be part of the Resource Sector Biotechnology Team of Industrial Biotechnology Group in Industry Environments Program of Environment Business Unit.

With a deep dive into earth’s nutrient cycling and being guided by circular economy principles, this CERC Fellow will develop a novel biobased battery prototype. Feasible and environmentally sustainable oxidation-reduction (redox) reactions will be identified and integrated into a (bio)electrochemical system. Nature-inspired biocatalysts will be explored to bring a high degree of selectivity to drive the redox reactions under mild conditions in the bio-based battery system.

The development of a such a bio-based battery demands a multidisciplinary approach. It is a combined approach of disciplines, e.g., electrochemical engineering, bioengineering, genetic engineering, material sciences etc., which may enable advance this proposed technology. The successful candidate will cut across traditional disciplinary boundaries and will engage with senior researchers from Environment and Agriculture and Food Business Units to explore strategies to integrate different lines of science. With input from this multidisciplinary team of individuals, the Fellow will design and construct bioelectrochemical reactor(s) suitable for electrical energy storage and recovery. He/she will further enrich/identify electrochemically active or inactive model microorganisms with metabolic pathways that produce energy-dense end products suitable for energy storage and electricity generation.

Once a successful prototype is developed, the project also offers opportunities to enhance the fundamental knowledge of the bioengineered process using metagenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomic studies. The Fellow will also have opportunities to travel and build networks with peer researchers and industry partners.

Your duties will include:

  • Carrying out innovative, impactful research of strategic importance to the project and CSIRO that will, where possible, lead to novel and important scientific outcomes.
  • Developing, leading, and managing the project and deliverables with support from the research team.
  • Supervision of PhD and Undergrad interns.
  • Recognising and exploiting opportunities for innovation and the generation of new theoretical perspectives, and progress opportunities for the further development or creation of new lines of research.
  • Utilising design thinking methodology to plan and prepare research proposals and apply non-academic impact methodology to research projects.
  • Carrying out research investigations requiring originality, creativity and innovation

Location: Perth, WA
Salary: AU$92k - AU$101k plus up to 15.4% superannuation
Tenure: Specified term of 3 years
Reference: 92171

To be considered you will need:

  • A doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD). The doctorate must be in a relevant discipline area, such as bioelectrochemistry, biotechnology, electrochemistry or chemical engineering (a knowledge of microbiology, molecular biology, synthetic biology, or similar would be desirable but not essential). Please note: To be eligible for this role you must have no more than 3 years (full-time equivalent) of relevant post-doctoral research experience.
  • Demonstrated experience in bioengineering technologies, where microorganisms or other bio-based catalysts have been integrated with an electrochemical method to improve reducing or oxidizing metabolisms.
  • Demonstrated experience in the study of electron transfer and energy transformation, i.e., the interchange of chemical energy and electrical energy.
  • Demonstrated experience in the selection and optimization of electrode materials, design of electrochemical devices, and screening of electrochemically active or inactive model microorganisms.
  • Demonstrated experience in the development of bioelectrochemistry applications including electricity generation and the production of valuable products.
  • Demonstrated experience in designing and conducting experiments, analysing data and delivering outcomes in agreed timeframes.

For full details about this role please view the Position Description


Applications for this position are open to all candidates (visa sponsorship may be provided to eligible candidates).

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. 

CSIRO is committed to values-based leadership to inspire performance and unlock the potential of our people.

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

30 April 2023, 11:00pm AEST/AEDT

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